Target audience research: Understand who are your ideal clients and how to approach them

Target Audience Research

Marketing success starts with knowing what people are you marketing to and knowing everything about them.

Who are you marketing and selling to?

Selling to everyone is tempting. You don’t want to miss any client, I get it…but, it really doesn’t work that way.

You need to attract, market and sell to specific people.

You need to define your target audience. Know everything about your audience, from age to values that define their decision making

I prepared s step-by-step action plan to to develop a buyer persona for your business, service or product.

What is a target audience?

A target audience or buyer persona is a fictional avatar of your ideal client.

Buyer personas will influence your marketing and sales decisions down the line, making this step your priority.

You need to know the specific needs, behaviours, and concerns of your clients. When you understand your customer’s problems and frustrations, you can create services around them.

Buyer persona makes it easier for you to create your content, messaging, product development, services, and marketing that establishes you as an authority in your industry and appeals to your audience.

It also enables you to target or personalize your marketing for different segments of your audience. Develop highly targeted content and services that appeal to your buyers’ needs, goals, and interests.

Why is target audience research important?

A buyer persona will help you understand and attract a higher quantity and quality prospects.

Target audience research will help you

  1. Decide who to focus on.
  2. How to reach them.
  3. What to offer them.
  4. Create the right content for the right people
  5. Better understand how to create content that connects people to the service/product you offer
  6. Increase conversions
  7. Craft personalized content
  8. Develop long term relationships with your clients by solving their problems
  9. Be more competitive as a small business

Improve the quality of the persona over time by examining your customer base and refining the persona accordingly.

Design products and services that are better suited to the target persona. It allows you to be customer-centric rather than product-led in your thinking.

Think of all the features of your services and think about who would benefit from them.

This is how you can identify people who you can serve and create services for.

What you must understand about your client?

  1. Whom will your branding be speaking to?
  2. Who does your product serve?
  3. Who is your ideal customer?
  4. What goal is your audience trying to achieve?
  5. What are your audience, pain points, or unmet needs?
  6. How does the product or service fit into their lives?
  7. What prompts the need for the product or service?
  8. What has been their experience with a similar service or product?
  9. Who or what do they turn to for information or advice?
  10. Where do they look for information?
  11. Are there enough people who fit my criteria
  12. Will my audience benefit from my service? Will they really need it?
  13. Do I understand what drives them to make decisions?
  14. Can they afford my service?
  15. Can I reach them with my message?

Common misconceptions about your target audience.

Your target audience is like you.

The target audience is not like you. You might share things but that doesn’t make you the same. Don’t fall into the trap of creating solutions based on what you like or think is right.

They know the same things as you.

They don’t, so communicate with your audience in a way that everybody understands. Clear, simple sentence structure. Avoid jargon. Talk as to an 8-year-old.

They care about your brand

People interact and care about people. So be there as a person rather than brand.

They understand industry jargon.

Speak in a way that is common to everyone.

Segment your target personas.

Segment your target personas into groups based on similar characteristics

Build strategy for each group. Your segments should.

  1. Define topics and tone of your communication
  2. Plan your content strategy
  3. Define the specific messaging for your audience.

Buyer personas life cycles

Understand where is your audience in the process of buying. Are they researching, ready to buy or looking for reviews? This influences your workflows, CTAs, content, titles.

Develop your target audience/buyer persona

Where to conduct the research?

Your existing customer base is the perfect place to start with your interviews. They’ve already purchased your product and engaged with your company. If you don’t have any clients use your prospects or referrals.

What to ask your audience?

Role Questions

  1. What is your job role?
  2. Your title?
  3. How is your job measured?
  4. What does a typical day look like?
  5. What skills are required to do your job?
  6. What knowledge and tools do you use in your job?
  7. Who do you report to?
  8. Who reports to you?

Company Questions

  1. In which industry or industries does your company work?
  2. What is the size of your company (revenue, employees)?

Goal Questions

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What are you responsible for?
  3. What does it mean to be successful in your role?

Challenges Question

  1. What challenges, fears and problems obstruct you from completing your goals. It can be about your business or something entirely else.
  2. What are your biggest challenges?

Values Question

  1. What are your values? Related to your business or general values.

Watering Hole Question

  1. How do you learn about new information for your job?
  2. What publications or blogs do you read?
  3. What associations and social networks do you participate in?

Demographics

  1. Age
  2. Marital status
  3. Children

Educational background

  1. What level of education did you complete?
  2. Which schools did you attend?
  3. What did you study?

Career path

  1. How did you end up where you are today?

Shopping preferences

  1. How do you prefer to interact with vendors (EG: email, phone, in-person)?
  2. Do you use the internet to research vendors or products? If yes, how do you search for information?
  3. Describe a recent purchase. Why did you consider a purchase? What was the evaluation process? How did you decide to purchase that product or service? What is your main purchasing barrier? How can you overcome it?

What draws negative attention?

  1. What does your audience want to avoid?

Pro tip – Apply the WHY question

The “why” question is the number one tip for a successful personal interview. Ask why, as a follow-up question to pretty much every question in the list.

The goal is not to fly through the questions. The goal is to dive as deep as possible to uncover everything about your ideal client . You learn that buy asking WHY and uncover the underlying reasons for your clients decision making.

Ask your clients about their buyer journey

Awareness stage

  1. Think back to when you first realized you needed service. What challenges were you facing at that time?
  2. How did you know that something in this category can help you?
  3. How familiar were you with different options on the market?

Consideration stage

  1. What was the first thing you did to research the potential solution?
  2. How helpful was the source?
  3. Where did you find more information?
  4. How did you find that source?
  5. How did you use the vendor’s website?
  6. What words did you specifically search on Google
  7. How helpful was it? How could it be better?
  8. Where did you find the most helpful information?
  9. Where did you find the least helpful information?
  10. Tell me about your experience with sales people from each vendor.

Decision stage

  1. Which of the sources you described above was the most influential in driving your decision?
  2. What, if any, criteria did you establish to compare the alternatives?
  3. What vendors made it to the shortlist and what were the pros/cons of each?
  4. Who else was involved in the final decision? What role did each of these people play?
  5. What factors ultimately influenced your final purchasing decision?

Closing stage

  1. What would be your ideal buying process?
  2. How would it differ from your experience?

Understand your clients’ goals, behaviours, and motivations

Keep in mind that people aren’t always great at reflecting on their behaviours to tell you what drives them at their core.

Start with a simple question — for instance, “What is your biggest challenge?” Then spend a reasonable amount of time diving deeper into that one question to learn more about that person.

Conclusion

If you don’t know who your ideal clients, you don’t know their goals and problems. Therefore, you cannot effectively communicate, market and sell to them.

Target audience is your absolute priority to save time, money, energy and be highly successful in your business

Filip Blaho

SEO Specialist

I will help you get a higher Google ranking and bring you higher quantity and quality clients to your website!

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