Publisher’s Guide to Audience Analysis and Consumer Behavior
Whatever the business or industry you’re in, your customers are responsible for making your efforts worthwhile. Without them, you would not be able to pay your expenses or make profits. Understanding how potential clients behave and make their spending decisions is one of the most effective strategies you can implement to put your business ahead of the competition.
This guide will explore some of the most effective audience analysis and consumer behavior processes you can implement in your operations. While our focus here might be players in the publishing and media industries, the principles you’ll find here apply across all types of enterprises.
Let’s get right into it.
Audience analysis is also known as consumer research. It represents the tools and methods companies use to find out what their clients and potential customers are feeling, thinking, and desire from them.
In the past, the tools used by researchers included surveys, opinion polls, focus groups, face-to-face interviews, and so on. In the digital age, however, social media has overtaken these tools and the various applications and techniques we can use to gain insights into what people are thinking.
A thorough audience analysis process will involve delving into such aspects of the market as:
- Demographics: This involves the makeup of the population you’re targeting in terms of their age, race, religion, or other social indicators that might influence their purchasing trends.
- Languages: You’ll need to know which languages are most effective at getting your message across to the maximum number of potential clients.
- Attitudes and Beliefs: These are the positions your audience takes on various sociala issues and topical questions of the day, which might be harnessed to position your brand better
- Interests: Understanding what your audience is interested in can help you relate better with them, thus giving you a competitive advantage in the market.
Importance of Audience Analysis
This is an important process for companies because it helps them formulate and implement their marketing efforts by answering pertinent questions regarding their audience, such as:
- Which platforms are the most popular with your target audience?
- Which topics encourage the most engagement with the various groups your target?
- Which campaigns have shown the most success for your competitors?
- Which are the most effective criteria to target to bring the most audience coverage possible?
You can make your audience analysis exercise as broad or focused as you need it to, depending on your needs. The internet allows for 24/7 data collection and transmission, meaning that companies can react and interact with their customers in real-time, which is a massive advantage from a marketing perspective.
Consumer behavior is the study of how consumers in a marketplace act and the reasons behind their decisions. As a business, you will be able to anticipate and respond to your clients, allowing you to serve them better and thus earn their business and loyalty.
Stages of the Consumer Buying Decision Process
There are five basic steps a potential customer will go through before you can count them as clients. Understanding these steps is vital to formulating an effective marketing strategy for them. These include:
- Search: In today’s world, most clients start their search for products or services online. This is why a strong online presence is important for any enterprise operating today. Ensure that your brand is easily located and marketed on all the platforms and arenas where your target clients tend to congregate.
- Comparison: Once a person finds what they need, they will usually compare it with similar products, whether from the same company or one of their competitors.
- Product/Service Selection: Depending on their requirements and what you need the product or service to do, customers will eliminate various options and settle on what suits them.
- Decision: Should they have more than one final pick, they will usually pick the one they have heard good things about or seen being advertised. This can also be pure guesswork on their part.
- Evaluation: Once they have experience with the product or service, they will sit back and decide whether they are satisfied with it or not. This will determine whether they become loyal customers who will return in the future or whether they will try out another option down the line.
Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior
People are complex beings, and many influences contribute to their behavior. Business owners need to be aware of these factors and understand how their audience is affected. These factors include:
- Economic Conditions: The overall economic situation impacts market conditions across the board. While an economic downturn might negatively impact luxury items, all products and services will experience reduced activity during tough times.
- Purchasing Power: People can’t spend what they do not have, so companies need to keep in mind the kind of budget their audience has. You cannot set prices on your products if no one can afford them. You will either have to minimize your costs and lower prices or change your product entirely.
- Marketing Campaigns: If you’re selling luxury vehicles, for example, you might do better by advertising your goods in high-end magazines (yachting, polo, luxury fashion, etc.) than you would on regular media platforms.
- Personal Preference: An individual’s beliefs, preferences, likes, dislikes, values, and morals play significant roles in their consumer choices. These are all personality traits that influence consumer behavior.
- Group Influence: As social creatures, people are very prone to the influence of their peers and social circle. The people around us include our relatives, colleagues, schoolmates, friends, family, clubs, etc.
The internet has opened a new world to business owners. Aside from the ability to do business with clients and partners worldwide, it has given companies new tools to understand their customers better. Audience analytics and consumer behavior studies can place your company at the top of its industry. While competition here might be stiff, it is always worthwhile understanding your target market deeper. Best of luck!