02 Okt Do you know your customers? Tips for a successful target group analysis
Only those who know their customers well can as best as possible meet their needs and wishes and really use their marketing resources efficiently. The careful definition and analysis of your own target group is therefore the A & O business success. However, this is often easier said than done. Many companies find it difficult to distinguish a clear target group right at the beginning. Often, there is not enough data available or there is a lack of awareness of the importance of a consistent customer-centric approach.
Therefore, in today’s blog post, we show how important the exact knowledge of your own target group is and give tips on how successful target group analysis succeeds.
What exactly is meant by your own target group?
The target group is an audience that a company wants to achieve with its services. Defining a target audience is a crucial part of any well-planned marketing strategy. From communication, through product design to pricing, all marketing efforts are based on customization to the needs and expectations of the target audience. It is only through a personalized approach that the interest of customers is aroused and their commitment to the company strengthened. On the other hand, those who do not define a target group or one that is too rough run the risk of missing a chance of the most effective marketing measures.
To define a target group, a number of features are used. Classically, these are demographic data such as age, gender, marital status, geographic location and socioeconomic factors such as income, education and occupation. But also psychographic characteristics such as attitudes, values or lifestyle as well as parts of consumer behavior such as price sensitivities or media usage are used to define the target group more precisely. A typical example of the categorization of target groups are the Sinus-Milieus of the Sinus Institute. Here, the social parameters and the normative attitude are divided into 10 different target groups based on the two parameters.
Tips and tools for a better defining of your target group
The principle of all target groups is that they are as homogeneous as possible on the inside and as heterogeneous as possible on the outside. It is also possible to define more than one target group as long as a clear distinction between the two groups is possible. In the following we will show how to start with the actual target group analysis.
Start with a market segmentation
Especially at the beginning of a company there are not enough customer data and experiences available for an internal target group development. The first step in defining your own target group is therefore to gain an overview of the existing market for your own products and services. Market research data such as statistics, industry reports and consumer analyzes show which potential customer groups are of interest to the company. Hereby, the first segments can be identified on the basis of demographics, behavior, areas of interest and values. Websites such as Marktmeinungmensch.de collect and link online market surveys for this purpose and help to gain an initial overview of available market data. Other possible sources for market segmentation include statistical offices (Statistikportal.de), auditing and management consultancy or industry associations.
A valuable addition to such classic market research data is data on the online behavior of potential customers. Requests in the search engines and user profiles in the social media offer here a wealth of information for the target group analysis. With Facebook Insights, different user groups of the platforms can be analyzed based on socio-demographic data and specified interests. It can be filtered according to the categories „All Facebook User“, „Fans of their own Facebook page“ and „Costum Audience“ (e.g. newsletter subscribers). The target group of your own website can be examined with Google Analytics. The tool provides insights into the origin of the users, their surfing behavior on the website as well as their search queries. Only those who know where and how their own target group is on the web can reach them in the right place with the right message.
Refine your target group through your own research
In addition to using external sources, collecting personal data is another important step in refining the definition of the target group. Primary research by the company itself or a committed market research service provider gives even more concrete insights into the consumer behavior of the target group. In particular, qualitative, open questions are suitable for gaining an even deeper understanding of the character and motivations of the target group. What are the personally important criteria of your customers in the purchase decision for your product? Which media do your customers consider your company to be? Which values do your customers share? Answers to these questions can be found by using online questionnaires, telephone interviews or moderated discussions in focus groups. But even existing customer master data or feedback in the form of customer reviews are a valuable source to better understand your own target group. The data thus obtained supplement the findings of market segmentation and paint a differentiated picture of the needs, opinions and requirements of the target group.
Give your target group a face with a customer persona
All collected data about the target group should be summarized in a final step with the creation of fictional customer personas. Such a persona has all the characteristics and needs of a typical audience member and is characterized as much detailed as possible. Since the personas should clarify the target group again clearly, it makes sense to create between 2 and 4 personas. This kind of „prototype customer“ will get a profile with name, typical look, history and a realistic personality. By illustrating the abstract target group data through a human and holistic persona, needs, expectations and future behavior can be better estimated. Feeling into a concrete persona helps to answer the questions for which problems the person seeks solutions, what their motivations and goals are or how they would behave in a particular situation. Each employee should therefore, whether in content creation or product design, always have the specific customer personas in mind.
One last essential point in defining your target group and customer personas is the realization that this is not a one-time data collection, but a dynamic process. Due to economic developments, changes in values or technical innovations, the needs and wishes of your customers can change significantly over time. The definition of one’s own target group should therefore be continually questioned, developed and refined.
An individual and customer-oriented orientation of all marketing measures is the foundation for the success of every company. And that only succeeds with a detailed and clear definition of the own target group. Anyone who knows their own target group well and knows what makes them enthusiastic has a clear competitive advantage. Today’s customers expect more than ever a personal and individual approach to advertising messages. Even if a thorough target group analysis requires a certain amount of effort, it really pays off to really get to know your own and potential customers. We hope that our tips will help you and wish you much success with your target group analysis.