Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Senior VP of PR & Digital Marketing at ChicExecs PR & Retail Strategy Firm.

It’s critical for your business to create crave-worthy products and assemble an all-star team of employees. But all of that is moot if you don’t have the most important ingredient of all: an understanding of your target audience.

Understanding your business’s audience can help you:

• Create products that people actually want to buy.

• Save money on marketing.

• Stay ahead of the competition.

If you want a real competitive edge, it’s time to learn who your customers are and what they need. It’s time to build a stronger business—one with your customers as the foundation. If you don’t know who your customers are, follow these six tips to identify your business’s target audience.

1. Collect the right customer data.

You need a lot of customer data to help you form a more complete understanding of your customers. Businesses often fall into the trap of assuming that all customer data is high quality, and that isn’t true. For example, if you buy customer data from third-party list companies, there’s no telling how accurate that information really is.

That’s why you need to collect first-party data, which is data that you generate, store and own yourself. This is not only higher quality, but it also helps you comply with data laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). You can collect first-party data through email list-building, customer surveys and lead-generation forms, just to name a few.

2. Segment your audience.

Did you know that your business could have well over five different audiences? Instead of treating all of your customers the same, you should segment your audience into different groups based on shopper demographics, buying history or any other data point.

The goal is to find these different segments in your audience. Once you separate your shoppers into different buckets, you can create a strategy for each audience—and that’s the best way to turn more heads.

3. Check your competitors.

Your business doesn’t operate in a vacuum, and that means you need to be aware of what your competitors are doing. Look at your competitors’ websites and social media to see who they’re selling to.

Is their audience identical to yours, or do they have a slightly different approach? What problems do they solve? What language do they use to appeal to their customers? You should never copy your competitors, but it’s easier to differentiate your approach when you know what everyone else is doing.

4. Interview your customers.

If you want to identify and understand your target audience, you don’t have to beat around the bush: You can speak to shoppers directly. The easiest way to do this at scale is to create a short survey that you email to shoppers after they place an order.

Of course, most shoppers won’t take surveys just for fun. If you aren’t getting any responses, you can incentivize shoppers with contest entries, freebies, discount codes and even gift cards.

If you sell high-end products, a survey alone might not cut it. If that’s the case, you might need to schedule video-call interviews with customers. Schedule 30-minute slots and compensate customers generously for their time. For example, some businesses offer $50 online retailer gift cards in exchange for customer interviews.

5. Use a CRM.

You have a lot of customer data flowing into your business. It’s impossible to manage this well manually, which is why many businesses rely on customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. CRMs store customer data and make it easier for you to parse through that information. If you need help identifying audiences and trends in your data, a CRM platform can help speed up the process.

6. Create customer personas.

Customer data is like marketing gold, but it isn’t very useful if you don’t put it into practice. That’s why so many businesses create customer personas. These are fictional profiles that your internal sales and marketing teams use to relate to your target audience. Read through these personas any time you create marketing campaigns or sales collateral to ensure it’s a fit for your target audience.

Give customers what they need.

Customer expectations are changing, and businesses need to keep up. While you should absolutely continue investing in your people and products, you can’t forget about your customers, either. Define your target audience and review it at least once a year—or any time there’s a big shake-up in your industry. Follow these six tricks to keep up with your customers’ expectations so you can always stay one step ahead of the curve.


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