The Importance of Getting to Know Your Target Audience


The Importance of Getting to Know Your Target Audience

by Jen Blair

Do you know your target audience? Really know them. Like what hobby’s they have or their order at Starbucks? Okay, you might not need to know about their cappuccino addiction, unless you’re in the business of selling coffee. But, the more you know about your target customer the more specific and strategic you can be in targeting them.

Luckily, there are so many ways you can get to know your customer better. The internet is full of tools for all budgets. Sometimes it’s just a case of asking your customers about who they are and their interests.

Metrics of your Target Audience

Whether it’s on your social, your website or customer purchase data you will already have access to a lot of data about your target audience. Most digital marketing platforms will have an in-built dashboard that specifically collect data, that you can access as part of the service. This usually gives you insights such as the age, gender, location, and times when they are most likely to be online or on your website.

Google Analytics is a free tool that provides a tonne of information. If you setup your tracking correctly you can ensure you monitor all of your audience interactions. You can then assess the data to understand what is attracting your audience.

Customer Data

Your customer purchase data will be able to provide much more specific data. Big names such as Amazon, Netflix and Google use this technique to bring you personalised services, and it works. Research shows that customers appreciate a tailored customer experience based on real data as long as you use the data responsibly.

From your customer data you can start to understand your customer traits. Such as peak shopping times, at which point during the week they’re most likely to make a purchase and what external factors effect the decision to make a purchase.

Fictional Personas

Fictional personas are a tool many businesses use to understand their customer segmentation better. It’s especially prevalent in the retail industry. When I was working as a Visual Merchandiser for a well known high street fashion brand; we would always need to ensure we created outfits for our ‘3 girls’.

The girls were fictional characters, Zoe, Holly and Amy and they represented our 3 key customer types. We understood what motivated them, their hobbies, and their habits. If they were festival-goers, preferred a nice cocktail lounge or just wanted something comfortable. As well as understanding family dynamics, age and disposable income.

Some types of shoppers were browsers and could be tempted if they saw something they liked, and some knew exactly what they wanted and couldn’t be persuaded otherwise.  Not only did this help with store setup but it also meant marketing campaigns could be targeted and appropriate to the customer.  Have you tried setting up personas to help you understand your customer better?

Questionnaires & Focus Groups

Another way of understanding your customer is to actually get their feedback. Set up questionnaires or carry out focus groups to open up an honest dialogue about your marketing activities.

Getting a large and varied group of customer feedback will give you a good representation of your overall customer base. Taking the opportunity to directly ask questions about shopping habits or the amount they’re willing to spend can be very insightful. You can also use this platform to do ‘ad recall’. This is where you ask your customer base if they recall seeing an ad that you know has either been shown to them or has been targeted at them. If the answer is completely off to what you expected, then you need to rethink your strategy.

Getting to know your customer will bring a new level of awareness to your marketing efforts. You’ll be able to segment your audiences more accurately and target campaigns more effectively. When you do it right you should see an increase in conversions and a reduction in cost per conversion and in this digital age it’s never been easier. So, what are you waiting for?