What is Audience Profiling? Understanding Your Audience to Boost Your Growth

Audience profiling is the process of getting customers' data and segmenting them into groups with similar behaviors. The objective is to know your audience better to create personalized campaigns and increase results.

Updated: May 20, 2022
What is Audience Profiling? Understanding Your Audience to Boost Your Growth

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Along with content marketing, audience profiling is becoming more relevant every day. 

That’s because today’s consumers are bombarded by marketing messages. In 2020 alone, it’s estimated that Americans encountered somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 advertisements each day.

It’s vital for businesses to adapt to changes in the digital landscape to reach the right audience at the right time. 

The most effective way to do this is through audience profiling — the central topic of our blog post. 

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    What Is Audience Profiling?

    Audience profiling is a powerful method for defining precisely who your ideal customers are. 

    It’s the process of unlocking your audience by analyzing consumer behavior across multiple touchpoints and platforms.

    Grouping potential customers into segments that all share similar behaviors enables you to create targeted marketing campaigns. 

    And campaigns built around each segment of the market are known to optimize success and improve personalization.

    Audience profiling incorporates data mining and statistics. Using this data, you can then answer questions like:

    • Are we targeting the right audience?
    • How does our audience perceive our brand?
    • How does our audience interact with our brand?
    • What does their average day look like?
    • What social networks does our audience engage with?
    • How does our audience go about making purchasing decisions?
    • What does our customer journey look like?

    You can then drive highly targeted campaigns that will resonate with your customers with the answers to these questions.

    What Are the Four Stages of Audience Profiling?

    Audience profiling involves four stages, each of which is crucial for businesses to understand their audience and achieve maximum growth. The four stages are:

    1. Segmentation

    Instead of trying to reach an entire market, audience profiling is a marketing tactic used to focus resources on a defined market segment.

    Segmentation involves dividing customers into specific demographics. These segments are based on factors such as age, gender, income, family structure, ethnicity and location.

    Segmenting the market into a common variable enables you to use time and resources more efficiently.

    With segmentation, it becomes easier to personalize campaigns to appeal to the needs of that targeted segment of the market.

    2. Messaging

    Defining segments helps establish meaningful relationships with you and your customers. 

    It also develops trust and confidence in your brand. This enables you to tailor marketing messages to your audience’s needs, wants, and desires.

    The idea behind audience profiling is to identify and monitor the entire customer journey. It allows you to get to know your customers better and tailor marketing messages accordingly.

    As a result, you can create relevant content that speaks directly to them.

    3. Engagement

    As with any marketing campaign, tracking the customer journey throughout their path to purchase is invaluable. 

    This allows you to understand precisely where and when the customer stops engaging with you. 

    In addition, insights like this will enable you to change up your message by retargeting them with more relevant messaging.

    4. Measurement

    You can’t adjust your marketing tactics effectively without measurement — it is critically important to track your results. 

    Quantifying and qualifying your reach allows you to fine-tune your approach to ensure the success of your marketing strategy.

    Why Is Audience Profiling Important?

    Knowing your audience is the difference between marketing campaigns that deliver a healthy return on investment (ROI) and ones that do not. 

    Without audience profiling, you risk embarking on marketing campaigns to consumers who aren’t your ideal customers.

    Vitally important for any marketing campaign to be effective is to speak your customer’s language by addressing their needs, wants and preferences. 

    This is what audience profiling delivers:

    Identifies Consumer Behavior

    With the help of data mining, you can now track consumer behavior on a massive scale. 

    Within seconds, access to this data allows you to build accurate audience profiles and cover every aspect of your customer’s path to purchase.

    It’s a way to know your audience’s age, gender, income, location, along with attitudes, lifestyles and interests. 

    Enables Personalized Marketing Campaigns

    With valuable data at hand, you can drive personalized campaigns that appeal to specific groups. 

    Developing this level of understanding through audience profiling and segmentation, it becomes easier to shape messages that resonate with your audience.

    Creates Loyal Customers

    Audience profiling also helps you build brand equity and create loyal customers. 

    When they receive personalized campaigns, they identify with your brand, and you become an advocate for their individual needs.

    By serving a segment in this way, you are more likely to do business with these customers for an extended period.

    Optimizes Marketing Strategies

    When you gain a deeper understanding of your audience, this improves your product and service offering.

    All this knowledge enables you to optimize your marketing strategies. 

    Simply segmenting your audience according to demographics, you can get more specific in your marketing activities. This helps to clarify your marketing objectives and to optimize your budget.

    Target Audience vs Buyer Persona

    You now know what audience profiling is. But what about buyer persona and target audience?

    Although each plays a part in an overarching marketing strategy (and both can be defined by the profiling method), there are some subtle differences.

    Target Audience

    Before engaging your target audience with marketing messages that will resonate with them, you need essential information. 

    First, you must understand who they are, where they are and what they do. This involves compiling a list of demographic and psychographic traits that your typical customers share.

    With research and data mining, you can determine your target audience by examining historical data of your current customer base and researching market trends. 

    No matter how effective you think your marketing efforts are, you are not exempt from competition. 

    Therefore, it’s also helpful to conduct a competitive analysis to uncover your competitors’ customers. 

    This research will uncover their strengths and weaknesses along with what their customers are saying about them. Then, you can plan a strategic approach to your marketing efforts.

    As a result, you might determine a target audience that looks like this:

    • Gender: Males aged between 30-45 years old.
    • Annual Income: $60,000-100,0000.
    • Location: Northeast United States.
    • Interests: Business and sports.
    • Attitudes: Optimistic and ambitious.
    • Challenges: Lack of time.

    The resulting research not only determines your current target audience, but it’s also possible to develop a target audience of future customers.

    The goal is to uncover the most prominent attributes shared by your customers. 

    With this information at hand, it is possible to create a digital marketing plan to reach your target audience.

    Buyer Personas

    Where a buyer persona differs from a target audience is that they are more defined and focused. 

    A target audience represents a generic group of customers; a buyer persona dives deeper into that audience. 

    In essence, buyer personas define an individual customer.

    A 30-year-old may still be single, whereas the 45 year is more likely to be married — same target audience, two different personas.

    By creating buyer personas within a target audience, you can use this information to gain insights into your customers’ buying process.

    Within each buyer persona, you also uncover insights into your customer’s psyches.

    As part of this process, you can start with an empathy map. 

    Empathy mapping defines the emotional and mental state of your users. This process aligns your marketing objective with customer needs. 

    As a result, this helps you determine how to market to each individual persona more effectively.

    How Can Audience Profiling Increase Conversion?

    For marketing campaigns to work, it’s imperative to identify your target audience. 

    Without audience profiling, you risk casting a huge marketing net in the middle of an ocean with no fish. 

    What audience profiling does is help you choose where to spend your time, effort and budget.

    Casting a net too wide will chew up a marketing budget very quickly with limited results.

    Once you have identified your target audience, the next step is to use this information to increase your conversion rates. 

    By targeting a narrower segment of the market, it means you can personalize your message to your target audience based on your research — the more targeted your campaigns, the greater your ROI.

    Wrap Up: Understanding the Value of Audience Profiling For Your Business

    Audience profiling effectively gathers the insights your business needs to segment and profile your ideal customers. 

    Without these insights, it is difficult to understand your audience or how to reach them for maximum impact.

    Do you want more insights that will significantly change your strategies for the better?

    We have a Content Marketing maturity assessment that you should definitely check!


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