Tailor-made content and marketing activities are the best way to reach your target group. But what content interests your potential customers, and what meets their needs? An analysis of your target group answers these questions and ensures that your content does not miss the mark in the long run.
In this article, you will learn how to carry out a target group analysis in just a few steps and use it specifically for your marketing strategy.
What is a target group analysis?
The target group analysis is part of the market analysis. The goal is to understand your target group and their needs, lifestyles, and purchase motives to develop relevant content and marketing measures. The target group analysis is continuous and should be repeated at regular intervals.
Why is target group analysis critical?
A successful marketing strategy is based on content that meets the needs of the respective target group. However, without knowing the specific needs of potential customers, it isn’t easy to create relevant content for your target group.
For this reason, the target group analysis (within the market analysis) is an essential instrument for determining your customers’ individual needs. You can accurately capture your target group by characterizing it according to different characteristics – from personal preferences to values.
On this basis, content is optimally tailored to potential customers and helps them. This creates trust and can have a lasting effect on the company’s success.
Through the knowledge of lifestyles, needs, and purchasing behavior, content can be tailored precisely to the target group and developed for potential customers in different phases of the customer journey. This way, you create lasting added value for your customers and prevent unnecessary waste.
In the following, we will show you how you can conduct a well-founded target group analysis in five steps.
How does a target group analysis work?
- Define target group
- Characterize the target group
- Examine buying behavior
- Review analysis results
- Create user profiles
- The basis of target group analysis: The definition of the right target group
At the beginning of the target group analysis, you should first determine which type of customers you want to address. Be as specific as possible. Otherwise, the customer group will be too large to be helpful to you. First, describe the target group based on demographic and socio-economic characteristics.
You can include the following aspects:
- Marital status
- Place of residence or catchment area
Or in the B2B sector:
The more characteristics you include, the more concrete the image of your potential customers becomes. For example, a target group could be:
Single men aged 25 to 35 with middle income, active in the marketing sector.
This first definition of the target group enables more effective and efficient marketing because you can now narrow down potential customers much better.
- The buying behavior of the target group
In the second step, the focus shifts from the pretty general criteria of the target group definition to individual characteristics and the consumer behavior of the target group. The following questions will help you to get a more accurate and better impression of the buying behavior of your target group:
- Why does the target group buy? What are the purchase motives?
- What does she believe?
- Through which sales channels does the target group buy?
- What influences your purchase decision?
- What are the purchase frequency and willingness to accept?
- When does the target group buy? (For this aspect, data from Google Trends can provide you with valuable information)
- Are there any brand preferences?
- What is the life situation targeted customers in?
For pricing and marketing, the following are also important:
- Price sensitivity or price sensitivity: What price can and does the target group want to pay?
- What is the household income?
- Psychographic features: What moves customers?
Psychographic characteristics play an essential role in the target group analysis because they contribute to a holistic picture of your target group.
Psychographic factors are, for example, your customers’ behavioral characteristics, values, preferences, and character traits. What lifestyle do they have? What moves them and why? What hobbies do they pursue in their free time? Is there robust health and environmental awareness? Do they have traditional attitudes, or are they open to new ideas? All of these questions will help you better empathize with your target audience.
Psychographic information can significantly influence your marketing. To learn more about the importance of these factors and how you can use them for your strategy, check out our guide to psychographic traits.
- Review of the target group analysis
After the previous points, the question arises as to how best to collect the relevant information about your target group. This leads you to market research next step in the target group analysis.
If you already have your data, you can quickly evaluate it according to the schema explained above. However, you don’t need to work with an existing customer base. In the beginning, you can also work with a fictitious target group, which you adapt more and more to the actual conditions over time with more accurate information.
In the following, we would like to introduce you to various methods with which you can get to know your target group in more detail.
Target group analysis: What methods are there?
Surveys are an excellent way to gather information with little effort and in large numbers. Thanks to free tools (such as SurveyMonkey or Onlineumfragen.com), you can easily create surveys digitally, making costs scalable.
Another advantage: surveys can be carried out anonymously. This lowers the inhibition threshold when answering your questions. Necessary at this point: Choose clear and concrete questions that are easy to answer. For example: “How important is sustainable clothing production to you?”
Inaccurate questions quickly lead to non-specific answers and make the subsequent evaluation much more difficult. In addition, you should pay attention to a sufficiently large number of respondents for a representative survey – this will keep the margin of error as low as possible. Depending on the population, 500 to 1,000 respondents are available.
Personal surveys require more effort but usually deliver high-quality results. The anonymity of an online study is not given here, but you can go into more depth as part of the confidential survey to sound out precisely what your target group is doing.
Since it is somewhat unrealistic for most small and medium-sized companies to interview 500 to 1,000 participants, you can limit yourself to a smaller group of people in this format. This may lead to reduced representativeness, but interviews can usefully supplement your surveys with in-depth information and lead to new, meaningful insights.
The classic online search is probably the fastest and most cost-effective method for data collection. However, because the information from the Internet is not always reliable, it should be regarded as a supplement to own surveys. Trustworthy sources for target group analysis can be found, for example, at Statista or on the website of the Federal Statistical Office.
Suppose you would like to do your research. In that case, you can consult Google Analytics: The tracking tool offers you, among other things, information on the age and gender of visitors to your website or information on their origin.
- Create user profiles
After defining and analyzing the target groups, you can create personas (i.e., a prototype of your typical clientele) from the collected data. This results in a picture of the ideal customers, to which you can now align the communication structure and advertising measures.
At this point, you already know which content you should offer in which tonality and on which channels you are most likely to be able to pick up your customers. A huge advantage that helps you establish sustainable customer relationships.
Since the digital world is constantly changing, it is essential to adapt the target group analysis again and again. Therefore, the study is not a one-time process but a continuous one.
Target Group Analysis: An Example
An ad for a yoga mat made of recycled materials appears in the Facebook feed of a middle-aged man who is very enthusiastic about technology and has no interest in yoga. No matter how clear the advertising message may be, it will likely not capture this Facebook user.
The reason is apparent: the content missed the target group because it was not defined precisely enough. A well-founded target group analysis would have revealed the following characteristics:
- Women between the ages of 20 and 35
- Middle to higher income
- Higher level of education
- A sports enthusiast, body-conscious and health-oriented
- Have been practicing yoga for a long time
- Attach importance to high-quality products that come from sustainable production.
Conclusion: Target group analyses pay off
With an accurate knowledge of your target audience, you can create targeted content that reaches your potential customers instead of getting lost on the content-overloaded Internet. Because if you know the needs and wishes of your potential customers, you can respond precisely to them with your content – so your content remains relevant and highly converted