The basic goal of marketing is to reach as many relevant users as possible with as few resources as possible. But in order for this goal to be achieved, the first question is: Who are the relevant users? In order to determine these and avoid wastage, you should always carry out a target group analysis. For this purpose, the overall market is analyzed and characterized on the basis of various characteristics. Learn how to perform a successful audience analysis in this post. Let’s go!
How do I reach my potential customers? What content are my potential customers interested in? And what needs do they have? These and many other questions must be clarified as part of a target group analysis so that you can reach your potential customers as efficiently as possible and bring them to the desired behavior. The target group for a product should always be defined before product development. Because a product without a corresponding target group has only a low probability of success. However, target group analysis is not a one-time process. For each new marketing measure, it is important to take a close look at the corresponding target group and to carry out a target group analysis.
The aim of this analysis is to achieve the greatest possible overlap between the benefits of the product and the needs of consumers. This benefit must then be communicated to the right consumers with the help of marketing measures. From the results of the target group analysis, the necessary touchpoints and corresponding content for the target group can be derived. It doesn’t matter whether you are targeting a domestic audience or international focus groups which will require digital marketing translation, the below steps will always apply.
The 5 steps to the perfect target group analysis
In order to define target groups, it is necessary to divide consumers into different groups. These groups should each be very homogeneous in themselves, i.e. share similar needs and lifestyles. However, the groups should be as heterogeneous as possible, i.e. different. You want to know how to achieve such segmentation? Then read on now!
Demographic definition of the target group
The target group analysis begins with a rough definition of the target group based on socio-demographic data. Here you should think about what kind of consumers should be addressed. For this first definition, you should use your product to deduce which demographic and socioeconomic characteristics apply to the corresponding target group. You can orient yourself on the following parameters:
- Marital status
If your product is a B2B product, then parameters such as the size of the company, the industry and financial parameters can be relevant.
Ideally, you derive the demographic variables from the previous buyers of your products or from buyers of similar products. A lot of data is often available on demographic and socio-economic variables, as they can be collected in an uncomplicated way. However, narrowing down the target group based on these variables is not sufficient for a target group analysis. Due to demographic change, psychographic segmentation, among other things, is becoming increasingly important.
Psychographic characteristics of the target group
The analysis of the psychographic characteristics of a target group is much more complex. This analysis step is one of the core aspects of the target group analysis. Based on the results of this partial analysis, the purchasing and consumption habits of the target group can be derived in a further step.
By determining the psychographic characteristics of your target group, you get the opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of the target group. This helps you to better understand their thoughts and actions. Important psychographic characteristics are, for example, the values and (product-specific) attitudes of the target group. What is important to the target group? What is the target group’s position on certain topics? For example, is sustainability an important topic for this target group? The answers to these and similar questions will then help you derive your buying habits.
In order to fully capture the target group, it is also important that you ask yourself further questions. For example, which behavioral characteristics apply to the target group, which hobbies members of the target group have and which lifestyle they cultivate. In addition, it is interesting to investigate which current topics move the target group. What are current trends and developments? This analysis helps you to tailor the content within your marketing mix exactly to the current needs of your target group.
Derivation of purchasing habits
After analyzing the socio-demographic and psychographic characteristics of your target audience, you can use these insights to derive your target audience’s buying and consuming habits. This is an important step in audience analysis, as you should tailor your marketing funnel and the direction to buy exactly to the habits of your target audience.
First of all, it is important to clarify which purchase motives are behind the purchases of the target group. What unmet needs lead to a user making a purchase within the target audience? In addition, it is important to determine which influences influence the purchase decision of the target group. Are purchasing decisions influenced by other family members? Through friends, brand preferences or environmental awareness? To clarify all these questions, the results of step two should be used.
In addition to these questions, it must also be clarified how often, where and when certain products are purchased. Through which channels does the target group buy the most? In order to present the background of purchasing behavior, it is also useful to analyze the amount of household income of the target group. How much money is available to members of the target group? This influences the price sensitivity of the target group – i.e. how much can be paid at all.
Verification of the analysis results
After the purchasing behavior of the target group has also been analyzed, it is important to verify the results of the target group analysis on the basis of data. For this purpose, data from market research should be used. If this step goes beyond the scope of your project, you can carry it out over time by collecting and evaluating the data of your buyers.
There are two ways to carry out market research:
secondary research, which is based on data already collected
primary research, which collects and evaluates new data
Which of the two variants you choose depends on your budget, time frame and your other options. However, it is important that it is not possible to find the appropriate data for secondary research for every project. However, if the data is already available, you can evaluate it according to a qualitative scheme.
If you opt for primary research, you have the opportunity to generate data individually adapted to your product. You have the choice between different survey instruments such as the quantitative survey, in-depth interviews and group discussions or product tests. Which of these methods is suitable for your project depends on both the product itself and the scope of your project.
Creation of user profiles
Once you have proven the findings of your target group analysis with the help of data, the last step and the heart of the target group analysis follows: the creation of concrete user profiles, also called buyer personas. You create these buyer personas based on the data you collected in your previous research. This process makes the target group human and makes it even easier for you to put yourself in the target group’s shoes.
A user profile is a profile for a typical representative of a target audience. It contains specific information, such as the name, age and profession of the representative. Furthermore, other central characteristics that set this person apart from others are included. It is also important that you include the consumption habits as well as the demands on a product. Based on this user profile, you create a concrete picture of your ideal customers. With the help of this image, you can then align your communication structure with your target group.
Conclusion on target group analysis
Audience analysis is a comprehensive process and can take up many resources. Depending on the scope of the project, the scope of the individual steps can be varied and adapted. Nevertheless, a target group analysis should never be omitted, because it establishes the basis for every business concept as well as the corresponding marketing strategy. However, creating the basis is not enough in any case. Since our digitized and globalized world is accompanied by rapid change, it is necessary to constantly update the target group and repeat steps of target group analysis. This is the only way to achieve long-term success and the opportunity to optimize your product again and again based on the needs of your target group.