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One of the most common things we hear when we discuss digital marketing with a business owner is, ‘I tried it once, but it didn’t work for me’. While it’s true that communicating online is harder for some businesses than others, it’s usually just a case of finding out which type of communication works best – both for the target market as well as for the company/brand itself.

The leading cause for digital marketing efforts not working is that the business doesn’t know its target audience well enough to know how to communicate with them.

Know your audience

A concept that is the cornerstone of all marketing activities, and something that should be considered before any marketing activities begin, is ‘know your audience’. More often than not, the business owners who say digital marketing hasn’t worked for them have simply approached it ‘blind’. What we mean by that is they haven’t looked at who their audience is and therefore they don’t know who they’re talking to. If that’s the case, how can you expect to be saying the right things?

So many make the mistake of just doing things because ‘everyone else is’ and then becoming disheartened when it doesn’t work. Just because the majority of businesses have a Facebook page these days doesn’t mean that your customers are there. In fact, most of our clients – who are B2B – find success on LinkedIn. 

So understanding your audience is crucial to being able to invest in the right marketing efforts.

How to understand your audience

There are so many different ways of getting an understanding of who your customer base is and the way in which you do will depend on a few things:

Relevance is key. One of the biggest questions you need to ask before you conduct research of any kind is, ‘what is it that I want to know?’ As lovely as it would be to sit down with a cuppa and exchange pleasantries with your customers, that’s probably not going to help you market to them better or even acquire other customers like them. Instead, you need to understand why they chose to buy from you, what sets you apart from others in their mind and how they would like you to keep in touch with them. Is it through email or would they rather see your Tweets in their feed? 

The budget that you have. Some research methods are more thorough and therefore more costly than others. For bigger businesses with a research budget, conducting questionnaires and even focus groups is a good way to get to know the customers. For smaller businesses without much budget, there are free tools such as Google forms which could be sent to your existing clientele. . Asking questions via your social media channels is also a great way to get feedback, just prepare for it to be really honest! Sometimes simply looking at the competition can be a good indication as to what yours should be doing as you can take a more objective view on what’s working for a company that isn’t yours.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Don’t worry, we can help! We offer an expert diagnosis service to help time-poor business owners and managers to gain focus and control over their marketing. You’ll get:

Give us a call on 01903 686858 to speak to our expert team today.