While what is being said about your brand is important, who says it is just as important if not even more. There are many tools that will provide brands with a way to understand what consumers are saying about their products, ads, competitors and more.
Any marketing decision you make begins with defining your buying persona. If you want to scale, you will need to perform an audience analysis.
An audience analysis will grant brands a deeper understanding of their current and potential customers. This type of information is crucial to businesses because it can be used to improve marketing strategy, customer experience, and brand perception.
Below, I will go into detail about:
- What audience analysis is
- Why is it important
- Types of audience analysis
- And examples.
What is audience analysis?
Audience analysis refers to identifying the interests, preferences, demographics, location, and other aspects of a specific group. 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 customers due to a much better targeted communication.
Why is audience analysis important?
Knowing your audience means that you can anticipate upon its needs. Imagine that you’re throwing a party at your house and you’re inviting friends over. If you know their tastes, the party will be a success. If you have no idea what your friends eat or not, it’s gonna be sad. It goes the same for audience analysis: it’s THE thing to do if you want to turn more leads into customers.
An audience-centered approach is important for brands because this way the effectiveness of their communication efforts will be improved – messages will be created and delivered in an appropriate manner. However, identifying your target audience through extensive research is sometimes tricky, so audience adaptation often relies on a healthy use of imagination.
There are multiple types of audience analysis that you can conduct: a demographic analysis, a psychographic analysis, and a behavioral analysis.
Types of audience analysis
Before going into details, let me set up the expectations first: an audience analysis will not prevent errors in judgment (at least not entirely). An audience analysis isn’t something mathematical, you’re not gonna receive a formula that you should use to formulate your marketing messages, because there’s a limit to what you can learn about your customers. But knowing how to gather and use information through audience analysis is an essential skill for any marketer, so that’s what you should expect: get insights that enable you to make data-informed decisions.
Demographic information includes factors such as gender, age range, marital status, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. A demographic analysis is a good place to start because it allows marketers to classify people by certain characteristics that are more consistent than variable. For example, a person cannot change his or her age, gender or race.
Age is not just a number as it can reveal many things about an individual. For example, teens and people in their 20’s have no memory of wars or life in a totalitarian regime.
Gender can also define human experience as women and men within the same culture have different experiences. For example, women are excluded from certain career paths that are thought to be more suitable for men.
Marriage and divorce, especially when children are involved, are also perceived differently by men and women.
Subcultures exist within and alongside larger cultural groups. Today it’s easier than ever to immigrate, so you should never assume that everyone shares the same heritage.
There is wide variability in religion as well: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and many others. Even within Christianity there is Roman Catholic, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Orthodox (Greek and Russian), and a variety of Protestant denominations.
The level of education (as well as the type of education) also plays an important role in the demographic analysis. An airplane mechanic undergoes a very different type of education and training from that of an accountant, musician, or a software engineer.
Fraternities and sororities, sports teams, campus organizations, political parties, volunteerism, and cultural communities also shape our understanding of the world.
Last but not least, occupations influence people’s perceptions and interests as there are many misconceptions about most professions. For instance, many people believe that teachers work an eight-hour day and have summers off.
As you can see, there are many things you can learn about your customers just by performing a demographic analysis. And the best part is that many tools allow you to this analysis fairly easily. For example, if you’re running Facebook or Google ads, these platforms come with a built-in audience analysis component that you can use.
A psychographic analysis includes aspects like values, opinions, attitudes, and beliefs. While demographic information is fairly straightforward and verifiable, psychographic information is not that clear. Two different people who both say they don’t buy junk food may have very different standards for what specific kinds of foods are considered “junk food” for example.
A psychographic analysis can reveal pre-existing notions that limit your audience’s frame of reference. By knowing about such notions ahead of time, you can write your message accordingly. Audiences are likely to have two basic kinds of preexisting notions: those about your topic and those about the brand.
Pre-existing notions about your topic may include misconceptions or stereotypes. To find out about any misconception, when you are conducting your audience analysis, include questions that reveal how much your audience already knows about your topic; try to ascertain the existence of stereotyped, oversimplified, or prejudiced attitudes about it. This might make a difference in the message you want to relay as well as how you want to relay it.
Pre-existing notions about your brand, on the other hand, are more related to first impressions, how customers perceive you. However, you should focus on serving your audience’s needs and interests, not debunking their opinions of you or managing your image.
One of the tools that you can use to perform a psychographic analysis is Google Trends. Besides identifying latest trends, Google Trends can also be used to monitor marketing performance (not only are you able to see how many searches per month your brand has, but you can also determine the context of these searches), or choose best performing keywords (or specific keywords your customers use that you may not know about).
Performing a behavioral analysis means analyzing consumer learning and behavior, understanding the customer journey, and evaluating why some consumers buy your products while others don’t. This type of analysis can reveal both opportunities and problem areas for a business.
Most online retailers and social media sites already use behavioral analyses. By targeting ads to specific needs, companies can provide goods and services that will not only fill consumer closets, but improve their quality of life. For example, a skincare brand can create and implement advertising that encourages people to use anti-aging products that have a newly discovered component.
There are many tools that you can use to perform a behavioral analysis. One of them is Omniconvert. Omniconvert enables marketers to learn more about their customers through A/B tests, surveys, and advanced segmentation.
These types of analyses can, of course, be performed on your own audience, but they are even more insightful when performed on your competitors’. Which leads us to branded/unbranded analysis. Branded analysis means looking at the audience for a specific brand (Coca-Cola, ASOS, Apple, etc.), while unbranded analysis looks at the audience for the type of product and related topics (fashion, laptops, canned soda, etc.). Understanding the basic demographics of an audience is helpful, but understanding the intricacies of consumer preferences related to a brand or product are priceless.
Audience analysis examples
1. Locating your audience
Along with age and gender, location is one of the simplest insights you can gain about your audience. You can identify where people are discussing about you, your products, or any other topic. You can also filter other analysis results by location to better understand an audience in a specific place.
2. Track affinities and interests
Knowing your audiences location and demographics is a good start, but it isn’t enough. Learning what an audience cares about is key to understanding each individual. If you’re analyzing your own audience, you know that they are interested in your brand or products; but what else are they interested in?
3. Finding new audiences
Understanding your current customers is the first step to identifying opportunities to expand your audience. For example, if your audience mainly consists of women in their 20s, this could prove an opportunity to reach more men. By looking at the patterns of your male buyers you can adjust your message to appeal to this category more and attract more leads.
4. Segmenting your audience
There are many ways you can segment your audience for better targeting and measurement, depending on your goals. Finding smaller segments within your larger audience that would benefit from different marketing and ads can lead to boost in sales that you wouldn’t get by targeting your audience as a whole.
5. Identifying influencers
Do you know who influences your audience? Or who could persuade a potential new audience to convert? Identifying influencers within you audience can help you determine your engagement strategy. Influencers can be celebrities or bloggers, but they can also be regular customers who act more like brand ambassadors.