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When I began this website, I had little understanding of the concept of target audiences. In the early history of this website, I was having a conversation with a friend who at that time was involved in online marketing. As we spoke, I asked him what I could do to be more successful here (and online in general). His response was to ask me who my target audience was. I responded by saying that I wanted to reach every blogger in the world with tips, advice and information that would help increase their effectiveness as bloggers.
I was naive and years later I have come to realize the importance of refining and studying specific target audiences.
Many talk about the glory of writing about topics in which they’re truly passionate. Some go so far as to say that if their audience doesn’t like what they’re writing about that it doesn’t matter. The truth is, however, that the most successful online writers and marketers are those take the time to understand their target audiences and provide the information and materials that those audiences want and need.
Analyzing a Target Audience (TA) is a critical step toward devising effective and well-crafted marketing. It is the thorough and accurate analysis of specific groups that are to be influenced in support of your business goals. These audiences must be identified, selected and targeted based entirely on your professional judgment.
Analyzing target audiences, for a successful online marketer, is an ongoing task and one that can be incredibly useful. Without profound insights into target audiences and their behaviors, and the phenomena and factors that may prompt and maintain them, an online business person would be hard pressed to expect the anticipated results from any marketing effort.
The ability to analyze a target audience properly and adequately will provide a business person with the level of confidence necessary to make precise and sound decisions about marketing operations. The end products of this process are the business person’s Lines of Persuasion (LOPs) and recommended Courses of Action (COAs) to be used with the target audience. The goal of target audience analysis is to devise the best possible LOPs and COAs to influence the behavior of the targeted individuals in such a way as to contribute significantly to the success of the business.
5 Questions Answered by the Target Audience Analysis
Since conditions within any given target audience are continually changing, the analyst must continually review, refine, and update the analysis. There are many steps in a thorough target audience analysis which will allow a business person to answer these five basic questions:
- What TAs will be most effective in accomplishing the business goals?
- What are the reasons for the TA’s current behavior?
- What are the best means of communication to reach the TA?
- How can the TA be influenced to achieve the desired behavior?
- What are the appropriate criteria by which to assess behavior change?
4 Actions Accomplished by the Target Audience Analysis
Through target audience analysis, the business professional performs these critical functions for the development of effective marketing:
- Identify groups and individuals that can accomplish your business goals.
- Understand the motivations for the target audience behavior.
- Identify potential vulnerabilities that can be used to influence behavior.
- Develop LOPs and COAs to influence behavior.
In future lessons, the following topics will be discussed:
- Determining a target audience’s effectiveness for accomplishing your business goals
- The conditions influencing their current behavior
- Their vulnerabilities that can be used for influence
- The likelihood they will be open to persuasion (susceptibility)
- Recommended courses of action and lines of persuasion