The Beauty Industry… Understanding Gen Z
09 May 2017
Written by: Rachael Ryan

The beauty and skincare industry conduct research and lots of it. As a result, no beauty or skincare product can come onto the market without a lot of scientific research behind it. In particular, these industries are renowned for doing focus groups and testing product concepts through qualitative research. However, we’re looking at the importance of understanding your target audience beyond focus groups. Let’s look at the upcoming generation, it’s time to start understanding Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z consists of those born from 1995 to 2009, the generation after millennials. As a result, Gen Z often gets overlooked in studies because of the prominence of millennials in the world. However, Gen Z is already very accomplished and growing into adulthood. Celebrities from the generation include Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Billie Eilish, Jordyn Woods, Malala Yousafzai, Saoirse Ronan, Zendaya, and the list goes on. To sum up, what a talented and famous group of people changing the world! For the most part, their media consumption differ from previous generations, as they watch the least television of any generation. In addition, they prefer cool products over cool experiences, as they are focused on material items. Subsequently, they are very tech-savvy and even entrepreneurial,

The industry is rapidly changing

There is an increasing demand for anti-aging products, there are more and more people that are chemical conscious and who only want organic or natural products and finally, competition is higher than ever with the sheer volume of beauty products that are available on the market today; it’s a multibillion-dollar industry.

Not only have these changes occurred but the landscape in which these beauty products are available in is ever-changing. For instance, ten years ago if you launched a product solely through digital advertising or by paying influencers (who did not exist at the time), your product wouldn’t get very far. Now, beauty and fashion magazines, which were once the be-all and end-all, are becoming irrelevant. Today, bloggers are getting paid anything from $100 to 7 digit figures for ads and sponsored posts. ‘Something Navy’ (a digital influencer) spoke about a product on Snapchat recently and within 24 hours that product sold over 500 units or $17,000 worth of product.

Know Your Audience

Considering that and the fact that ad-spend on digital will outspend television in 2017, it’s important that the beauty and cosmetic industry is reaching the right audience and knows who to target and how. Millennials and Gen Z are different and need to be understood differently. By 2020, 40% of consumers are going to be Generation Z. So now we must understand the complexities and differences between Gen Z and their older relative Millennials.

The focus groups and product concept sessions have been helpful, but it’s time to find out more. What is it that each person wants from their beauty products or skincare routine in 2017. In other words, we know that 24% of women often use products and don’t get the results that they want from them. Isn’t it time to find out why and conduct widespread research to fully understand the industry and know how to best deal with the evolving marketplace.

This post is part of the industry-specific blog series on Provoke Insights. Read more about other industries like jewelry and technology.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Concept Exploration: The Highlighter Research Tool
11 Apr 2017

Written by: Rachael Ryan

Concept development is difficult. What is the ideal message to describe the concept? It is the combination of art and science to craft the perfect imagery and set of words. But how do you know if you have the best possible description?

Concept development for messages and ads usually try to convince the reader that they need the product. Generally, the description describes a convenient product that will make a consumer’s life easier. However, a concept has to be concise. In other words, every feature of a product won’t be mentioned in a concept. As a result, you have to draw the reader with what you believe to be the most enticing and attractive attribute. But how do you know what is most enticing? You can never assume what is going to appeal to your target audience. Research helps you understand who your target audience is and what they think, but when it comes to concepts, it’s a lot less clear. That is where research comes in!

The Highlighter Tool

The Highlighter is the perfect way to explore the various concepts that you may be mulling over. And you can chop and change your concepts with the data collected to make the perfect one.  The research tool that allows you to understand your target audience’s initial thoughts about an idea and the way its writing style. How does it work? It’s simple. It is a dynamic blend of qualitative and quantitative research.

Firstly, the participant can use their cursor to highlight a specific part of the text and a pop-up will appear. Secondly, the pop-up will prompt the user to indicate whether they like or dislike the text or wording. Secondly, there’s an opportunity for the participant to provide an open-ended response to the text. This questioning will determine initial feedback to the concepts and if the concepts are relatable to the consumers.

Pinpoint Consumer Opinions

The highlighter allows you to get a very granular point of view, and pinpoint consumers likes and dislikes about specific wording in the concept. The tool prompts respondents to explain their word preference. Concept exploration allows you to refine concepts for further stages of research without needing to invest a significant amount of time or money. The consumer can even layer their highlighting to emphasize what they like or don’t like. The process is simple to execute and it’s effective. From there, you’ll be better informed to continue with the campaign and with the feedback you receive, your concept will be the most effective it can be. You can then continue to research with a carefully curated concept. It will be vital to research who your target audience is and where the concept will best resonate.

Concept Exploration

Why is this blend of methodologies suitable for concept exploration? Not only is it easy for the consumer to use, but it’s also interactive so it’s enjoyable to use. The data collected is invaluable for the concept that is being created. You’re provided with qualitative comments on each part of the concept as well as quantitative data to back up the information so you can create a concept with confidence that it will resonate with your target audience.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Introducing the Advertising Optimizer Express
13 Feb 2017

Written by: Carly Fink

In today’s world the consumer is awash in advertising. These communications are designed to create a position in the consumer’s mind leading to eventual purchase.

At Provoke Insights we help maximize advertising effectiveness, and ultimately garner higher ROI. Provoke Insights provides a new tool, the Advertising Optimizer ExpressTM, to help ensure your brand’s success. This online quantitative tool test all types of advertising including: banners ads, print ads, OOH, brochures, and more.

The Advertising Optimizer ExpressTM determines how your customers value different features that make up your advertisement. We find out what combination of attributes is most influential (image, CTA, key message). This way you know what is exactly working in your ad and what isn’t.

Plus, this cost effective tool can provide results in less than two weeks!

Respondents test multiple banner dimensions, graphics, messages, and brand fit.  Every respondent sees different combination and ranks each combination from 1 to  100.

You have the ability to customize the features you would like to include.

•       Up to 5 dimensions such as brand, image, message and call to action.

•       Each dimension can include 10 different values.

•       Ranks the best combination for your brand vs. the competitors.

•       The tool tests up to 100,000 combinations. Yes, you heard us right… we test up to a 100,000 different combinations.  However, each respondent only views up to 10 of these combinations.

Various brands, images, ad sizes, and messages are tested in the example listed below.

So why not test your ad concepts before spending a ton on your media buy!

Sign up for our newsletter here!

 

 

The Science of Naming Your Brand
13 Feb 2017

Written by: Carly Fink

Every year, Provoke Insights conducts Naming Research for several products and product lines. A good brand name sparks an emotion with the consumer.  The larger the name connection the higher likelihood that the name will  remain top of mind among your target audience. It is the cement that unifies the brand across all advertising and promotional materials.

Often a company comes up with a list of potential names that they would like to name the brand. A company may be internally passionate about a certain name but does that name really work? Which name ranks highest? Do the names resonate among your target audience?

A sure way to know is to test names utilizing Provoke Insights’ naming exercise. This survey includes:

  • Open-ended name association
  • Ranking of names
  • Testing the top names over 9 dimensions such as likeability and high quality.

The research can be tested across various segments to determine a name that works well with all prospects. We also have found names that could be potential offensive to the consumer or a specific demographic. So looking at the name across various groups of people can be very beneficial.

Testing names through survey research allows a brand to know which names are winners or losers. It tells you what attributes consumers associate with the name. Is the potential brand name perceived as high quality? Likeable? Memorable? Offensive?

We have save companies from disastrous launches. A name that might sound fun and catchy to a company may not resonate with the consumer. The consumer may have difficulty relating that name back to the product – simply put it could be a great name but just not right for the product.

Testing a name prior to launch is a sure way for your brand to be loved by your consumers. It also diminishes the risk of a launch going wrong.

If you enjoy our blogs and want to know more about Provoke Insights, why not sign up for our newsletter here! We won’t spam you, we send a quarterly newsletter!

7 New Trends in Market Research in 2017
25 Jan 2017

Written by: Rachael Ryan

Now that the first month of 2017 is coming to an end, we thought we would write a blog post about the changing trends in Market Research. The market is constantly changing, therefore, there is a need to stay abreast with trends in the research space. Here are 7 new trends that market researchers will need to take note of this New Year!

  1. New technology

Speaking of technology, market researchers will continue to have to adapt and learn. We will see an acceleration in technological trends over the coming year as has been seen over the past twelve months. For example, biometric response and neuromarketing are becoming more popular offerings at research firms.

  1. Research for content marketing purposes

As we saw in 2016, there was more emphasis on using market research for content purposes. Content was 2016’s buzz word, but as we saw, content was important. It was so important that everyone started churning out content which lead to an abundance. Suddenly, what was more important was high-quality content – content that people actually appreciate and that they want to read/watch. In order to get that interesting, relevant, clickable content, research needs to be conducted. Click here for more on Research for Content Marketing Purpose.

  1. Unpredictability causes a craving for prediction

Global uncertainty is good news for market researchers as it means there’s going to be a growing demand for market research. This trend began near the close of 2016 but with global uncertainty in 2017, political, monetary and economic unpredictability will cause companies to try to predict whatever they can hence looking towards market research tends in order to avoid any unforeseen shifts or changes in the market.

  1. More and more data

The more data there is available the more need there is for more clear and concise data. Most importantly what is the data saying?  What is the story the data is trying to say? More data does not always mean better.  This means that the market researchers need to interpret data and consolidate it into information that can be easily. At Provoke Insights, we believe in telling a story with the data that we gather and the research that we conduct. We like to simplify the data and make it easy for anyone to understand.

  1. Appending data

With big data, there is an opportunity to conduct market research and then append additional data to the findings in order to create a more robust story. Segmentation research is a great example of this. We can create segments and then append secondary data to learn more about these group’s behaviors and media habits. For example, does your segment go to yoga classes or attend the opera, market research firms should look towards adding this secondary data to the appendix so that the client can get a more round picture of the stories being told. This is great information that would not necessarily be in the primary research that you are conducting.

  1. No quick fix

Though you might think that in 2017 market research will become more automated, well you might just be wrong. Market research will need to be more personalized than ever. At Provoke Insights we believe in creating a market research strategy for a company’s needs and then creating a report that is customized to that company only. We don’t have a ‘copy and paste’ attitude towards doing our reports, presentations, or videos. Automated research will cause companies to search for a more accurate and personalized experience, one that suits them rather than suits the masses.

  1. Asking why

In the past there has been a huge emphasis put on big data and gathering lots of information – now companies are seeing the benefit in not only asking what the markets does or tends to do but also asking why that is the case. This is where qualitative research is the perfect backup for the quantitative research that is also being done. Using a mixed methodology not only provides you with insights into the market but it answers the questions that may arise from the numbers by asking for opinions.

Over 50 years later, the classic The Times They Are a-Changin’ has never been more relevant and market researchers have to change with them. As mentioned, it wouldn’t make sense to ignore new trends in the market and carry on as usual but we have to change with the needs of the companies that use market research. It is key to make sure that the market research being done is relevant to these companies in 2017.

Sign up for our newsletter here to learn more about market research and Provoke Insights.

Millennials, Fine Jewelry & the Luxury Category
13 Dec 2016
Written by: Rachael Ryan

Millennials are the most researched subgroup of the 21st century – and yet, they still seem to be misunderstood. Everyone wants to know more and more about the generation. A look at millennials and the jewelry industry can give us some insights.

Who are Millennials?

Millennials are technically anyone born between 1982 and 2002, but most importantly they are the buying generation. They’re taking over from the Baby-Boomers who are retiring both from work and they’re hanging up their consumer shoes too. Despite marketers obsessing over millennials, they are still often dumbfounded by them. Just when marketers think they have them all figured out, millennials change their habits and leave everyone bewildered.

For example, millennials were buying luxury goods such as fine jewelry. Millennials spent $26 billion on diamonds in 2015. But since then, the attitudes of affluent millennials have changed. 6.2 million millennial households earn more than $100,000 a year and they will take over the luxury consumer market by 2018-2020 – that means they need to be understood and luxury brands need to research them in order to appease this headstrong generation.

Market research is invaluable in this situation; here are a few speculations as to why millennials have become indifferent to the opulence of luxury jewelry brands.

  1. Millennials are incredulous towards big luxury brands.

    They want to pay big bucks for an individual experience rather than a brand that everyone has. The generation prior to millennials would pay vast amounts of money to have luxury, classic pieces of jewelry to display their wealth and standing in society. Millennials are not purchasing fine jewelry, they are more interested in spending the same money on a one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime experiences.

  2. Milestone purchases.

    Millennials don’t want a piece of jewelry to define them – they want sentiment behind it. Most millennials will only buy a luxury good as a milestone or to mark an occasion, while this has always been partially the case – it is now the sole selling point of luxury jewelry. Millennials are not likely to impulse buy a luxury item; there must be a deeper level of emotion attached to a piece. This is why luxury jewelry brands such as Pandora are so popular – each piece is unique to the owner and every part of the piece has a story to tell that is exclusive to the person wearing it.

  3. Technology is a new luxury.

    The number of millennials that own a fitness watch and the number of millennials that have a classic wristwatch are almost equal. This is a two-sided argument, if you want your luxury brand to be successful then your brand needs to have a successful online presence that resonates with this savvy generation. Millennials read on average 13.9 reviews online before buying a product, and they normally only buy products that have been recommended by loved ones or people they trust.

There are many other factors that come into play here; millennials get married later in life and their engagement ring is ordinarily their introduction to fine jewelry purchasing, millennials are experience-oriented and want to be unique, therefore often look for one-of-a-kind jewelry that has a story behind it, among other reasons.

For more information on changing jewelry trends, read the Principal of Provoke Insights, Carly Fink’s article on the growing demands on the brown diamond industry.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Why Research is Necessary When Launching a Brand
06 Dec 2016
Written by: Rachael Ryan

In Why Secondary Research is so Important When Launching a Successful Brand, we spoke about the importance of this type of research in launching a new product or service or even when relaunching an already existing brand. In order to launch a successful brand, market research is a crucial aspect of the process.

That research is twofold. The first part is utilizing secondary research. Secondary research is best to describe as research that is already out there. It gives you the basics of what you need to know, it explains the state of the market today, who are your competitors and a basic understanding of your prospects and current customers.

Once you’ve done some background secondary research – now jump into doing primary research and start analyzing the original, fresh, new data to determine what is best for your brand. Primary research can take many shapes and sizes, some examples include surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.

Primary research can help with several aspects of a brand launch:

  1. Segmentation research – determining who is your high-value customer
  2. Naming research – evaluate the best name or logo design for your brand
  3. Claims test – assess the message or combination of messages that resonate with your target audience
  4. Package testing – find the ideal design and message for your product
  5. Ad concept testing – discover the perfect advertising campaign for your brand.  Using an advertising optimizer is an ideal way to do that. Provoke Insights to offer an Ad Optimizer.

Next, you need to determine what sort of primary research you want. Are you looking to do qualitative or quantitative research? Do you want to know the opinions, needs and wants of just a select few? Or are you interested in gaining knowledge and intelligence on as many potential customers as possible? Surely, you want to know what a large majority of your target audience wants? In most cases, people want to sell to a lot of people – in this case, the most fruitful form of research will be to conduct surveys.

What do surveys achieve?

  1. Through survey data, we can gain information on a lot of people and then make calculated and educated projections of what the large majority of your target audience wants.
  2. Conducting surveys will keep your brand launch consumer-focused and it means that you will stay on track to having the most lucrative product/service you can have. It will also reduce your risks.
  3. Your communication will be more effective and efficient. Instead of using trial and error to see what resonates with your audience you can ask them what they want to see and hear. This way your communication with them will work from the get-go.
  4. Most importantly you’ll be relevant to those who matter the most.

Surveys are not an easy task and there are a lot of hurdles that you can possibly fall down on, for more information about conducting a successful survey, have a look at Provoke Insight’s blog on what to watch out for when writing your survey. Once you have all of the data that the surveys will generate, your brand will be in the best possible position to launch or relaunch.

Check out some of our most recent posts from our strategy and advertising research blog here:

  1. Blockchain & the Markest Research Industry
  2. I’m Just Not That Into You: Exclusivity or Bad Marketing?
  3. Is Your Research Stuck in the 1980s: Update Your Brand Tracker!
  4. Market Research Doesn’t Need to Be Boring: Improve Data Visualization
  5. Tips For Building Brand Strategy for a Successful Brand
  6. What’s the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative?

Sign up for our newsletters here!

Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Keep on the lookout for more blog posts from us!

Market Research and New York City
29 Nov 2016
Written by: Rachael Ryan

For generations, New York City has been held in the heart of the world’s population as a land of opportunity, the city that never sleeps and a city where just about anything is possible. Because of that, the industries in New York City not only drive the state’s economy but it is a driving force for the national and global economy. According to Fortune, New York City is the ‘center of the business universe’. There are more industries, more companies and dozens of new start ups every single day. With that in mind, market research is more important than ever in NYC.

New York, the center of the business universe

Historically, New York has been the hub of numerous industries such as construction, media, publishing, tourism, the clothing and financial sectors. Lately, it is the hub of incalculable industries. There are also many new and upcoming industries and brands in the city, NYC is now home to new industries such as biotechnology companies and science industries; other industries such as the health sector, the arts and film industries are thriving here now more than ever. New York has so many new industries and innumerable established industries that it makes it difficult to stand out in such a competitive market. That’s why it’s more important now than ever to get your brand name out there and have it resonate with the right people. New brands need to make an impression with their target audience and more established brands need to reinvigorate their brand amongst existing and prospect customers. This seems like an overwhelming task in such a competitive market until you realize there is only one step that you need to take in order to make this a lot easier for you and your brand: research.

Where to start

Every inch of New York is wrapped in logos and slogans, sponsored and product placed which means that that valuable space is becoming more and more expensive. The New York City subway is laced with advertising and there are more advertisements in Times Square than in a lot of small towns. And that’s only one corner of the city; every single corner of this city has been marketed. There are so many that it all becomes white noise to New Yorkers. Don’t forget New Yorkers consume traditional media as well. At some stage, New Yorkers have to start drowning it out. Hence, if you don’t have a deep knowledge of your target audience – all of your costly marketing efforts will be drowned out and it will all have been in vain. The only way to avoid this is by researching your target audience before you do anything.

People are more different than they are similar

The population of New York City is projected to grow to 9 million people by 2040. People move to New York from all over the United States and from foreign countries daily. There are more people moving to New York City than are moving out. This means that the market is growing everyday and it is one of the most culturally diverse markets in the world, the people in it are more and more complex and less difficult to make assumptions about. New York is more diverse than any other city in the USA; there are more ethnicities, there is a bigger range of income, there are more members of the LGBTQ population here, and marriage trends are unconventional in New York– everything about everyone here is unpredictable. The only thing you can predict about a New Yorker is that they all more different than they are similar!

Therefore, your brand needs to conduct research accordingly if you plan to thrive in NYC.

For more information on how to research your target audience, have a look at Provoke Insights blog here. Market research can at times be time-consuming; therefore brands often reach out to market research companies, like Provoke Insights for a helping hand with this important research. As a New York City based research and consultancy firm, they have a great understanding of New Yorkers and the perfect base for conducting research in this complicated and sometimes dumb-founding city. Sign up for the Provoke Insights newsletter here.

The Importance of Secondary Research when Launching a Brand
21 Nov 2016
Written by: Rachael Ryan

Whether you’re launching a new product or service for the first time, launching an existing brand in a new country, or rebranding an already successful brand… There is one common denominator – you have to do your research! Specifically, this article will discuss how important secondary research is to begin with.

Market research is often overlooked in launching a brand. Unfortunately, many a brand has failed due to lack of market research or conducting market research too late. Understanding the importance of secondary research can make or break a launch. Timing is everything in every aspect of a product launch and research is not exempt from that statement. If market research is too far down on your ‘To-Do list’ then you might be setting yourself up for failure – this isn’t just my opinion, this has been a mistake made by brands as big and bad as Coca Cola, P&G, and Microsoft in the past. And it’s easier to just do the research than it is to rectify any damage caused by an ill-thought-out or ill-researched brand launch. We have decided to put together a series of blog posts to discuss the importance of research in launching a brand, in today’s post we are going to discuss where to start.

So, when should you start your market research?

In this case, there’s no such thing as too soon. Once you have a clear idea of what you want your product to be and where you want it to go – even in theoretical terms – you need to be researching. Market research at this early stage will mean that your product answers all of your customer’s needs and the outcome will have been determined by the customer/market rather than simply creating your brand from your own opinions or from a handful of opinions within your brand. Secondary research is the most important because this is where market research starts.

Where can you start with market research?

Well, we have to go back to basics. You have to gather market intelligence. Both the market and the consumers need to be understood.

Desktop research is vital here. What is secondary research?  It is information that is already out there. You would be surprised as to how much information is available before running to do a survey or focus group.  Why is this type of research vital for a brand launch? It indicates;

  • What is happening or changing in the industry
  • What are trends to take note of
  • Who your competitors are
  • What your competitors are doing
  • What type of marketing is the competition doing (advertising, media spend, PR, etc)?
  • Who uses this type of product/service

It is also important that you use the already existing research that is out there before you start conducting your own primary research because you don’t want to double up on research and if the information is out there, then be resourceful and use that information instead of having to find it out yourself.

So how do you gain access to this information?  This type of marketing intelligence is more than a simple Google search.  Some free sources include CensusPew Research, and Statista.  However, several sources are more costly and analyzing all the data may be tedious and difficult.  Often brands reach out to firms, like Provoke Insights, to help with this important research.

Keep an eye out on Provoke Insights blog for the next part in this series or sign up for our newsletter here.

Know Your Target Audience Through Research
15 Nov 2016

Written by: Rachael Ryan

Have you ever been to a children’s birthday party when an adult gives one child some attention, then before they know it, every child at the party is vying for that adult’s attention? But the adult no longer has any time to give to any child because there are so many kids looking for it – in the end, no one gets attention and the adult goes back to conversing with the other adults.

That’s the world today! You’re the adult and brands are the children. We gave our attention to marketing – once or twice, maybe a couple of hundred times – and now every single brand is vying for our time and attention. The more brands compete for our attention, the less time and attention we have to give.  As a result, we need brands need to more efficiently reach their customers.

There are more barriers than ever between you and your target audience. There are more channels from which to get information out there, there are an increasing number of social media channels, more apps, more news outlets, and more television series on more television streaming websites and TV channels, more adverts and more messages trying to be transmitted. All of this makes it even more important for you to understand your prospects and customers.

So how can you go about understanding your target audience?

Research, research, research! If you know nothing about your target audience in this day and age, you need to start researching. Research is the only means of finding out who your target audience is.

Find out your audience’s demographic – this is limited in its potential to present the motivations for buying but it will allow you to begin to form a picture. It’s limiting because it doesn’t tell you why – it tells you who the customer is (i.e. gender, age) and where they are but you’re missing the why and the how.

Straight off the bat, you need to understand your consumer’s goals. Why is your consumer buying your product? How did your consumer get to your product or service? Understand the problem or desire that your audience may have that will lead them to your product. In order to do that, you need to research the audience – research those who will be in the market for your product or service.

You might be thinking, that’s all well and good – but how can I get all of that information? Well, a survey will provide you with the answer. Research can help you determine not only the whowhere and what but more importantly it can resolve the mystery of why and how! Not only that, it will also ascertain which segment of your audience will invest the most in your brand.

Segment your audience through research. Divide your audience into segments and provide content specific to them. Make sure your content is consistent, shareable and of a high quality. Your marketing won’t get any attention unless it’s worth the audience’s while – don’t offend your target audience by contending for their attention via poor quality content. I can assure you no one will give you attention the next time you contend for it!

Choose how to engage your audience wisely. Where do they get their information? If your audience doesn’t listen to podcasts then don’t choose that as your means of communication with them. If they ordinarily read blog posts that they see on Twitter then don’t focus all of your attention on Snapchat.

Be true to your brand. Finally, we live in a world filled with skeptics; always remain honest and true to your brand. Consumers today are quick to flag when they are being fed nonsense and drivel – it will do more damage to your brand than good if you try to get their attention with content that has a spurious link to your brand. Be sure to remain authentic. That way, you’ll become someone that your audience trusts and wants to invest in.

Want to learn more about your customers? Check out Provoke Insights article  Four Ways to Better Understand Your Consumer. Also, you can sign up for our newsletter here.