Conducting an Audience Analysis to Drive New Business

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As organizations seek to grow their businesses, more often they are narrowing in on the “right fit” customers by conducting an audience analysis. Gone are the days of “spray and pray” that send out a message far and wide in the hope that some of the targeted people (if B2C) or businesses (if B2B) may receive it.

Certainly, branding will always be a necessary approach to ensure your organization’s name, products, and services are widely known. The weight of that leads to a belief that more and bigger is better. Cast that wide net and you’re sure to bring in enough fish of all kinds to “feed the budget,” right?  

However, with organizations’ marketing departments facing reduced budgets, the net is costly and you end up throwing more fish back than you keep. More prospects and inquiries are only valuable if they turn into business.

How can you make the biggest impact you need based on the budget you have? The ability to further aim your message to key audiences, organizations are now digging into understanding their audiences further through an audience analysis.

What is an Audience Analysis?

Being able to attract and retain the ideal customers for your organization, now and into the future, is central to your businesses’ livelihood and success. And, if done correctly, can catapult you beyond your competitors.

An audience analysis identifies the demographics, psychographics, and additional key differentiators of your right-fit customers, clients, and/or patients so you can use the marketing budget most effectively to the targeted audiences you want to receive your message.

Often times clients will say “we know our audience,” but do you? And/or has it changed over the course of the past few years? We promise you; it has.

How to Conduct an Audience Analysis

In an audience analysis, it’s important to look at two key criteria to provide insight and direction that helps inform all other marketing efforts.

  • Current customer profile. Start with what you have/what you know. And don’t do what we’ve seen many clients do and begin with what you think you know. That’s dangerous and likely why you are not seeing the outcomes from your current marketing efforts. Be honest in this part of the process and stay away from who you aspire to attract.

This includes key demographic and psychographic insight. Some questions may include (but not limited to), in the past 18-24 months:

  • For B2B organizations:
    • Where do our current clients come from?
    • What industries do they represent?
    • Who are the typical point people making inquiries (e.g. CEO, Marketing Director)?
    • What is the size – both number of employees and revenue – of current clients?
    • What’s the geographical range from which your clients come?
    • Have you seen strong referral sources from partners or others?
    • What are the typical inquiries and/or interests?
    • What pages on your website are currently hit most frequently?
    • What products/services do you sell the most of?
    • What products/services provide you the best profit margin?
    • For B2C organizations:
      • What is the typical socio-economic profile of your customers?
      • What’s the geographical range from which your customers come?
      • Have you seen strong referral sources?
      • What are the typical inquiries that your customers ask about first?
      • What pages on your website are currently hit most frequently?
      • What products/services do you sell the most of?
      • What products/services provide you the best profit margin?

Again, these are some initial questions to ask yourself and dig into to provide a standard output of information.

  • Ideal customer profile. This is where you can become a bit more aspirational. Based on your current products and services offered, this part of the audience analysis provides you with an opportunity to see who would be the ideal client for your organization. You can base some of this information on what you know from the current customer profile to better understand which of your customers succeed but dig deeper.

We recognize that some of the items below may be hard to discuss and distinguish as it is your job to welcome all new customers, but for your organization to remain credible and financially stable, you need to identify your ideal customers so that you can prosper and sustain growth. Not everyone can – or should be – your ideal customer. Consider these questions:

  • What products and services would you most like to see grow?
    • Can you deliver on these opportunities?
    • What current and sustainable trends are you seeing in your industry?
      • Can your organization leverage these?
    • How can you leverage current referral sources – and identify other, similar referral sources – to grow your ideal customer?
    • Where do you see the most growth potential for your organization?
    • Who would you like to target within the demographics you outlined in the current customer profile?
    • Do you have the ability and funds to market to key audiences right now? If not, when?

Conducting a successful audience analysis is not for the faint of heart, however, and does take strong, vocal, and inspirational leadership at all levels to row in the same direction. It also takes openness by your leadership to take on the change.

What to do with an Audience Analysis? Market, market, market.

You’ve gained some great insight, but now what do you do with it? Use it to your advantage and leverage your knowledge and market to your target audience(s).

Performing an audience analysis means identifying your target audience and adapting your marketing messages and tactics to their level of understanding, attitudes, and beliefs. The goal of an audience analysis is to deepen the relationship between you and your future customers due to a much better-targeted communication.

Now that you know more about your current and ideal audience and have the appropriate products and services aligned with those audiences, you can match criteria, how and where they seek out information so that you can develop and implement the most impactful marketing plan.

While strategically placed billboards, television commercials and radio advertising all have a place in branding and sharing credibility, digital advertising can be the most impactful – with the right message and approach. You can directly target your ideal clients based on age, expressed interests, psychographics, geography, among many other criteria. And the insight gained through your digital marketing efforts is measurable and easily updated.

If you aren’t actively analyzing your audiences and determining ways to become relevant and market to them, you are falling behind.

Knowledge is power and utilized in the right way, can benefit your organization. What you have done in the past will not move you forward in customer acquisition and retention. And if you can harness and market to individuals and businesses you identified in the audience analysis, you can begin to make an impact.

Chartwell Agency specializes in targeted marketing and providing your organization insight to provide assistance from facilitation and training to marketing campaigns and from public relations to traditional and digital marketing as well as how to gain the insight to make the impact necessary to continue to move your organization forward.