The success of any product or service comes down to a benefit that meets the needs of a customer and then achieving this at a larger scale. In spite of this, it’s all too common that although businesses know their product inside out, the opposite is true of people whose cash is needed to sustain that business.
Behind every success product is a group of delighted consumers. They have had their needs met and are happy enough that they are willing to tell other like-minded folk. Drilling down to the unifying factor will help you identify features of your audience that can be used to define your target market.
Once you know what your audience represents, you will be better placed to source compatible individuals to grow your tribe. As Kevin Kelly said, if you delight “1,000 true fans” you’ll see dream-like average lifetime value from each customer, as well as product evangelists happy to market your wares to their respective networks.
Profiling your customer group is a great starting point, as you will get to know the nuances of your tribe. In the main I’m not a fan of the “average user” approach. To use one very simplified example: rich folk, although in big houses, may still shop down the road from paupers like you or I because they are as financially stretched as you are. This can lead to having a composite view of many aspects, as opposed to specifically identifying the motivations a consumer needs to buy your product.
Age and gender, whilst seemingly obvious, are very important, as they can go a long way to define your approach to the content you’ll create. Themes, copy and branding will be significantly different depending on the age and gender segments that are most valuable to your business.
Gender is really interesting as you may find that men and women use your site in different ways. User session testing (comprehensively done) with a tool like Clicktale will help to highlight any differences and, more importantly, where the barriers to conversion are. Age too poses key questions, namely around the Call To Action. For instance, people in more senior age brackets are going to be more influenced by the people they know and trust than a compelling piece of copy, as opposed to impulsive professionals with more desire for social objects (latest iPhone etc.) and the disposable income to pay for them.
Don’t put all your eggs in the Google Analytics basket, though. There are quality tools out there that enable you to directly survey your audience to uncover the vital statistics of your user base. Deploying these can be achieved by email, embedding quick surveys in your website, creating pop-up polls or exit surveys.
Once laughed at as a marketing tool, Facebook is now everybody’s favourite toy. Facebook offers a means of reaching out beyond your existing users with the lookalike feature within the Custom Audience remarketing option. I talk a bit about that here:
Couple this with the interest level data that draws a vivid picture of the types of users you can attract, and you can develop a target audience that is highly specific.
Knowing who your audience is is an important aspect of any form of marketing. It is actually getting easier to do this online. Whilst it may not feel like the proactive thing to do because you’re not making something or publishing something, I do believe it leads to less wastage. Talking to the right people in the right way means you can convert more and more efficiently and probably generate a better return on your investment. Wouldn’t that be nice.