Target audience characterization is a process that usually happens at the beginning of your digital product lifecycle, and it can help you better define your users and boost your conversion rates. But what exactly is target audience characterization and how do you define who is the target audience for your digital product?
Today we’re going to take a look at a few of the elements that go into the process of target audience characterization for digital products.
1. User Persona
A user persona is an archetypical user whose characteristics and goals map directly to the requirements of a bigger group of users. These personas can be developed by talking directly to users and segmenting them by various psychographic and demographic data to improve your digital product marketing; and it’s a great place to start when finding your target audience.
A simple user persona should answer the following:
- Who are you?
- What is your main goal?
- What is stopping you from achieving this goal?
Even though your users are buying or using the same digital product, they’ll each have different needs and be attracted to different things. To drill-down:
Who are you?
This is a detailed description. Something like “a B2B marketer who works for a small business”. It should sum up your persona’s perspective when it comes to deciding to buy and use your product.
What is your main goal?
The answer to this question will help you understand how your service or product fits into your users’ life. Why are they choosing to purchase it? What problem are they trying to solve through its use?
What is stopping you from achieving this goal?
Once you know who your users are and what they’re attempting to do, there’s one more step: figuring out what’s stopping them from buying your product. The answer to this question will help you do just that.
2. Empathy map
An empathy map is a tool that can be used collaboratively by teams to give themselves deeper insight into their customers. Similar to a user persona, an empathy map can represent a customer segment or a similar group of users.
An empathy mapping meeting might go as follows:
Gather your team and instruct them to bring any data, personas, or insights about the target of your empathy map. Sketch or print out the empathy map template on a whiteboard or large piece of paper. Hand out post-it notes and a marker to each team member – these will be used to write down each employee’s thoughts. Ideally, each team member should add at least one post-it note to each section of the empathy map.
These might include questions like:
- What is the user feeling or thinking?
- What are some of the user’s aspirations or worries?
- What would the people around them likely say while the user is using your product?
- What would the user see when using the product in their own environment?
- What might the user be doing or saying while using the product? Would this change in a private or public setting?
- What are the user’s pain points when using the product?
- What might the user gain from using the product?
Team members ought to speak about the points they’re writing as they stick them to the empathy map. By the end of the session, your team should have insights to share and hypotheses about your users that they’d like to validate.
3. User journey
The user journey is a visualization of a user’s relationship with a brand or product over time. They can come in many formats and shapes, but are most commonly represented as a timeline of all touch-points between a user and your product. The timeline will contain information about each channel a user will engage with to interact with an end product.
There are six steps to developing a user journey:
1. Define the scope
The scope of a user journey can be wide, looking at an end-to-end experience. Or it can be a more detailed journey that focuses on a particular interaction.
2. Know your users
This is where your user personas come in. The user journey is focused on the experience of one main user – your user persona who experiences the journey.
3. Define user expectations and scenario
The scenario is the experience that the journey addresses. It can be anticipated or real. This is also the point where you define what expectation your user persona has about the interaction.
4. List out touchpoints
Touchpoints are user interactions and actions with the brand or product. It’s essential to figure out all your main touchpoints as well as each channel that’s associated with a touchpoint.
5. Account for user intention
Ask yourself: what motivation does your user have to interact with your product? What issues are your users wanting to solve when they use your product? Different user personas will have different reasons.
6. Draw the journey
Pull together all the data you have and sketch a journey as a step-by-step interaction. Each step illustrates an interaction that the persona has with your product or service.
4. Primary and secondary research
Market research typically involves two types: primary and secondary.
Primary research is research you undertake yourself. It involves going to a source to gather information and ask questions. Some examples of primary research include:
- Focus groups
When you undertake primary research you’re generally looking to gather two basic kinds of information:
- Exploratory: General and open-ended research that typically involves lengthy interviews.
- Specific: More specific, used to solve an issue identified with exploratory research.
Secondary research, on the other hand, is a type of research that’s already been gathered, organized, and published by others. This might include studies and reports by trade associations, government agencies, or other businesses in your industry.
Primary research is generally more time and money intensive but will deliver you more quantified results. Secondary research is a great source of information for small businesses that might be just starting out or who don’t have the budget for a primary research campaign.
Employ target audience characterization today
Knowing your target audience is essential to succeed with your digital product. It allows you to better target your solution and gives you valuable insight into how your users convert.
Now you know a few of the main elements that make up target audience characterization for digital products. Would you like to know more? Get in touch for consultation!