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Why Do You Need To Know Your Audience?

Why do you need to know your audience? After all, if your marketing efforts have created ad returning a solid 5% click-through-rate or your webpage has solid metrics, does it really matter that you don’t know much about the people who are visiting your site or buying your products? Top website development companies often talk about “knowing your audience” as being a critical competent to success but is there actual truth to that?

There are plenty of successful businesses out there that probably know very little about their audience and conversely there are businesses that failed even though they had a lot of audience knowledge.

So is understanding more about who makes those purchases actually valuable? The simple answer is yes.

Motivation has always been key

Let’s go back to that ad with a good click-through-rate. Why is it working with 5% success? Why not 2% or 10%?

Many people don’t always want to bother answer those questions because finding the answer is often not that easy. It is much simpler to be happy with that 5% success and then attempt to duplicate it as a way to increase total sales. Or if you have a 2% success you do some tinkering with the slogan and colors scheme and if it doubles to 4% you then can pat yourself on the back.

But why limit yourself to that 4% or 5%?

If you want true success in marketing, the type that can take a 5% ad and turn it into a 10% and then 15% ad, you need to learn what motivates your audience. Motivation has always been key because that is what drives sales.

Knowing your audience provides insights to behavior. Those insights then allow you to look at marketing numbers, website analytics, etc and make sense of the patterns you are seeing.  That is why it is so important to get inside the head of your target audience.

Ways to learn more about your audience

It would be nice if we could simply ask Google about our target audience, but we aren’t quite there yet. So in the meantime, here are some tried and true methods to learn more about the people you are marketing to:

  • Focus Groups – Focus groups used to be a very popular way to learn more about an audience because if you have a large enough one it will represent your target audience fairly well. You can use focus groups for A/B testing for simple things or for much more in-depth surveys to learn about motivations, like, dislikes, etc. When done properly with follow-up interviews you can learn exactly why people are responding positively to your products, messaging, pitch, what they like, what they dislike, or why they prefer you over the competition.
  • Surveys – Surveys are easier to do in comparison to a focus group and although they do provide useful information it is often a bit less than when you have a live group because it is harder to follow-up with additional questions compared to when you have a live environment. However you can still ask questions like: why did you pick our product, what is the best thing about or product, what is the worst thing about it, or have you tried our competitor’s product.
  • Interview Existing Customers – People who have converted are the perfect people to interview because in essence they are your core target audience. These are the types of customers you want more of; the ones who already respond positively. Learning more about who they are and what they are about can help you find more people in that same mold. For example if your primary demographic is men and women between 30 and 40 but after interviewing customers who converted you might find that you are twice as strong in the female demographic.
  • Keep Asking Why – Don’t settle for surface or basic answers. Instead keep asking why and try to dig deeper and deeper to gain the best understanding you can. If the real answer is because you had the cheapest price and above a 3-star rating then you need to know that even if the person is embarrassed to share that truth.

The bottom line is that your audience is the lifeblood of your business. It is the people behind the 5% click-through-rate that matter, not just that 5% number. You need to know your audience because it is customer insight that helps makes sense of those numbers which then puts you in position to craft even more effective marketing campaigns.

Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.

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