If you want to sell products, you need to know who you’re selling them to. To do that, you need to craft an audience profile – a representation of the people who need your product. An audience profile helps a business owner improve on their product as well as make the right marketing moves to become more responsive to their customers.
An audience profile is a set of demographic profiles that make up a target market. Knowing and filling out the key details of your audience profile will allow you to understand who they are, how they live their lives, what their needs and wants are and ultimately, how your product can be part and parcel of their daily living. It also matters in marketing, because when you know who your audience is you will better be able to create content that speaks to them, helping to make them convert and, in the end, spelling out better business success for your startup.
Where to Start
Take note: your audience profile techniques are not just limited to what the people in your physical neighborhood think about your product or how they live their lives. You need to broaden your scope for more relevant research results, but also need to avoid going too broad. If you cannot start with hard data, then what you can do first is make some assumptions.
Your Initial Information
Take a look at your product, and identify which demographics you think will respond to its best – stay at home moms? Athletic thrill seekers? Retirees who like to live a healthy lifestyle?
You want to build two different axes for your target customer graph: demographic information, and personal psychology. Demographic information is fairly concrete stuff, and includes:
- Cultural background
- Education level
- Marital status
The psychological profile gets a bit fluffier, but it’s absolutely critical. It’s best understood as a series of questions:
- What do they want out of life?
- What challenges do they face in their personal and professional lives?
- What is important to them?
- Who is important to them?
- What do they do with their spare time?
- Which of their needs are not being met?
- How much will they spend to answer any of these questions?
If you can put those together, then you’ve got a solid audience profile. But where do you get the data? Well, you can buy it but I’ve never really put a huge amount of stock in that. The only real way to get data is to do some legwork.
Once you have your guiding questions, it’s time to get outside and start asking these questions to the people around you. Conduct FGDs (focus group discussions) for a ballpark demographic. Sift through their answers until you identify some promising sectors, then do several more rounds of FGDs with just representatives from these sectors in order to fully iron out additional details that pertain specifically to your target demo. This step might feel tiring – it is, but it is also absolutely essential. More than surveys, FGDs and interviews allow you to ask additional questions to clarify certain things as well as give representatives enough opportunities to expound on their answers. As they have clearly given you their time, you need to capitalize on this opportunity to learn everything about them, and help make as complete a demographic profile as you can.
Put it All Together
Your next step is to actually build a profile based on the data you’ve gathered. One example would be:
“Twenty-to-thirty-something career women who have active social lives, have ample purchasing power and live in urbanized cities and communities. They regularly meet up with their friends, make time for exercise and healthy living, and place priority on the finer things in life such as fine dining and traveling.”
You may also have different audience profiles if you have a variety of product lines – for example, you can sell luxury items to the upper-class audiences while at the same time offering budget items that cost-savvy individuals will leap at.
At the end of the day, these audience profiles tips will help you sell better and improve on your product to ensure that it will always serve its purpose as well as make its way into the households of your target market!
Marketing doesn’t end at audience profiles: once you’ve got that information, it’s time to do something with it. For further reading, check out our eCommerce Email Marketing Tips, or our Guide to Social Media Strategy. Your journey to eCommerce success has only just begun.