As we mentioned in the last blog post, there are different ways to segment an audience, the most common being: demographics, location, behaviour and psychographics. When appropriate, it’s best to use a mix of all these things to create a holistic picture of your audiences.
Alright. First step: who do you *think* your audience is? Before getting into the nitty-gritty about what the data says, make a mind map of all the different people who might benefit from your product or service. This can be as vague or as specific as you like – it’s just a starting point, after all.
This should give you a good idea of what to expect and will help with the next step – seeing who your audience really is. If you’ve already started trading then you should have access to insights from your social media accounts or website. Many of these do demographic segmentation for you – showing age, gender, location etc. You can also see which pages bring viewers to your page and where they go afterwards, which can give you insight into why they are looking for your product. If you don’t have website analytics, sites such as www.similarweb.com can provide a basic overview.
Another good way to find out who your potential customers are is to look at existing products in the market. If you have direct competitors, your audience is likely to be the same as theirs. Do some research into who buys from your competitor and what value they get from the product?
Creating Audience Profiles
By now you should have demographic information for your audience from which you can attach lifestyle variables. From this point, you need to put yourself in their shoes. You may find that the majority of your consumers are women in their 20’s from a poor background. Think about what sort of responsibilities these people have.
- most likely working full-time
- dating or recently married
- may have children
- enjoy meeting friends on the weekend
- try to go to the gym regularly
- gradually paying off debt
- want to save for a house
Once you ‘know’ a little more about your customers, it’s easier to see their needs. For example, if you were selling shampoo, you acknowledge that your audience is lacking in free-time and needs a faster way of washing their hair. As such, you might push dry-shampoo onto this segment.
Customer Life Stages
Another technique is to create customer life cycles mapped to the different stages in life. Customers go through different stages of life that change the way they buy. Some common life stages are leaving university, getting married, buying a house and retiring, but there are many more. These life stages will indicate at what point customers are more likely to want your product and how external factors can affect the way you interact with them. You can change your communication strategy accordingly.
Asking Your Audience
Once you’ve got your profiles you can see what they are looking for. Go to the same places they go to online, see what they are talking about. A good way to do this is to set up social listening – monitoring digital conversations. Start by setting up a Google Alerts for a specific set of keywords. If you use social media management tools then these will usually have social listening capabilities too. Look at current trends, problems the community faces, and how they interact with one another.
You can (and should) also take an active approach. Conduct research by directly talking to your potential customers. A good way to collect information from a wide variety of people is through a survey, but for more detailed information focus groups or interviews are a good idea. Introduce people to your brand and get their honest feedback.
Choosing the Best Audience For You
From this point, you should be feeling good to go. Once you know who your audience are and what they need, you can look at what you need. Assess the suitability of each segment against your own goals. Which audience is more accessible, has the most impact, helps you gain awareness etc.
Once you choose 1 or 2 target audiences, you can start developing your marcomms (marketing communications) and promotion strategy. Remember to devise tactics with specific, measurable actions.
If you need any extra support developing your marketing strategy, you can always book onto a Propeller workshop or meet with one of our mentors for a 1-to-1 session.