How Well Do You Market to Your Targeted Prospects?

Good marketing requires knowing your target audience intimately. You need to know all about their needs, wants, and regular hang-outs. You must understand what types of content and subjects are the most interesting to these defined audiences and craft your company’s value proposition to satisfy these needs. Understanding your target customers this intimately, means that you will engage where they are actively participating, you’ll know how to compete better when vying with local or industry competitors, and you’ll know how to develop content that will resonate with your prospective customers.

In short, you’ll know how to market smarter and more effectively if you take the time to step through such an exercise for your business. Once you’ve identified some basic personas, it will be important to look at target audience segments for commonalities and differences. For example, it often makes sense to examine basic demographic data such as income potential, residential location, gender, college studies, or other factors. Many professionals recommend examining the psychographics, or interests, cultural perceptions, and opinions of a group. There are many ways you may choose to evaluate your target audience personas. Perhaps your target audiences are also segmented by niche industry or other specialized traits.

When completing this type of research, it’s important to understand that the benefit of creating realistic buyer personas will greatly help to refine your targeted messaging for various intended audiences. Instead of a limited, one-size-fits-all approach to marketing, you’ll utilize a more granular path that has the power to appeal more to a greater variety of prospective customers with varying goals and needs. The slight differences between buyer persona segments will shed light on the differences that impact exactly how a service or product is pitched for the most successful outcome. There are numerous ways that targeted audience groups may be segmented:

  • demographics
  • psychographics
  • geography
  • niche industry

Don’t forget to also consider and identify your ideal customer. You know, the ones that you’d truly enjoy working with and for. Think about their unique needs, wants, interests, behaviors, and personality traits. Whether you’re focused on reaching out to your business’ target audiences through direct mail, print advertising, or online marketing there are substantial benefits to spending the time gaining a real understanding of how your buyer personas tick. If you’re ready to get started layering useful intelligence about your target audiences, then feel free to download our easy DIY worksheet on this very subject. Share these worksheets with your customer service, marketing, and sales leaders or complete them yourself and attempt to fill them out as completely as possible. If you desire to dig deeper, keep researching persona traits and explore even more dimensional psychographic data. There’s a great article referenced in our listed Resources for psychographics below that shows how to step through social media networks existing paid advertising statistics and more to develop a complete picture of relevant buyer personas with great depth.

Once you’ve drafted a full profile for each of your target audience segments, you can meet with internal team members to consolidate the information into a working selection containing 4-5 relevant buyer personas. Download our buyer persona worksheet here to get started and improve your online and offline engagement with well-defined target audiences. We hope you’ll consider this sheet as a helpful springboard to initiate the development of a more in-depth persona research process. Knowing your target audience will sharpen your marketing strategies, content development, and greatly improve online engagement in executed programs.

Do you need some resources to get you started? To the right, are some recommended websites for locating data, information, and reports to fulfill various research needs. We’ve also provided suggestions for some internal business resources you may also wish to tap into.

Download our DIY-Consulting Worksheet: Developing Buyer Personas

Resources for researching demographics:

Google Analytics, Correlate, Keyword Planner
Hoovers Database by D&B
Industry organizations and associations statistics and reports
MyBestSegments by The Nielsen Company
Social Security Administration, Social Security Press Office Fact Sheets
U.S. Census Bureau: American FactFinder, State & County QuickFacts, Current Population Statistics
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

Resources for researching psychographics:

Psychographic Targeting Unhinged! The Zen Of “Whole Customer” Persona Modeling by Marty Weintraub
Internal team members: customer service and sales representatives, technicians, marketing staff
Customer surveys and focus groups
Business partners and distributors
Online communities and forums – search by relevant interests, industry, etc. Analyze discussions to understand needs, wants, questions, and emotional pain points.

Resources for researching geography: Geography: Statistics, Lists, and Trivia
Industry organizations and associations statistics and reports
Social Security: Geographic Statistics Fact Sheets
U.S. Census Bureau: Geography Maps & Data
U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
United Nations Statistics Division: UNSD Statistical Databases