There is a tendency to believe that so much of our marketing success these days depends on the two giant advertising players at the moment: Google and Facebook. Hey, they provide results, this article will not debate that.

Sometimes, whether we like it or not though, marketers looking to discover audience insights believe that if they are not a tech giant or have huge budgets they are limited to what Google and Facebook can tell them about their target audience. And this is far from being true.

There is much more information available online that can help marketers discover the sources of influence their audience pays attention to, the podcasts they listen to, and what they read.

For example, let’s say we are a B2B with electrical engineers as a target audience. Along with our research, Google would tell us the keywords they search for and a bunch of other useful information. But is it search behavior and click through rates all we need to know about electrical engineers? Is this all our target audience does to stay informed? No.

There is so much more beyond tracking search. Electrical engineers (as well as any other audience) read a number of trade publications, sign up for conferences, listen to podcasts, follow people on social media, visit different websites…

Google and Facebook won’t gather and present audience insights in this form because it is not their business priority, and that is okay.

High-quality market research and audience intelligence are usually available at high costs, and that is exactly the pain point that Rand Fishkin, trusted expert and former CEO and founder of MOZ, is trying to solve by launching his most recent tool Sparktoro.

Sparktoro looks to break marketers free from dependency on Facebook and Google data by providing something that these two just don’t: the ability to put on a given target audience’s glasses and see what they see.

“Sparktoro will help with SEO, but it will also help with customer awareness, brand marketing, growing a business, and getting direct traffic from these sources, which frankly not a lot of marketers pay attention to. Because not a lot of marketers are paying attention to them, the return on investment is high.” – Rand Fishkin – Co-founder, Sparktoro

By looking at this information, marketers and business owners can instantly see what customers pay attention to and make recommendations or take actions based on these insights. For example where to make PR and press connections, what podcast to participate on, what YouTube channel to sponsor, who is the best influencer for a given audience, where to do a guest editorial, and so on.

In the end, it is not about Facebook and Google doing the right thing or not, it is about marketers finding opportunities to connect more effectively with their audiences by asking the right questions and not limiting themselves to the answers that the two giants are willing to provide.

To hear more from Rand Fishkin, listen to our interview with him: Your Cheat Code for Market Research and Audience Intelligence.