3 Tools to Help Understand Your Target Audience Better | One of the biggest hurdles many entrepreneurs face early in the life of their startup is identifying their target audience. At a glance, that may seem odd; if you sell fishing equipment, for example, your target audience is fishing enthusiasts, right? Broadly, the answer is “yes.” However, when it comes time to build marketing and advertising strategies, you need to dig deeper to pinpoint how you can reach those fishing enthusiasts. That means you need to find them where they are, whether that’s over-the-air, online, or reading billboards in traffic.
Let’s say you’ve taken the next step and designated the demographic of your target audience. That’s great! Using the fishing example, let’s say that demo is men aged 25 to 65. The next challenge is to reach them with not only awareness, but with differentiated offers that will speak to them. To do this, you need to learn more about them. Here are three of the best and easiest ways to do that.
Use Your Digital Advertising Analytics
Thirty years ago, we would never have imagined that coding and programming would be so prevalent in our everyday lives, from our smartphone apps to the model governance that helps your business mitigate risk. If you buy any sort of digital advertising, from static banner ads to paid social or pay-per-click ads to improve your search engine rankings, invaluable analytics are built into your purchase price.
You can now see how people interacted with your ad with the number of click-throughs. If you’re placing video, you can see who watched the full spot and who clicked away. You can see where visitors to your website are coming from, how long they are staying, and where they are going to after they leave. All this data was not only unavailable a few short years ago but tied to demographic information. Using it as a guide, you will learn about the online comparison- shopping habits of your target audience. It may even become evident over time that your target audience simply isn’t who you thought it was!
Create Feature Benefit Narratives
Let’s move in another direction. If you have your target audience down pat and know who they are and where to find them, you’ve solved a few crucial pieces of the puzzle. This is the point where you can start focusing on your messaging. How can you get through to these specific people? What matters to them? Most importantly, what can make your product most attractive to them?
These are certainly big questions, but you may be able to unlock their secrets by creating a feature benefit list. This may sound fancy, but all you need to do is start by listing the attributes that your product offers. Preferably, stick to the things that are unique to your product as compared to your competitors. At the very least, the features that are better than those of the competition. From there, break out another list next to each one of ways these features help your customers.
Some patterns should emerge. Perhaps you offer a product that can save them time. Maybe yours is more affordable and can save them money. Maybe it is higher-quality and therefore dependable and long-lasting. Or perhaps it is a luxury item that serves as a status symbol. Whatever the case, this exercise will help you examine what your product really does for your customers, and that insight will help you reach them.
Ask Them Yourself!
Finally, consider going straight to the source! If you want to learn more about your customers, reach out to them. Thanks to social media and email lists, this is easier than ever before. Give them a simple survey, and offer a discount, free item, or other reward. If done behind the privacy of a keyboard, you can get honest and illuminating answers.
Every business needs to serve its customers to survive. If you employ these tactics to get to know your target audience better, you can help yourself ensure that success continues in the long term.