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How to Locate and Research Your Target Audience

  • Blog
  • 23 August 2016

In order to run a successful marketing campaign, you need to be able to target your audience accurately. So how do you locate your target audience and carry out the research needed to identify them? We look at some of the techniques that can help.

How to Locate and Research Your Target Audience

Why is it so important to know your customers?

In order to market effectively to customers, you need to understand demographics, buying preferences and spending habits. This will help you to position your own product in order to best appeal to their needs and thus drive sales. Without doing so, you are at risk of simply throwing marketing spend at large groups of people without really knowing if it is translating into sales and a healthy return on your marketing investment.

What questions do you need to ask?

Find out what your typical customer looks like in terms of demographic. How old are they? What is their gender? What job do they work in and how much do they earn? What sort of lifestyle do they live? Structure your questions and gather information in a clear, methodical way, respecting privacy at all times and working in line with marketing research good practice principles.

In addition to understanding demographics, find out what products and services they tend to buy and in what volumes. Ask when they tend to buy these products and services and where they buy from. This research is particularly valuable and you may wish to use the services of a market research agency or specialist to combine a mix of desk or secondary information with primary and first-hand research with your customer groups. A strong research piece will encompass data from a range of sources and will use it to draw detailed conclusions. By asking the right questions, you can start to build up an in-depth picture of what your target customers look like and really start to understand your market.

Targeting your marketing campaigns

Information is definitely power. If you can store it in your CRM system, you can extrapolate trends over time and really drill down into detailed information that will help you segment your customers into groups. For example, you might identify a group of loyal, cash rich regular buyers who will purchase your product with minimal incentive, other than perhaps a simple reminder that it is there.

You might also identify a group of rather more cautious spenders, who tend to purchase when they are given a promotion, voucher or special offer of some kind to incentivise them. Importantly, the data may also unearth a group of customers who cost more to acquire than they actually spend with you. The logical conclusion may be to avoid actively marketing to them, or to switch to using channels that are relatively low-cost, such as social media.

Improving return on investment

Using this data, you can segment your market and target different audiences with a multi-channel and multi-approach marketing strategy that takes into account different buyer groups, behaviours and motivations. Ultimately, this will help to improve your sales targeting and also reduce your associated costs. Your data will allow you to accurately target different buyer groups with more appropriate strategies, and increase your return on investment.


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