“Know your audience.” A phrase we’ve all heard before, and an important one. If you don’t understand who you’re targeting, your marketing efforts won’t work. Simple.
However, demographic data like age and location only gets you so far. You need to know your audience on a deeper level, focusing on why your audience does what they do. What motivates them? What matters to them? Why do they need your tech? What problems does it solve?
Here, you’ll get the insights you need to turn your imagined target audience and demographics into actual people. Then you can create a marketing strategy and brand that resonates and builds a human connection. Here are a few tips to help you research your audience so your marketing strategy has that all important human touch.
Jobs to be Done (JTBD)
JTBD is a research technique that helps you understand the reasons why your customers buy from you, rather than because “they wanted to”.
Let’s say you’re marketing a new piece of eCommerce technology. Using JTBD, you can conduct surveys and interviews to uncover valuable insights such as:
- Why does a customer need my product?
- What is my customers’ buying thought process, and what impacts their decision?
- What is the journey in the lead up to purchasing?
- Why did a customer purchase my product the first time?
Asking the right questions will help you understand your audience’s needs. Then, you can create a marketing strategy that targets the right people and builds an emotional connection.
Data, data, data
Ever been talking to someone who is showing zero interest and switched off a while back? That’s basically the same as marketing without audience research or data.
So ditch the guesswork. Use your data to uncover what your audience likes, dislikes, their behaviours and their interests. Of course, where you get this data depends on your product or service, but some useful starting points are product data; website; GA4; social media analytics; surveys, questionnaires, interviews; and, honestly, just a good old-fashioned chat with your customers.
Data will help you to speak your audience’s language too. No more generic jargon or blanket messaging – just real people talk that resonates.
B2B, B2C or B2B2C – we’re all people.
Once you’ve done your initial research, it’s time to execute a marketing strategy. But you should always remember that your audience are humans, not targets. Behind every job title – CEO, CTO, Founder, Manager, whoever – there is a person. A person who, like you, loves to be entertained and engaged. Who likes to be spoken to like a human, and feel valued.
This is where many brands stumble because they lack that human voice and sound stale and robotic. This could be because they are worried about not looking professional. Or they’re too consumed by their industry and copying competitors. Perhaps they are too reliant on AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard copying their results word for word as opposed to using them for inspiration. Or it could simply be because they don’t have the specialist resources.
Whatever the reason, it’s time for a change. Humanising your marketing strategy is the key to building an emotional connection with your target audience. Show them you care about their needs, challenges and aspirations. Emotional connection = buy in = sales!
A few ways to humanise your brand include:
- Tone of voice: Compare your brand’s content to others in and outside your industry. If it feels robotic or salesy, establish a voice that accurately reflects your brand and speaks to your audience like a human. Avoid jargon, acronyms and buzzwords – this won’t detract from being professional. It’ll make you stand out.
- Ditch the sales pitch: Marketing isn’t about you, it’s about your customer. Every time you execute a new tactic ask yourself, what’s in it for my customer? Why should they care? Your customers are tired of being told to buy stuff and how to think. They want to know what’s in it for them, so share it with them.
- Dare to be different: Don’t just copy what your competitors are doing (who says they’re doing it right anyway?) Look to them for inspiration, identify gaps in your market, and stand out. The most successful companies thrive through innovation.
Regardless of whether you’re a B2B, B2C or B2B2C brand, focus on building a real human connection with your customers. By conducting thorough customer research to really understand who your customers are and how they think, you’ll be able to speak to them in a way that resonates. Data is still an important tool for getting to know your audience, but knowing the right things about them is how you can really stand out.