Identifying and Understanding Your Target Audience

When selling a product or service, it is not only important to know your product inside-out, it is important to have a deep understanding of your target audience; their likes, dislikes, online and offline behaviours, purchase patterns etc.

Understanding your target audience will allow you to create effective messaging and marketing strategies that will resonate with your primary customer. Without customer knowledge you could be wasting your time, effort and money on speaking to the wrong people, or worse, speaking to the right people in the wrong way.

We’ve put together a few ways to help you identify and understand your target audience.


Your competitors can provide you with a goldmine of information when it comes to your target audience. Analyse the messaging of your competitors and any marketing campaigns that they have run in the past.

When analysing this information look across all channels both online and offline. This includes social media platforms, email marketing, website messaging, above the line campaigns, storefront banners etc. When looking at the different channels, notice how the audience responds to any changes in messaging or marketing efforts. Is there in an increase in engagement? Are there timely sales? Have your competitors suddenly started to receive increasing PR?

Looking into your competitors will give you a high-level overview of how your target audience responds to different messaging and market campaigns.

Focus groups

Focus groups are a great way to understand your target audience’s wants and needs. It allows you to understand the way your ideal customer thinks, how they respond to advertising and whether your product or service is of any relevance to them.

Focus groups can be costly, so it is not the most viable option for startups or businesses on a lean budget.


Do your research. We live in a time where studies with data on every industry sector is readily available with the simple click of a button. Find data specific to your industry sector and ideal target audience and use this to inform your messaging and marketing campaigns.

Some studies may require a payment for access – but it is an investment that will pay dividends in the long run.

Your data

If your business has been up and running for at least a few months now, you will have your own data to sift through. This data can provide you with information on what products or services your target audience is most interested in, how they interact with your website once they are there etc.

You can find a lot of this information through Google Analytics.

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