Knowing your audience is one of the absolute best things that small businesses or small nonprofits can do to improve their marketing. The challenge is that most smaller organizations don’t have the budget for extensive audience research like bigger brands.
Thankfully, there are many other ways to get to know more about your audience, including these four methods.
Send a customer survey
Ask your customers what they think! Your DIY survey may not have lots of science behind it the way a professional research firm’s survey will, but it can still be helpful.
This could be an annual online survey or a couple of point-of-sale questions you ask. Keep in mind, sometimes people will tell it to you straight — embrace the honesty and take it as an opportunity to improve your systems and processes!
Create your own focus group
If you want to dive deeper on what matters, pull together a group of customers that represent your different audiences and have a conversation with them. Again, not quite the same as a representative sample set from a professional research firm, but you can still gain a lot of useful information.
This could be a large group discussion hosted at your location or at a coworking space or even a series of one-on-one coffee meetings to really dive deep with some of your customers. They will appreciate the time and effort you are putting into getting to know them, and you’ll walk away with some additional insights about what your customers really want or need from your business.
Analyze your data
You may have more data than you realize — social media analytics, sales data, online reviews, product trends, etc. Pull all of it together and look at it through the lens of “what is this data telling me about my customers?” Are there some clear trends in the data you’re reviewing? What do those trends tell you about your customer?
Create client personas
This is a great way to help you and your team really visualize who you’re trying to reach.
Developing client personas is the strategy of defining your customers by putting a name and a face to the audience groups and then navigating their demographic and psychographics to better understand them. The more detailed, the better! Once you’ve done some of the research into your customer that’s outlined above, you can create personas (sometimes called avatars) to really help connect with your customer.
If you’re struggling with really knowing your customer, reach out to the StoryPath team to talk about how we can help.