Target group analysis – How to find the right customers

14 min

Basic knowledge: What is a target group?
What is a target group analysis?
Why is a target group analysis so important?
Step by step – This is how target group analysis is done
What methods are there for analyzing the target group?
How to use Google Analytics for your target group analysis

Basic knowledge: What is a target audience?

target group always forms the basis of all marketing activities. It is a group of people or companies that are characterized by having similar desires and preferences. They act according to a certain pattern or exhibit similar needs. In addition, they often match in sociodemographic characteristics overthese are, for example, age, relationship status as well as marital status, education or income. In short, the target audience, which are thus people or companies that you want to address to offer them your product or service portfolio.

What is a target group analysis?

A target group analysis is an effective method to define a target group. It is considered an important tool in market research and is particularly relevant in product development. In addition, measures of communication can be adapted and specifically targeted according to the target group analyses.

A target group analysis pursues thereby as a clear goal, the potential customers and/or the own target group, to become better acquainted. This helps you again to regard their needs and interests more detailed. So you succeed even better to address the goals and desires of the target group.

Why is a target audience analysis so important?

Your marketing measures can only be successful and targeted if you know your target group. Only then can you respond to their needs. Customized and perfectly targeted campaigns and content are the first step in this direction. This is how you generate trust and added value, which has an impact on customer satisfaction. This, in turn, pays lasting dividends to the success of your business.

A target group analysis pursues two clearly defined goals:

  1. Retain existing customers
  2. Acquire new customers

Retain existing customers – this is how it works!

In order to retain existing customers, you can carry out various measures:

  • Analyze existing customers
  • Identify commonalities
  • Target marketing measures for customer loyalty more effectively
  • Respond to customer needs in a timely manner with your own product or service portfolio

Winning new customers – this is how it works!

There are also various ways to acquire new customers:

  • Analyzing your own products or services with the intention of solving problems and awakening customer needs
  • Identification of new target groups
  • Alignment of marketing measures

Step by step – This is how target group analysis works

You can divide a target group analysis into four steps:

The picture shows the four steps of a target group analysis. These must be analyzed in order to draw accurate conclusions about one's own target group. The first step is therefore to define and characterize the target group. The next step is to examine the buying behavior, after which these results must be analyzed and checked again in detail. In the last step, user profiles are created and the target group analysis is finished.

Step 1: Define and characterize the target audience

Finding the right target audience is essential to your success. Therefore, the first important step of a target group analysis is to collect information to define your target group exactly. Only if you know how they act and think, you can tailor your campaigns to fit them exactly.

For this, you use individual characteristics that can be segmented into different categories. Demographic characteristics are the foundation or basic data of an individual person. Socioeconomic characteristics deal with the circumstances of the target group. Psychographic characteristics reveal what influences the potential customer to buy from you. The latter is often much more subjective than demographic characteristics. In addition, behavior is important, as it determines how your customer ultimately acts.

DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURESSOZIOECONOMIC FEATURESPSYCHOGRAPHIC FEATURESBEHAVIOR
AgeEducation levelMotivationPrice sensitivity
GenderOccupationOppinionsCustomer satisfaction
Family statusIncomeDesiresPurchase range
ResidenceValuesPreferred Devices
Lifestyle
Example of possible characteristics of a target group analysis

The following guiding questions can therefore be used, for example, to define your B2C target group:

  • Which potential customers do you want to address and which rather not?
  • Which reasons has the potential customer for a purchase?
  • How much budget is available to him?
  • How much does the potential customer pay attention to quality?
  • Which functions and features are important and possibly decisive for a purchase?
  • Which preferences and needs has the potential customer?
  • Which values pursues this person – is it, for example tend to be more inclined to buy sustainable?
  • What marital status and place of residence does the potential consumer have?
  • How old is this person?
  • Where does it live?
  • What occupation and educational level does the target person have?
  • How much does your potential customer pay attention to aesthetics and status symbols?
  • Where and when is purchased?
  • What do the purchase frequencies look like?
  • What other influential factors are there on the purchase decision?

In B2B, on the other hand, questions about company size, decision makers, budgets or finances and industry are relevant. It is important to know that every industry ticks differently. Therefore, B2B target groups can also look very different.

.
he picture shows the differences in target group definition between B2B and B2C. While characteristics such as company size, industry, budget/finances and decisive person are important in the B2B area, the following factors are significant in the B2C area:
- Motivations
- income
- Occupation
- age
- Marital status
- Place of residence
- Educational background
- preferences, needs and values of the target person
- Demand for functions, features and quality
Factors to define the target audience

It’s important to know how to get data in the first place that you can use in your audience analysis. The following sources will help you with this:

The image shows possible sources of information that you can include in a target group analysis. These include:
- Internal company data
- Experience with similar products/services
- Keyword planner from Google Ads
- Colleagues (e.g. from customer support)
- Social networks
- Rating portals
- Google Analytics
Sources of information when analyzing target groups

You can also learn more about this in the “What are the methods for analyzing target audiences?”.

Step 2: Investigate buying behavior

To find out how your target group responds to products or services, it is important to know the buying behavior. For this purpose, there are very individual characteristics by which the consumption habits differ within a target group. The following guiding questions will help you to gain insights into the buying behavior of potential customers. This will give you a better impression.

The picture shows a woman who is surrounded by various thought bubbles. In these bubbles are different questions that influence a purchase decision. These include:
- Through which channels does the target group buy?
- What is the target group buying?
- Why does the target group buy?
- Is there a brand preference?
- What price can & will the target group pay?
- What is the household income?
- When does the target group buy?
- What is the purchase frequency?
- What influences the purchase decision?
Influences on purchase decisions

To answer these questions, you can, for example, draw on statistics, public surveys, or your own empirical values and collected data. Also, Google Trends is a good way to generate insights and assess a trend development.

Certain character traits of the target person may have an impact on buying behavior. The individuality and versatility of individuals is not initially considered in a target group. If you want to go into such details, a segmentation of your target group makes sense. This enables you to divide them into further “sub-target groups” and to target marketing measures and campaigns even more precisely. But that follows after your basic target group analysis.

Step 3: Analyze and review the results

So far, you’ve already diligently gathered data and are as good as done with your target audience analysis. Before you use those data and results for marketing purposes, you should review them again. In this phase it offers itself for example to start a market research. It does not have to be complex. It is only to determine whether your results are correct and work in practice, before you implement specific marketing measures.

Step 4: Create user profiles or persona

Now you are almost at the end of your target group analysis. Through surveys, interviews, your own experiences, etc., you’ve been able to define your target audience pretty well. However, the final goal of your analysis should be to create a user profile that helps you to better understand the desires, goals and needs of your target group. Also, these personas make it easier for you to put yourself in the user’s shoes.

User profiles thus portray specific target group representatives. Their detailed and meaningful description turns a fictitious and rather abstract target group into a person with name, age, gender, etc. This makes them more tangible.

The image shows the complete profile of a fictitious target person - here she is called Monika. Monica is female, 30 years old, lives in a suburb of Munich and lives alone in a rented apartment.
The user profile not only addresses demographic facts, but also highlights Monika's background (profession, education, desires and goals), identifiers (hobbies, interests), expectations, goals, and emotions and challenges Monika faces.
Through this profile of Monika, a fictitious target person, marketing measures can be better viewed and analyzed.
Monica’s user profile – part of the target group

Always keep your user profiles up to date. If you get new insights through further methods, these should also be incorporated. This way you are always prepared and can react faster to changes.

What methods are there for analyzing the target audience?

Classical measures to perform a target group analysis are: Surveys, interviews, online research or relying on internal company data as well as recessions or support requests.

Polls

Surveys are always a chance to find out more about your customers. They also give you the opportunity to gather a lot of information with relatively little effort. By offering the option to participate in the survey anonymously, you also increase the chance of attracting more participants. The surveys can take place in writing (e.g. by mail), as well as online.

But be careful: Put your questions clearly and not too complicated. The participants should understand them exactly and be able to answer them easily. Otherwise, you run the risk that participants will abandon the survey and you won’t get any data.

Interviews

Interviews are much more time-consuming than surveys, but your participation rate is usually higher and the results are of higher quality. Even if an interview cannot be anonymized or can only be anonymized with difficulty, you have a clear advantage: You can question the interviewee much more intensively and respond precisely to his or her answers.

Reviews/Support requests

With the use of reviews, you can learn quite a bit about the wants and needs of your target audience. It does not matter whether they are for your products or those of your competitors. You can use this knowledge to grow and minimize problems in the future. Requests made to support can also be helpful in better aligning your own product or service portfolio with the target audience.

Online research

The cheapest way is to search the internet for information about your target audience. However, you have to keep in mind that not everything you find on the net is correct. Sometimes data is therefore not reliable. For this reason, only obtain information from trustworthy sources such the Federal Statistical Office. Also, research of this type can be quite a bit more time-consuming than you think. Tools like Google Trends can help you get further insights into your target audience. It’s also helpful to mine social media for information to feed your audience analysis with more data.

Internal company data

In this context, it also makes sense to access your own data. However, here you only have access to information of already existing customers. This makes it more difficult for you to develop new customer groups. Nevertheless, it is very helpful if you use already existing data and also let it feed into the target group analysis.

This is how you use Google Analytics for your target audience

With the help of Google Analytics you can also define and create target groups. To do this, log in to your Analytics account, click on Administration and then open the property for which the target group is to be defined. Via Target group > Target groups you can add them via “+ New target group”. By default, the data Analytics uses for this target group comes from the current report data view. If you want to change the data view, click “Edit” and then “Next step”. There you can choose from preconfigured target groups. These include:

  1. Intelligent list (this is where Google manages the audience for you)
  2. All users (they must have the required cookies selected for this)
  3. New users (all users with only one session on the website/app)
  4. Recurring users (all users with multiple sessions on the website/app)
  5. Users, who have visited a specific area of your website or app
  6. Users who have completed a conversion from your target intent
  7. Users who have completed a transaction

Once you have chosen one of these preconfigured target groups, the second step is to set the target group goals – this works via the button “+ Add goals”.  With a click on “OK” and “Publish” you’ve done it. Your audience is created in Analytics.

Google also gives a detailed guide for this, where you can read about how to edit, close, delete, or reopen audiences.

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