Who is the target audience? And why study it?
The largest global corporations, such as Coca-Cola or Nike, spend a significant portion of their budget on target audience analysis. No new product is released without full-scale marketing research! At the same time, spending on focus groups, surveys, testing and online analytics fully justify themselves. Why? We talk about this in detail in our article.
What is the target audience?
The target audience (CA) is the consumers who need your product or service. That is, people who are most interested in buying. These are the people or companies who will willingly give money because your offer solves their specific problems.
Target audience analysis is considered task #1 for any startup. After all, promoting the project without a clear understanding CA is “shooting in the air” and nothing more.
What are the target audiences: types of CA
B2B and B2C
One type of product is designed for people, the other for businesses. For example, you sell cosmetics and your customers are specific people (B2C segment). But if you are a lawyer and offer outsourcing services to companies, your target is businesses (B2B segment).
Narrow and wide
If you make bread, you have a fairly wide range of consumers. But for another product, it can be a very narrow segment. For example, for an application that simplifies accounting in pharmaceutical companies. Its advantages and disadvantages in promotion is in both situations.
By degree of familiarity with the product
You’ve probably heard of “hot”, “warm” and “cold” calls. In the first case, you communicate with people who already know about existence of the product and even buy it. This is the core of CA, which brings a significant share of profit. The second group is people are interested in your product/service but need to be nudged into buying. The third group is a type of audience that is not is suspicious of the product and you need to explain exactly what you offer and how it solves their problem.
Primary and indirect audience
The main CA consists of people who independently make decisions about the purchase. But often goods or services are intended for some people, and others pay for them :) For example, Lego’s audience is children, but they make the decision to order the constructor parents (it is they who act as an indirect audience).
Why spend effort on defining and analyzing the target audience?
Practice proves that understanding one’s own target audience increases sales many times over, and even saves someone from bankruptcy. Of course, knowledge alone is not enough: it must be applied correctly. At a minimum, you will be able to:
- Present the product in a more favorable light and use the right levers of pressure on potential customers
- Launch effective advertising campaigns with maximum conversion
- Develop special offers that really interest customers
- Find new points of contact with the audience
- Understand the length of the sales cycle for cash flow planning
- Create a unique brand design that will attract your audience and set you apart from your competitors
Understanding the target audience will help not only to find out who to offer the product/service to, but also what to sell. That is, to choose the ideal offer for your client.
How to determine your target audience: basic methods
An excellent “trainer” in understanding the target audience is targeting settings. If you go to the Facebook advertising cabinet, the main principles of drawing up a portrait of a CA will become clear: gender, age, geolocation, interests. Picking up the pieces of this together with a simple puzzle, we can get the following portrait: “Women, aged 25 to 35, who live in Kyiv, are interested in yoga and fitness”.
Of course, this is only a basic template - too generalized and compiled without understanding why and who needs it all. If you delve into the Facebook settings, you can find many more options, for example: profession, online behavior, relationship status and more. All this helps to narrow the audience, create effective advertising and increase conversion.
Competent definition of CA takes place in 3 steps:
- Data collection
Let’s try to analyze each step using the example of promoting a fitness center. To understand your target audience, first of all, we advise the owner of the fitness center to talk to his administrator :) After all, dozens of clients pass through him every day.
The administrator will tell which “characters” he most often registers in the hall. For himself, he conditionally divides them into students,”ducks”, bloggers, mothers on maternity leave and others. Maybe together you will divide the visitors of the hall according to other parameters.
Talk to a few representatives of the selected types and you will learn that bloggers lack a large mirror in the dressing room, and mothers on maternity leave come only because the center is near their house or kindergarten. Some can come exclusively after work, others during the lunch break, others unlimited in time, etc. From all this information can be done useful conclusions.
- Communication with the administrator is information gathering
- Division of customers into different types — segmentation
- Detailed study of each type, understanding of its lifestyle, habits, behavior in the hall, preferences — this is the analysis of the target audience
Segmentation method 5W
The “5W” method proposed by Mark Sherrington is considered to be the most convenient and most popular way of dividing CAs into groups. To identify your audience groups, answer five questions:
- What are we selling (What?) - what product or service
- Who will buy (Who?) – type of potential client
- Why? - motivation, reason to buy
- When to buy (When?) — A situation that prompts you to buy
- Where will it be purchased (Where?) - place of purchase
Method “from the reverse”
Try to first define not the target audience, but the benefit that the customer will receive. This method is also called “from product”. That is, you lay out on the shelves the properties of your own product or service, the advantages, benefits and values associated with it.
For example, you sell a bicycle. It allows you to save on gasoline and get to your destination quickly, and in no time lose extra pounds. Who can offer these benefits? For example, office workers who stand in traffic jams every morning and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
All that remains is to develop a detailed portrait of the CA and direct powerful advertising to it. Let’s say unfurl a banner with Boris Johnson, who rushes to work on a bicycle :)
Visualization of the portrait
A portrait of the target audience is a collective image of the buyer. You invent a specific hero - a character that personifies everyone features of your customers. That is, you create a full-fledged virtual persona, like in The Sims!
“Come up with a name and biography for your character. Give him certain habits, appearance, work, family. You can choose the photo you need from a free stock or even order an “avatar” of a character from a professional designer.”
Peculiarities of defining the target audience
Searching for your CA is a largely psychological process. Marketers advise to fully immerse yourself in the personal world of your client, present his life, thoughts and experiences, daily routine, plans for the future. The more you work on it, the more points of contact with consumers you will find.
How to determine the target audience of the site?
Previously, CA analysis was limited to street surveys and paid focus groups. Another way to learn and understand your own the audience simply did not exist! But now a significant share of sales is conducted online, so finding data has become much easier.
To find the CA of your website or blog, use the following:
- The CRM system will help to collect customer data in a convenient format and analyze who is most interested in the product/service
- Google Analytics is a reliable way to learn about the behavior of CAs in the network. For example, where they come from, what exactly they are interested in, when they leave the site
- Forums and social networks are a source of true and in-depth information about CA. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost in this sea of comments :)
- Competitors and their audience. Study their social networks, advertising, websites. If your products are similar, analyzing your competitors’ audiences will save you a lot of time
- Google Trends, Serpstat, Wordstat and other search query services. Just see what people are searching for on your topic - this will help you discover their interests and needs
How to determine the target audience of a product (goods)?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes even minor details turn out to be the same “hook” that eventually gets caught the client will dare to buy. In addition to the basic question “Who?”, marketers advise to delve into psychology and switch to a new stage of understanding your client. Answer the following questions:
- What is the client afraid of?
- What drives him crazy and annoys him every day?
- What makes him happy?
- What will happen in his life and business in the future?
- What is he secretly dreaming about?
- How does he make decisions?
- How are you used to communicating?
How to define and analyze the target audience of the service?
For example, you own an art studio. Come to the classes of all the city’s competitors, study their social networks and sites, talk to the owners. After detailed processing and gathering of information, you will be able to divide the audience into several types. Ask questions for each:
- How old is he?
- Where live?
- When does he wake up and return from work?
- What does he do in his spare time?
- How does he communicate with friends?
- Does he spend a lot of time on hobbies?
- Where is he traveling?
- What clothes do you like?
- What do you usually eat?
- What kind of transport does he use?
- Are there pets?
It seems that many questions do not concern art at all. But if we strain and answer them, we will understand the important ones moments Let’s say our client is an IT expert and works for a large company in the center. He can devote time to painting only after 7 in the evening. And also, he is drunk on coffee and will immediately pay attention to a picture with an image of an aromatic drink and an appeal draw the same one. This data will help to make a schedule and an effective advertising proposal.
Analysis of the target audience: we make the right conclusions
We decided to end the article with a bright and vivid example :)
Why did the legendary French tire manufacturer Michelin suddenly call itself a restaurant critic, started giving out “stars” and publish your own guide?
Everything is very simple! It is difficult to sell tires in the era of the birth of the automotive industry, when people are just learning cars and nowhere to go do not drive (it was the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries). After studying consumers and their lifestyle, Michelin analysts realized:in order for tires to be bought more often, they must wear out. In order for tires to wear out, people need to use their cars more often.
This is how an unusual idea to motivate customers to travel was born. After all, in order to make a Frenchman sit behind the wheel and go beyond the horizon, it is enough to offer the best croissants somewhere on the outskirts of Paris :)
The company released a restaurant guide in which experts told where you can eat well and relax. Albeit in the very long run, this marketing ploy skyrocketed tire sales and secured the company world popularity.
Thus, target audience analysis is a must-have for any business and a stage of development that cannot be ignored in any case. Find out exactly what your customer lives and breathes, and then sales will not be delayed!”