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GuidesMarket researchDeep dive into target audience analysis

Deep dive into target audience analysis

Last updated

14 July 2023

Author

Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Cathy Heath

A target audience is a group of people who could have an interest in your products or services. These people may share some demographics, such as location, education, age, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., or have similar behaviors. Any business seeking to succeed in marketing must understand, recognize, and target this audience. That's where target audience analysis comes in. 

What is target audience analysis?

Target audience analysis clearly defines the people who could have an interest in your products or services. It involves identifying and understanding your target audience’s behaviors, qualities, and requirements. During target audience analysis, you collect and evaluate data on your intended audience's attitudes, interests, values, lifestyles, and demographics, alongside their level of engagement with your service or product. 

Target audience analysis is crucial for individuals, organizations, and corporations seeking to reach a specific group with a particular message or product. The information obtained from the analysis helps a business improve its marketing campaigns and product or service development. It can be used to increase product or service success by customizing marketing materials to reach the target demographic that engage and resonate with them. 

For instance, a business could be starting a platform for creating and running diverse online courses such as graphic design, foreign language tuition, weight loss coaching, or baking. This new platform will likely have many competitor vendors, with a common identifier being the desire to teach online and earn cash. 

When starting a new platform, it’s difficult to target all the possible consumers of the online courses. Target audience analysis can help choose an area to focus on or reveal the particular demographic that would be the best option for success. 

Steps involved in defining a target audience

You can define your target audience by following the steps below:

Step 1: Collect demographic data

Demographic data includes marital status, income, gender, age, occupation, educational level, etc. You can use these criteria to define audience segments

Tools such as Google Trends, Facebook Audience Insights, and Google Analytics can help gather demographic data that you can feed into a template. Your existing customers’ demographic details can also give you a solid foundation to explore for insights. When you add all the information to the target audience template, you’ll better understand your potential customer's background. 

Step 2: Collect location data

Location data allows you to reach out to those areas specifically. Even businesses with an international reach can narrow their audience by location to reach out to them with the right marketing messages. Describe your intended audience by region, country, state, city, or neighborhood. 

You can develop different templates for audiences in different locations and capture any distinct features to include in your marketing messages. They may have varying expectations of your business, so you can't have a standard marketing tactic for all. Separate templates allow you to reach out to each audience differently and allow a degree of personalization. 

Step 3: Collect psychographic data

Psychographics are your potential customers’ opinions, interests, activities, and attitudes. Psychographic data is granular, allowing businesses to narrow down the details of those potentially interested in their service or product. For instance, a business seeking to target gaming enthusiasts can reach out to customers who like board games created by independent developers. 

Unlike demographics and location data, which are easy to collect, psychographics can be difficult to measure and require you to conduct a survey and obtain consumer feedback. Alternatively, a business can filter audiences by their opinions or interests with the help of Facebook Audience Insights. 

Step 4: Pick two to five identifiers

An identifier is any piece of information that offers you more insight into the audience you want to target. Once you gather data, use identifiers to narrow it down. 

One target market may have hundreds of identifiers. Picking all available identifiers will narrow your audience and make it too small to work with. On the other hand, selecting a single identifier will lead to a massive audience, almost equal to considering everyone as your intended audience. So, limit yourself to two to five carefully chosen identifiers that encapsulate a potential consumer.

Step 5: Test your audience 

Once you have a clear definition of your target audience, you can now test it. The two ways to test a target demographic are:

Having direct talks with your target markets

Speak to people that fit your target markets to discover their opinions on your product or service. 

For example, a business marketing an accounting app could go to an audit firm and show accountants prototypes of the app. The business would need to establish whether the accountants have come across such a service elsewhere, listen to any criticisms raised, and record their opinions. If accountants in the audit firm thought the app had merit and could identify potential consumers and few competitors or significant barriers to market, the business would know they’re on the right track. 

Speaking to your audience virtually

Reaching out to target markets on the ground may be difficult, especially if they’re far away. Luckily, you can use online tools to meet the same goal. For instance, Facebook groups, message boards, and Subreddits can offer good data. 

After testing your audience, you can make any needed adjustments to the template. You can also manipulate the data to identify and reach new ideal target audiences.  

Types of target audiences for analysis 

Target audiences can fall into the following categories:

Demographics

Demographics define the most basic type of target audience analysis. Demographic factors include income, education, profession, marital status, socioeconomic status, age, and gender. 

Interest

Interest could come alongside demographic parameters but may be more influential. This category includes political tendencies, values, music and movie genres, types of sports, hobbies, social involvement, preferred reading, etc. You want to establish whether your audiences have common interests and preferences that can be used to drive brand recognition, loyalty, and sales. 

Consumer behavior

Characterizing customers' online behavior, especially based on their buying decisions, is crucial. This knowledge helps customize your marketing content, increasing your chance of reaching a receptive consumer and hopefully a buyer. 

Target audience analysis can help customize the website's user experience and user interface design so that it meets your target audience’s preferences. You can also establish customer behavior by checking their payment preferences, preferred social networks, and the marketing channel that brought them.

Product-specific 

Businesses with more than a single product or product category can specify each product type’s unique features and strategy to target potential clients. 

For instance, a business could offer separate subscription packages for its SaaS platform, i.e., a basic startup and a full-scale enterprise. It can proceed to provide the features offered by the enterprise solution for digital marketing professionals and business owners, and it can then promote why the more expensive enterprise option is a better choice. It can also determine what that means for probable users who would not benefit from the enterprise product offering. 

Suppose you’re a small business providing online courses in coding. You would want to establish whether you’re attracting beginners looking for a new career or experienced programmers who want to expand their knowledge. These specifications are also relevant for niche solutions or products. You can segment buyers by adding any relevant factor to the customer in the product-specific category, giving you a wider market.

Classifying target audience by roles in the buying process 

A decision-making unit describes individuals involved in buying products or services in a business-to-business (B2B) environment. Roles in the decision-making unit can include the users, initiators, buyers, influencers, gatekeepers, and decision-keepers. 

Distinguishing these roles helps customize the type of content you send to them. From a marketing angle, you could choose to focus on three roles and leave the rest, i.e., the users, influencers, and decision-makers. 

Users

Users are the consumers of your product or service. They’re important because they have the problems you’re seeking to solve. 

However, users may assume the role of initiators too. For instance, a facility manager who must ensure seamless daily operations in the facility, performing daily inspections and conducting repairs and maintenance, may notice that using a digital maintenance management system can help them in their job. 

The facility manager may reach out to a superior, asking if it would be possible for the company to purchase software that solves the problem. In such a case, the facility manager is a user and an initiator. 

Influencers

Influencers are people inside or outside the organization whose opinions can persuade a decision-maker to take action. Many people have difficulty making decisions, and an influential person's suggestion could offer them a sense of security about purchasing a product or service. They don't have to be big names. 

Identify and contact micro-influencers from your niche who can authentically engage your target audience. Your sales could skyrocket by having a celebrity recommend your product or service. Incorporating influencers into a marketing strategy can greatly impact your sales. That’s why big brands use influencer marketing to reach their audience, as they bring their own followers to the product or service.

Decision-makers

Decision-makers have the final say about product or service purchases. They base their decision to purchase on the information they get from users and other roles in the decision-making unit. This audience has its own set of unique concerns that you need to understand and then address. 

Target audience templates 

The target audience template helps you understand your potential customers. It has different columns where you can add essential details about your audience, thus getting a clear picture of who they are, their wants, and their behaviors. 

Examples of target audience analysis

Below are some target audience analysis examples:

McDonald's marketing campaigns

McDonalds has various market segments in its marketing campaigns. The company has two different marketing campaigns for its breakfast menu. One campaign markets towards lower-income workers looking for a hot meal to eat at a job site. The other one is aimed at white-collar workers looking for a way to save time on breakfast before work.

Men's Wearhouse

Men's Wearhouse targets both men seeking to buy formal attire and their wives and girlfriends who might influence or encourage where their partners shop. Understanding the broader target segment helps them reach out to all possible customers who are receptive to their product and service.  

A legal firm that specializes in personal injury can target injured individuals or people working in fields that report many injuries. They’ll be aiming to ensure that these people know their services exist and how to contact them. 

Target audience analysis that offers valuable insights

Target audience analysis is a critical part of a content marketing strategy. You can only understand what you should talk about by knowing who you’re talking to and what they know. 

How you define the target market will greatly determine the value you get from the target audience analysis. That’s why a business needs to take a methodical approach to data analysis, collect quality data, and use reliable target audience analysis tools. As a business improves its procedures and techniques, it discovers more valuable insights to apply in its brand development process. 

FAQs

Why is target audience analysis important?

Target market analysis helps a business establish where and how its product fits into the real-life market.

What are the crucial types of data to consider when conducting a target audience analysis?

When conducting target audience analysis, crucial data includes demographic, location, and psychographic data.

What are the seven categories of a target audience?

The seven main categories of a target audience are demographics, psychographics, geographic, behavioral traits, technographic, socioeconomic, and need-based.

How can target audience analysis help improve my marketing campaigns?

Target audience analysis will help you clearly understand your customers and their needs. This information will help create more effective marketing campaigns by customizing your message and targeting the interests and needs of your most probable customers. The analysis helps create targeted content that resonates with them.

What is a target audience statement?

A target audience statement refers to a description of the audience you're planning to target. It should be concise and communicate the details previously noted during consumer research. The common topics in the statement are age, gender, and interests. You can also give context about how you narrowed to this target market.

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