5 tips to help you understand your target group better

Date: 21. June 2021 | Author: Eliane Knecht | Category: Blog | Read Time: 6 min.

The target group is the focus of all communication measures and integral to the success of companies. But defining the target group is by no means the end of it! To ensure they are really addressing the selected customers, companies need to understand the people behind the target group. But what does understanding your target group actually mean?


Target groups are normally divided into different segments with different characteristics. They differ in terms of where they live, their age, income and buying patterns. But a target group is more than just demographic data, it also includes much more complex and interesting attributes such as interests and psychological drivers. With the help of media data (e.g. traditional media and social media), target groups can be analysed in depth to identify these attributes

What does “understanding your target group” mean?


Defining a target group involves producing a strategic outline of the target group to be reached. However, understanding a target group focuses on how the target group behaves, what moves them and what they are interested in. So the expression “understanding your target group” is much more about the behaviour of target groups than about demographic characteristics.


The assignment of behaviours is not based on the traditional segmentation of target groups based on psychographic characteristics; the approach is more a question of user types which cluster target groups based on their behaviour and their values.


So if you want to really understand your target group, you need to identify their psychological motivation. It is less about the personality, more about the psychological drivers guiding the individual. For example, one person could be interested in vegan food products because vegan diets are very on-trend at the moment, while another could buy vegan products based on their own inner conviction or environmental concerns.


Both people come to the same product for different reasons. The different psychological drivers produce clusters of different user types or target groups. But they are categorised by their different mindsets, not by their age or where they live. This means a person’s age or where they come from is not of primary relevance, the reasons or psychological drivers behind their behaviour are more important.


Zielgruppe verstehen


Are you sure you know your target group?


Companies often have a blind spot when it comes to their target group. Even if you have carefully defined your target group based on internal (from Google Analytics, CRM reports, surveys, etc.) or external data (studies, market research or online tools), you may be missing important behavioural patterns or areas of interest.


It is important to keep an open mind and not let your understanding of your core target group gather dust. It may be that trends and behavioural patterns are developing within your target group which are not even on your radar. Cross-media monitoring including social listening or social media analysis is an excellent way of covering this blind spot.


Clean social listening requires time and an in-depth analysis of the available data. This kind of data deep-dive is best undertaken with the support of experts who deal with data on a professional basis and know what it means in detail for the target group.


5 benefits of social media analysis


  • In-depth understanding:You find out which subjects are relevant to your target group, what interests they have and how they respond to specific content.
  • Benefits for product development and design:An in-depth understanding of the behaviour of the target group gives you starting points for developing and designing your products.
  • Sensible, efficient use of resources:If you know where and how to find your target group, you can save on campaigns and content which miss the target.
  • Identification of trends:Social media analyses often stumble across behavioural patterns and interests you might never have expected from your target group or even reveal a completely new target group. This means you can be sure that important developments and trends do not pass you by unnoticed.
  • Data-based results:Your understanding of your target group is not simply an assumption, it is based on data which directly reflects the behaviour of your potential customers.


Learn to really understand your target group


In order to appeal to their target group accurately, companies must produce target-oriented content that the target group can identify with. But, in order to do this, you first need to know what subjects interest them.


A social media analysis is really useful in terms of sounding out the behaviour of the target group. It identifies the target group’s areas of interest, subjects and thinking patterns.


Social media analyses can also identify demographic aspects, but they tend to be on a broader, more global level. In principle, a social media analysis reveals the subjects the target group is interested in, how they react to these subjects and what the latest trends are. In turn, companies can use this information not only for product development, but also for product design and market positioning.


These 5 tips help you get inside the heads of your target group


  1. Dig deeper:A target group is more than just an address and income details. When you find out what moves your target group and what the psychological drivers behind a specific behaviour are, you are able to produce target-oriented, individual content which will appeal to your target group and with which the users can identify.
  2. Use a data-based approach:A glittering creative concept for your campaign can be so promising, but if it passes your target group by, then all the hard work is in vain. If you have clear data on your target group as a basic framework, creativity can then be added which will reliably reach your target group.
  3. Be precise:When understanding the target group, accuracy is half the battle. You can prevent wasted time and effort by investing time into understanding your target group from the outset. If you have identified the motivational drivers and therefore the user types clearly and specifically, you will save time in the long run, not only in marketing but also in product launches and content optimisation.
  4. Identify the opinion leaders in your target group: In order to fine-tune your understanding of the target group, it makes sense to find out who are the opinion leaders within the target group. A network analysis can aid this understanding and determine who the most influential publishers and bloggers who generate the most impact with their content are.
  5. Work with experts: Professional analysts not only know how to put the relevant data together, they also know how to interpret it. If you work with analysts, you can benefit from their broad expertise and ensure that no key results or insights from the analysis are lost.

Eliane Knecht

Head of Analytics & Consulting Schweiz

Eliane Knecht is the Head of Analytics & Consulting Switzerland at ARGUS DATA INSIGHTS. She has been working in the media industry for 20 years and has international experience gained across German-speaking countries. Her department offers solutions covering the whole communication cycle, from strategic data-driven decision-making to editorial planning and campaign deployment with subsequent evaluation of communications.