Understanding Your Target audience
A key element in the market research industry is the ability to identify and understand your business’ target audience correctly. This is essential because the feedback from your target audience informs your marketing strategy and will best angle your product or service for success. Survey participants and the data from their answers will serve as a guide, informing where to focus sales, marketing, and technology development with a huge potential impact on your company.
What is a target audience?
Your target audience should be the heart of your market research focus; what you learn from them will guide your entire survey and create the direction of the business narrative. They will tell you what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and what is coming for the future of your industry vertical, helping you to future-proof your strategy.
It is important to segment your target market to ensure the most accurate and specific results that will have the greatest impact. Ensure you have carefully outlined your customer personas and are only verifying your audience assumptions through your research. This will save a lot of time and reduce the risk of bias or skewed answers from an audience mismatch of your product or service.
Questions to Ask
There are a few general questions you can ask to determine who would make up your customer persona to inform your target survey audience. They are split into psychographic, geographic, behavioral, and demographic elements.
- What are their hobbies?
- How do they get their news and other media they consume?
- What is the age range, profession, ethnicity, gender, income, and other pertinent demographic factors that create the build of the target participant for your survey?
- How will they be taking your survey (mobile device, computer?)
- What region of the US or world are they located in?
- What are their pain points, and how does your product or service solve them?
- What are some common behaviors of this person?
- Questions that gauge aptitude, personality type, and lifestyle preferences are helpful as well.
Once you have answered these questions, do some secondary research. This can include attending events such as conventions or even online resources such as webinars or other websites. Government resources such as the department of commerce and the census bureau provide great insights into your target audience and can support your market research efforts.
How Many People Do You Want to Survey?
After narrowing down your ideal survey participant, you will want to determine an appropriate sample size to get the most accurate representation of that audience based on the general population. If it is a broad topic like “individuals who watch Sunday night football,” you aren’t going to be able to survey everyone, but you can survey a portion of that population size to get an accurate picture of their behaviors. The larger your sample, the smaller your margin of error will be. As a general rule, you will need at least 200 to 300 survey responses to provide an acceptable margin of error. Be sure to ask your research partner for the best audience sample size based on your specific research needs.
If you need help with your audience targeting, our Vision Sample tool can ensure you reach your target audience with advanced targeting and customizable features that will enable you always reach the exact respondent for your survey.
Determine your Incidence Rate
The incidence rate helps market researchers calculate the number of people they should send the survey to, as it is based on the percentage of people in the general population who meet the survey requirements. To explain simply, if you had 100 people and you were looking for people who drink diet cola, say 40 out of 100 people drink diet cola at least once per month, that would make your incidence rate 40%.
How Screening Questions Weed Out Participants That Won’t Be a Great Fit for Your Survey
In order to enhance the participant experience and eliminate survey bias/unknowledgeable answers in your market research surveys, you must include screening questions into your questionnaire.
Effective screeners help you reach only the people that you want to survey, help you save time and money because you won’t be paying for participants that won’t be able to provide applicable answers, the participant doesn’t waste their time just to terminate at the end of the survey, and you’ll save time in filtering out responses that don’t cater to your specific business needs. There are multiple types of screeners to include, such as behavioral and industry-specific screeners. Communicate with your market research partner to find which would be the best fit for your research, as you’ll want to ensure you are capturing only the most valuable and eligible insights.
Find the Right Audience with InnovateMR
Spending the time to carefully identify your target audience can be a challenging process, but it is crucial to the best return in your market research efforts. There are a multitude of methods you can apply to your market research strategy to obtain your target audience.
InnovateMR can assist you in this process from start to finish by finding the correct audience for your survey, building your survey and providing our audience sampling options to ensure that you will have a specific targeted survey with engaged participants.
InnovateMR is a fiercely independent sampling company that delivers faster answers from business and consumer audiences. As industry pioneers, InnovateMR connects organizations with market research audiences around the world to support informed, data-driven strategies, and identify growth opportunities. InnovateMR has built its reputation on a relentless pursuit of customer delight. Stop working with vendors, and start working with a partner dedicated to your success.