Shifting Focus and Identifying Your Target Audience

Author: Alisha Kinman
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With the rapid transformation of communications, it has become increasingly difficult to pinpoint the most effective ways to connect with consumers and stakeholders. As a result, employers exert time and resources on utilizing multiple communication tools with little ROI. In order for business owners to thrive in their industry and communicate most effectively, they must shift their focus, and identify the best ways to interact with target audiences.

Observe & Listen
Businesses often overestimate or underestimate the groups of consumers that invest in their product. Whether you are a newly-formed organization or a seasoned business owner, there are simple and cost-effective ways to better acquaint yourself with your market. In order to ascertain more accurate information, conduct informal research on who your current consumers are by speaking with your frontline staff, including customer service representatives, technical support teams, and agents. By engaging with your staff, businesses are able to easily observe others thoughts from those who work “in the trenches.” After speaking with your team, record the information you receive in a spreadsheet, and start to track similarities as well as differences in their responses.

Also, as a way to observe what web users are saying about your organization, consider conducting internet research by looking for information about your company through social media comments, discussion boards and reviewer websites like Yelp.

Analyze Your Audience
Once this information has been collected, start to gather additional data about your consumers through anonymous online and printed surveys. Consider asking questions related to the person’s interest in your product as well as basic demographic information (i.e. age,  gender, ethnicity, location).

Helpful tip: Before disseminating a survey, decide on how many responses you would like to gather over a certain period of time. This will help you determine an end date to collect the surveys, and when you should begin to analyze data.

Additionally, if your company hosts an open house or special events, consider having a representative(s) on-site to ask survey questions to attendees. Questions should relate to their past experience with using your product, how they heard about your company, and record any demographic information about the individual.

After you have reached your goal end date for survey responses, return to your drawing board and compare the feedback you collected from your team and consumers. This information should point you in a more specific direction in regards to what groups you should target in your marketing tactics over others. As your company grows, continue to collect and record information about your customers to always ensure that you are marketing to the most appropriate audience.

Engagement Matters
In a society that is becoming heavily focused on building relationships and engaging with consumers, businesses must understand the importance of becoming a bank of knowledge about their audiences. By identifying key markets, business leaders will discover effective ways to attract attention from specific consumer groups over others, where resources and time will be utilized by staff members more efficiently.

About the Author:

alishabiopicAlisha Kinman serves as the Director of Development & Cinema at the Hippodrome Theatre where she has spearheaded award-winning public relations and fundraising campaigns. She also acts as the Communication’s Director for the FPRA Gainesville Chapter and is a member of the Junior League of Gainesville. Alisha received her Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from UF’s College of Journalism & Communications with her minor in Communication Studies.

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