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Knowing how to map your audience’s needs will ensure they see your messages at the right time. These people are your most valuable asset, and mapping their demands effectively will ensure profitable, relevant digital advertising campaigns.

It’s no secret that unless you know what your audience wants, your communications won’t be effective. Before you produce content, encourage your communication and research experts to think about who your business is trying to impact and for what reasons. In the past, communication with our target group was different. Dissemination was often accounted for too late down the line and was neither innovative nor audience specific.

Ways to Identify Target Customers

The first step is creating a customer profile. Those who are most likely to purchase your service or product have certain characteristics in common. Putting together a user profile is the first step toward establishing these prospects. Basically, this is a detailed description of your target group that focuses on income level, age, gender, and location. Other key aspects include ethnic group, marital status, whether they have children, their jobs, their industry, and their hobbies and interests. We’ll go into each characteristic in more detail.

Income Level

Marketing strategies are directly impacted by awareness of how much disposable income your audience has available. People in lower income brackets will focus on services or products that help them save money. Those with higher earnings will probably respond to marketing that stresses exclusivity and luxury.

Age

What generation do your offerings mainly target? Millennials, Generation X, Generation Z, or Baby Boomers? Customers in different age groups will respond to the manner, in which you market and design your product in different ways.

Gender

Men and women can have very different goals and needs, even today. You risk attracting few people of either gender if you neglect to address these differences. We may be in the 21st century, but older women still tend to be more focused on emotional rather than professional growth and set their priorities accordingly. Men still show the opposite tendency.

Location

Residents of rural areas tend to have different buying habits than urban residents. The type of community and place of residence inevitably influences buying preferences as well.

Primary and Secondary Market Research

These types of research can tell you a lot about your target audience. The first type involves using direct contact to learn about your customer’s buying habits, such as focal groups and surveys. With the first, you get feedback through discussions and Q&A sessions from small groups who fit your customer profile. Alternatively, you can reach potential customers by distributing surveys by email, on paper, or via an online app.

Of course, don’t hesitate to use existing customers as a source of valuable insight. Ask customers to fill out forms when they buy a service or product. Invite them to share data voluntarily. They could answer questions about where they live, how old they are, and concrete purchasing preferences.

Harnessing Internal Expertise

It’s well-worth developing and growing a research team with expertise and insider knowledge. A reliable team is your biggest ally in the process of mapping out audience needs, especially at the moment. When you launch a new project, identify the target groups with this team or staff member. The initial effort should be company-wide. Once you’ve done this, analyze and group them by aspects such as interest, importance, power, etc. You can then map this information into different matrices, like audience interest vs. power matrix.

Tips for Effective Mapping

Your list shouldn’t be too long or too general, like “everyone who’s ever heard of our brand.” Know what you want to achieve right from the start and be specific. Update and segment your database; don’t use the same list each time. Put the client at the core of the mapping strategy. Consider segmentation carefully as some audience members will fall into more than one category.

After you’ve established who your audiences are, it will be much easier to identify their needs. A combination of communication skills and knowledge helps us keep developing our audiences by identifying their preferred channels of communication, frequency of communication, and information needs. We are then able to engage and influence them more effectively in different ways, for example through videos, blogs, social media, briefings, infographics, virtual conferences, or press releases.

Further Benefits of Mapping

Mapping helps companies attain desired outcomes, whether that’s drawing attention to an issue, communicating impact, or reaching a group of influencers. By mapping the ways, in which different audiences connect, we can understand how they are essential to certain projects.

As well as tailored mapping, each of your communications strategies should be based on a clear grasp of all project audiences. Today, many companies have created templates and toolkits to empower their marketing teams to place focus on audience development within the planning process. It will help to involve researchers in it as well. They can take workshops to local members of the target group and to partners who have extensive knowledge of audiences.  

This process will also help with limited funds because it lets your company or brand prioritize its audiences. It can focus on the audience that will drive marketing campaigns more effectively. These people are going to be the greatest influencing force. Making sure you continue to place your audience at the core of your business activity is the most important outcome.