Creating an accurate target audience profile is an essential step in ensuring the success of your campaign. After all, in the modern world, marketing to the correct audience is vital.
By segmenting your customers and creating target audience profiles, you can develop a deeper understanding of your customers and ensure that you’re always targeting the right people with your communications.
In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look at how to create a target audience profile. But, as well as looking at how to make a target audience profile, we’ll also analyse how the segmentation process can help and how our software solutions can improve your marketing efforts.
What is a target audience profile and why are they useful?
An audience profile outlines important information relating to your ideal customer, such as their age, job, and location.
Your final profile will provide information for a fictional character who you can target with your next campaign. However, in reality, the fictional character you’ve created will share the most common characteristics of your best customers.
Overall, audience profiling helps you personalise your campaign’s message. Plus, audience profiling also helps you to understand who your ideal target audience is. In this context, your ideal audience is often the prospects who have the highest likelihood of responding to your marketing communications. As a result, these prospects promise the greatest return on investment for your marketing efforts.
Now we know how they can help your marketing efforts, let’s take a look at how to create a target audience profile.
What information should I include in an audience profile?
Your audience profile should include as much information as possible. This is because, the more information you include in your profile, the more targeted and information-based your decisions will be. So, consider conducting a target audience analysis and then including the following pieces of information in your audience profile:
- Demographic information, including location, age, education, occupation, and income
- Psychographic information, including personality traits, interests, attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyle
- Goals and challenges, including information relating to how your product or service can meet their needs, and what search queries your audience uses to find you
- Preferred channels, including search engines and social channels
- Preferred content types, such as eBooks, blog posts, podcasts, and videos
- Buyer behaviour, such as how impulsive they are and whether seasonality plays a factor in sales
But, how do we find out all of this information? The answer is by segmenting our audience and learning about the common habits and traits that our best customers share. Here’s how you can do just that in only five simple steps.
Step 1 - segmenting your audience
Segmentation is the starting point for building an audience profile. Potential customers are divided into groups, based on several different criteria.
By segmenting your audience, you can identify subgroups of customers who share common traits and habits. Using this information, you can deliver more tailored messaging that helps you create a stronger connection with the target customer.
How to effectively segment
By understanding your customer segments, you can generate stronger marketing messages and target your advertising so it perfectly suits the people who are most likely to respond. Added to this, effectively segmenting also allows you to develop effective marketing strategies and increase your response rates.
You can effectively segment in the following ways:
Demographic segmentation is a great starting point for your analysis. This is because sorting by age, education, income, and occupation is relatively simple. Plus, the products we engage with, the services we buy, how we use them, and how much we’re willing to spend is usually based on demographic factors.
Although geographic segmentation is its own form of segmentation, it can also be a subset of demographic segmentation if you’re performing a more advanced form of analysis.
Geographic segmentation creates different target customer groups based on geographical boundaries. Because potential customers have needs, preferences, and interests that differ according to their geographies, understanding geographic regions of customer groups can help determine where to advertise your product or service, or which USP to promote. For example, the needs and preferences of a customer who lives in central London or a big city are likely to be different to a customer who lives in a remote or rural location.
Behavioural segmentation divides customers by behaviours and decision-making patterns. By segmenting using these data points, you can develop a more targeted approach to communications. This is because you’ll already know the products and services that certain customers are most likely to buy.
Finally, psychographic segmentation involves an analysis of customer personalities and interests. By segmenting using factors like personality traits, values, opinions, and interests, you can appeal directly to the needs and wants of your target customers.
Step 2 - getting to know your segment
Once you’ve carried out the segmentation (or combined multiple forms of segmentation), you need to learn more about the customers within a target segment. For example:
- Where do these customers work?
- Where do these customers shop?
- Where do they spend time online?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their interests?
- What issues do they need your product to solve?
One great way of understanding your customers is to gather as much data as possible. So, consider conducting preliminary pieces of research, such as surveys, focus groups, and polls.
You should ask your participants questions that relate to the segments you have chosen, and use a combination of quantitative (tick boxes) and qualitative (open-ended) questions.
The more first-party data that your business can gather and process, the more you’ll know about the customers you’re aiming to target. You can then use this data to make smarter and more quantifiable marketing decisions.
Step 3 - highlight the core customers in your segment
The purpose of your analysis is to identify common characteristics that define your best customers. By analysing all of your customers, you can locate who your best customers are. You can also find the segment that’s most likely to contain these customers.
Once you’ve located your best customers, you can take a detailed look at the traits and characteristics that these customers share in order to find look-a-likes. For example, they may generally be males aged 30-45 who work as bank managers in London. Using this information, you can then create a target audience profile for the ‘ideal’ customer. This will include all the habits and traits that your best customers share.
Step 4 - target your marketing efforts
Now that you have all the information about your best customers and you’ve created a target audience profile (or several for different campaigns), you can target your marketing efforts and ensure that you’re always appealing directly to these people.
By relentlessly targeting these people, you can develop a deeper relationship with your customers. In turn, this helps you increase both sales and campaign ROI.
Once you know who your best and ideal customers are, it’s easy to optimise your current campaigns and determine which are the most effective at targeting these buyers. After all, from your segmentation work, you already know everything about them, including where they are, what they like, and how your product or service can help them.
Remember, targeted, clear, and direct messaging will help you attract the right customers and increase brand loyalty. So, the more you can target these customers and make your messages relevant to them, the more success you’ll enjoy.
Step 5 - optimise throughout
Using the target audience profiles you’ve created, you can optimise your marketing efforts throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
As well as creating an audience profile for your best customer, you should also look at what the ideal lead looks like and how you can target this person. Similarly, you should also use your newly-created profiles across the business. This is because your research on segmentation could also benefit other departments, such as product development.
Constantly refine your target audience profile
Many marketers make the mistake of segmenting their audience and creating target audience profiles, only to never update or monitor them.
If you work statically rather than dynamically, you’ll end up working with out-of-date data and incorrect information. This means, if you fail to update your segments and your profiles, you’ll work ineffectively.
As your business evolves, your customers and your target personas will also change. Similarly, as customers move through their lives, they may also move between segments. So, make sure you schedule reviews (at least yearly) to ensure you’re still targeting the right people and pushing the right offers and promotions.
How can Apteco help?
If you’re looking to create target audience profiles and segment your customers, then Apteco is the perfect partner.
Our powerful software provides a number of customer segmentation and profiling tools that can help you maximise the performance of your campaigns. With the help of our tools, you can put the right message in front of each customer at the right time and through the right channel.
Plus, through personalisation, you can ensure that all of your marketing communications are both timely and relevant. By recognising individuality, you can demonstrate that you truly understand the preferences and behaviour of each customer.
Finally, with the help of our software, you can also pinpoint the correct audience for your campaign and use powerful selections to build an audience and develop your strategy.
Book a free demo today!
Now you know how to make a target audience profile. But, to discover how our best-in-class software can help make the process of segmentation and customer profiling simple, book a demo with our team today.