Audience. It’s the first thing that any company, marketing whiz or public relations professional should consider when structuring a campaign or messaging situation. As an ad agency with long-term client relationships, we’re privileged to have gotten to know our clients’ current and prospective clients in person over the years. But, if you’re a start-up or just starting to consider a broad-scale marketing strategy, it’s time to take a moment to ask yourself: who are we really talking to?
This is an easier task if you interact with your customers face to face each day. You can visually (and subjectively) assess who you’re serving as a company. While this is certainly valuable information, it may be helpful to consider more objective ways to survey your entire client base.
For those companies that don’t have the opportunity to shake hands with their customers each day, objective tactics for determining your audience demographic are crucial. There are several “touch points” in your business that can work for you in this regard. Here are some suggested ways to get to know your clients:
Ask and ye shall receive
Surveys are an excellent way to refine your understanding of who is out there in your customer base. There are several online survey building programs, such as Survey Monkey, which are free for small sampling and otherwise reasonably priced. Our agency and other professional firms can create highly customized surveys that meet very specific objectives. E-surveys are cost-effective, easy to create, and provide quick responses to your questions.
Sure, the run-of-the-mill analytics program may not tell you lots of personal data about your customers, but you can infer a lot of information about your customers from where they’re clicking (i.e. what they’re interested in) and how long visitors spend on your site.
There are even analytics programs out there that can glean very specific data, such as Omniture TouchClarity, which will automatically build visitor profiles based on their behavior on your website. This allows you to target potential customers more specifically, enhancing the effectiveness of your messaging and the probability that they’ll become a loyal customer.
What you make it
So, you have some general idea of who’s clicking where and maybe some initial survey results. What now? Audience isn’t just about who is out there, it’s also about who you choose to make it.
Using the data you have gathered so far, you have some great information that can be used to refine your target audience. From there, you can take things into your own hands, shaping your products or services for those you’re currently reaching and becoming stronger for the demographic you want to be reaching.
Once you have your audience in your sights, your position allows you to move forward with an exceptional, strategic marketing and communications plan. Now you just need someone to work with you to develop your strategy – can we help?