Understanding Your Target: It’s all about the People

By Andrea Kaduk, Account Supervisor

“Target audience” is a term straight out of marketing 101 text books, but when breaking it down, it’s really just about people, their behavior, culture and well…anthropology: the study of people.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, people are different and have unique interests and tastes. Because of this, grouping them into a general category like females, ages 25-54 with a household income of whatever can cause you to quickly lose sight of who you really are speaking to. Most clients know their target audience this way - the basic demographic snapshot, but as marketers, it is our duty to truly understand who the digital target is inside and out in order to form a successful strategy.

It could very well be that the digital target audience differs from the traditional target, that’s why research is key. After identifying the basic demographic information, challenge yourself to dig deeper. Talk to people you know that fit the profile, visit your client’s place of business and interview a few customers, research blogs or discussion groups that your target may participate in and gather insight around their likes, dislikes and how they communicate. Utilize analytics tools to see other websites your target visits, research books and articles on your target’s behavior and the list goes on… Take all of the data you collect to form insight statements that relate to what the target likes to do and how it makes them feel. The insight statements should really round out your target’s profile and give you a clear picture of how your target thinks and feels specific to your client’s product or service.

By the end of your research, you should be able to explain a person from your target audience, what they like to do, how they think and feel and really relate them to someone you may know. Sometimes it helps to make it personal by naming someone from your target. Once I created a snapshot and the target was named Susan, so when forming strategy I completely tailored to her. She became the spokesperson for my target and I could easily relate to her digital behavior.

Next time you get a standard demographic target, become a “marketing anthropologist” and get to know who you really are talking to. Not only will your client appreciate the effort, it’ll pay off in the long run!


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