Updated: Aug 3
One of the key parts to any great marketing plan is having a really clear understanding of your target audience. You can create a fully detailed, creative marketing plan that ends up falling flat because you misunderstood the needs and aspirations of your target market. That would be really frustrating, to say the least, right? Thankfully, there are some easy strategies you can use to learn about your target personas.
Here are 3 ways to develop a clear picture of your audience.
And keep reading through the end for a special invitation to provide your feedback on my own market research.
1. Current clients
To get started, your current clients are your best research subjects. Any conversation that you have with a current customer teaches you about their characteristics, needs, challenges, dreams, etc.
After each conversation, jot down any new pieces of information you learned about the person - their family, what is stressing them about work, what they are excited about.
Compile these bits into a singular place, then you can start to piece together a view of this ideal customer. Also - don’t forget about the prospects that don’t turn into customers. They too can give further clarity into your audience.
2. Secondary research
Another helpful way to fill in some detail is to do secondary research. Read up on census data or previous studies done on the kinds of people that you want to reach. To begin, just keep it simple. For example, if you are targeting college students, simply do a Google search for “research on college students”. There are, of course, more sophisticated ways to do research, but this is a fine place to begin. As you read, you can further refine your search criteria. Read the articles and take note of the findings.
As you’re reading, keep asking yourself, “Ok, how would this impact how I speak to this person?” Information is helpful, but it can also get overwhelming.
Remember to keep in mind why you’re doing this so that you can hone in on the information that can actually impact how you do your marketing.
3. Primary Research
Yet another way to learn about the people who you serve is to do your own research. Create a survey and send it out to your contacts. You can even do a simple poll on Facebook or Instagram.
Now, the statistician in me needs to remind you that a survey like this won’t give you statistically significant information about the general population. For example, let’s say you create a survey and ask people if they like to use candles in their home, and you send it out to friends and family. If 90% of respondents say “Yes”, this doesn’t mean that 90% of all people like candles, just the people you asked. Even still this information can be helpful and inform the ways you market to (and what you offer to) your target audience.
With all this being, I am taking my own advice to learn more about the people I serve!
In order to hear directly from small business owners and entrepreneurs about both the rewards and challenges of their businesses, I have designed a survey.
You are invited to take this survey! It’s less than 20 questions and will only take you a few minutes to complete. You can do so right now, right here.
This survey is simply to help inform my own marketing and service offerings. You can answer the questions without providing any personally identifiable information (such as your email or business name).
Also, there’s one more exciting announcement for you. This survey is also a kick off to a new series, Spotlight on Small Business. I am looking for small business owners to highlight on the Marketing to Mission blog. This is simply a way to showcase the really cool people doing really cool things! If you’d like to be considered, take the survey, and just answer “Yes” to the question that asks if you want to be considered. You’ll then be asked a few more questions.
Again, YOU (yes, YOU) are invited to give your feedback. It’s less than 20 questions and will only take you a few minutes to complete. You can do so right now, right here.
Thank you in advance!