The Complete Guide To Identify And Understand Your Target Audience

The Complete Guide To Identify And Understand Your Target Audience

Given Ncube

We get it…

Regardless of what most will tell you, marketing and promoting your business online is not easy, actually, it's very hard. But it doesn't have to be, We prepared this series to give you a step-by-step web marketing strategy that actually works. By the end of this series, you will be able to:

Before you even think about hiring a web designer, or spending on ads, the first thing you need to do is understand and know your dream customer intimately!

A study by Marketing Evolution suggests that $37 billion is wasted in ad spend every year from ads that fail to engage the target audience.

As you will see by the end of this post, understanding your audience will help you craft a message that stands out from your competition. Create offers your audience can't refuse, create content your audience can't help but consume and share.

To do this, you need to create buyer personas…

How To Identify Your Target Audience: Creating Buyer Personas

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. It's the first step towards getting a deeper understanding of whom you're trying to sell to.

How do you create a buyer persona…


The profile of your target audience or buyer is and should be based on real data or at the very least educated guesses.

Talk to your sales team, if you have one, look at your previous clients. Grab your web analytics, if they are available. Look at your social media followers. Use that data to answer the following questions:

Create a profile

Now that you have a better idea of who your customer is, it's time to develop a specific, distinctive image of an individual person that you speak to in your marketing. (You might well be creating more than one.) On a piece of paper or word doc, give your persona a name, for example, John.

Add their basic demographic information you got from the previous step like — age, gender, income, where they work, etc. But be sure to also branch off into personality traits, quirks, habits, customs, beliefs, routines, etc.

Take a look at the example below.

After that, give your persona a story, for example, “Hilda owns her own interior design studio and works as a solopreneur. She does all the work from looking for clients to delivering the work.”

Not every buying customer will precisely resemble your persona. Your persona may be a woman, but your customer base will also include men.

Further reading:

Persona example

Understanding Your Audience: Mapping The Buyer's Journey

Creating buyer personas is just half the work. To have a deeper connection with your audience you have to actually become them. Well, maybe not literally but you have to walk in their shoes. Experience what they experience. To do that you must map the buyer's journey...

What is the buyer's journey?

The buyer's journey describes a buyer's path to purchase. In other words, buyers don't wake up and decide to buy on a whim. They go through a process to become aware of, consider and evaluate, and decide to purchase a new product or service.

Your customer's buying journey is usually broken down into 3 stages, awareness, consideration, and decision stage.

Awareness Stage: The buyer becomes aware that they have a problem.

Consideration Stage: The buyer defines their problem and considers options to solve it.

Decision Stage: The buyer evaluates and decides on the right provider to administer the solution.

How to be in your customer's shoes

In this guide, you will map out this journey using the persona you created in the previous step. You will walk in your customer's shoes, understand what they see, feel and think before, during, and after buying. This is called an experience map.

To get started, open a Word doc, piece of paper or continue just below your persona, create a 5 × 4 grid and fill as shown below

Think See Do Feel

Before: This is before the customer buys whatever they are looking for, fill out what they are thinking, seeing, doing, feeling.

During: This is when they are buying, for example, the process of getting a quote to pay the final balance. Map out what they think, see, feel and do.

After: This is when the sale is complete, what is your customer seeing, feeling, doing, and thinking?

To get an idea of what you should be doing, take a look at the example below…

Some questions to help you better understand your customers

Experience map example

Do this exercise for each persona and save the file in digital form. You can print it and put it where you see it every day. Every time you want to post something on social or run an ad, refer to this map and decide which stage do you want to target and what exactly are you targeting.


Congratulations! You are now ahead of most of your competition. You now know and understand your audience. You know what content to create for each stage of your customer's journey. In the next article, we will look at how to create irresistible content for your personas.




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