How to Understand Your Target Audience

03 November 2020
03 November 2020
How to Understand Your Target Audience

The cornerstone of business growth and success rests squarely on understanding the consumers and audience that drive it. These are the individuals who have the power to either elevate a startup to new heights or bring it to its knees. A satisfied clientele fosters a thriving business, while discontent can lead swiftly to its demise. Therefore, a deep and accurate comprehension of your target audience is not just beneficial—it's crucial before launching any business venture or marketing initiative. It is the heart and soul of any thriving business; without this foundation, all other efforts are likely to prove fruitless.

However, truly grasping the needs, desires, and behaviours of your target audience is no trivial task, and mistakes here are not just common but also costly. Misunderstanding your audience can lead to misaligned marketing strategies, product mismatches, and disengagement from the people you aim to attract. This can quickly escalate into financial losses, diminished brand reputation, and, in severe cases, business closure.

Client satisfaction is, after all, the lifeblood of any business. Luckily, there are many strategies and tools to gain insights into your ideal customer. Here's how to start:

First Things First: Who Is Your Target Segment?

Not everyone is a potential customer and not every customer is right for your business either. Defining your target segment will help you focus on the right people and create messaging that resonates with them. It also helps you better allocate your resources, such as budget and staff. Your target segment also determines your overall business strategy. It should mention that your target audience is not just a single group but rather a combination of groups that have something in common.

Research, Research and Research!

The growth of a business depends on happy and satisfied customers, and one great way to understand what they want is to ask them. Surveys, focus groups and interviews are great ways to get feedback from your target audience. However, don’t stop there! Use other research methods such as focus groups, social media listening, and even Google AdWords data to compile as much information about your target audience as possible. All of this information will give you insights into their demographics (age, gender, location, etc.), their psychographics (interests, values, lifestyles), and what motivates them.

Understand Their Needs and Pain Points

Your target audience has needs that you can help them with, but they also have pain points that you can address. Understanding what these are is essential to crafting a message that will resonate with them. Once you know the needs and pain points, you can craft content and messaging that directly speak to them. Knowing your audience's desires and fears will help you create a strong strategy that targets them directly. It also helps to know what other companies in your industry are doing.
What are they saying that is resonating with their target audience?
How can you make sure your message stands out?

Look at the Competition

Looking at your competition is another very effective way to understand your target audience. What are they doing that’s resonating with their audience? How can you do it better? You can understand your target audience's wants and needs by looking at what your competitors are doing. Competitors and surrounding marketplaces are great resources for understanding what people want and how to give it to them. It also motivates you to go ahead and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Study Your Customers

Another way to understand your target audience is to study your customers. What are their demographics? What are their interests? What do they care about? By understanding who your customers are, you can better understand the messaging that will resonate with them. Understanding your target audience’s values is key to resonating with them. What are they most passionate about? What do they care about? What are their beliefs? If you can tap into what your potential audience cares about, you can create messaging that will resonate with them.

Use Personas

Creating personas is a great way to know your target audience better. A persona is a fictional person or character that represents a typical member of your target audience. Creating personas can learn more about their demographics, interests, and motivations. This information comes in very helpful in creating messages and content that is more likely to resonate with them. A buyer persona also provides a human face for your target audience, which can help you empathise with them and create more effective marketing campaigns. A survey or data collection can help you create your personas. You can use various surveying tools to obtain precise information to understand your target audience.

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Understand Their Buying Process

Your target audience will not buy from you the first time they come across your brand. They will likely go through a buying process where they research your company and products, compare you to your competition, and then make a purchase. You must understand this buying process to create marketing materials and strategies to persuade them to buy from you. Also, be aware of your target audience's different types of buyers: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards.

… And Their Online Behaviour

Their buying process is only part. What about how they surf the net or what picks up their interest? Online behaviour is another major indicator of interests and needs, and it’s a really significant one. What kind of content do they consume? Where do they hang out? What websites do they visit? What social media platforms do they use? This information can help you determine where to market your product or service. Also, it can help you create content that is more likely to consume your target audience.

Interact With Customers

Customer interaction and engagement are great ways to understand your target audience. Customer feedback can help you determine what they like and don’t like about your product or service and what needs they have that aren’t currently being met. Additionally, it can give you insights into how to improve your business. If you interact regularly with your customers, you will be able to better understand them and, as a result, increase your sales.

Ask for Feedback

Feedback and reviews are vital steps for understanding what your target audience wants. You must actively ask for feedback from your customers and target market. You can do it through surveys, polls, or even just by asking questions on social media. The key is to make it easy for customers to provide feedback and ensure you’re listening. The result of feedback and reviews will help you improve your products and services.

Why Surveys, Specifically, Matter.

Surveys are tremendously valuable in providing insights into the effectiveness of your content marketing. They highlight strengths and areas for improvement, as perceived by your audience. This feedback reveals customer motivations, allowing you to tailor content to attract like-minded individuals. Questions centred around brand experience build trust and foster loyalty. E-commerce brands particularly benefit by asking, "How did you discover us?" or "What aspect of your shopping journey did you enjoy most?" This illuminates successful content and engagement strategies. Remember, consistent quarterly interaction with your customer base is crucial.

And Last but Not Least, Use Analytics.

Analytics help you get an even deeper understanding of your audience. With analytics you get to discover their origins, how they're interacting with your content, and what truly sparks their interest.

Several methods can be employed to gather insights. Webpage data reveals user growth and content engagement levels. Bounce rates illustrate consumption patterns—are visitors staying or swiftly departing? Free tools like Google Analytics provide these basics, while paid solutions offer even richer engagement analysis.

This knowledge tells what customers seek from your brand. Prioritise their desires, refine content accordingly, and cultivate a tailored experience. Done well, this fosters genuine customer satisfaction.

Analytics also illuminate audience demographics, search queries, device preferences, and conversions. Charting the journey to your brand helps define audience personas and craft content that speaks directly to their needs.

Wrapping Up

Understanding your target audience isn't a one-time task; it's an ongoing research, analysis, and engagement process. By actively seeking feedback, studying online behaviour, and carefully utilising analytics tools, you'll unlock the secrets to crafting content and experiences that truly resonate with your ideal customers. Reach out to us for more insights.

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Featured image: Zebra Crossing via unsplash

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