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4 Types of Data to Help Startups Zero in on a Target Audience

4 Types of Data to Help Startups Zero in on a Target Audience
The Siliconreview
03 January, 2022

The last two years have been challenging for everyone. Along with the public health implications, the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy. It has decimated countless industries, leaving many business owners with little option to shut up shop, and in extreme cases, declare bankruptcy.

However, despite being in one of the worst economic downturns in modern history, the startup scene has been booming in the US, experiencing a 24% increase year on year. Economic experts are putting this down to a phenomenon referred to as “creative destruction,” where new ideas and innovative business leaders come to the forefront to overcome the new set of challenges our global society faces.

If you find yourself at the helm of a new startup, now is not the time to get overconfident and rest on your laurels. The fact remains that 50% of startups fail to survive past the five-year mark.

With this in mind, you must do your research and laser in on your target market to be sure that you have a viable audience to whom to sell your product or service. On top of this, comprehensive target audience analysis enables you to discover the optimal engagement channels you need to prioritize when interacting with consumers, which will help to boost conversions and maximize revenue-generating opportunities.

On that note, let’s take a quick dive into four especially useful types of data that startups can leverage to zero in on their target audience and give themselves the best chance of success during these uncertain times.

1. Competitor Analysis Data

One of the best ways to gauge your ideal target audience as a startup is by looking at your competitors and analyzing their current strategies. Seeing as you will have very little data of your own, you must use the resources at your disposal to observe your rivals and figure out what they are doing right. That way, you can try to emulate their successes and hopefully avoid repeating their mistakes.

What’s the best way to do this? The type of analysis you carry out all depends on the market you operate in and where your competitors engage with their customers. With that said, it’s usually a good idea to observe their most popular marketing channels, so you can get a grasp of their current tactics.

Some of the things you can look out for include:

  • Website traffic sources
  • Ad placements
  • Keyword rankings and backlink profiles
  • Social media engagement

Using this data, you can start to paint a clearer picture of the type of consumers your competitors are targeting, giving you a good idea of where you should focus your efforts.

2. Social Sentiment Data

These days, people turn to the major social media platforms to discuss a wide variety of issues, from the food they ate that night or the show they went to watch with their friends, to the experience they had interacting with a brand or product.

Using social listening tools, you can collect this data for analysis. This allows you to gain insights into your target market, allowing you to unearth valuable information that you can use when developing your strategy. When you understand what your target audience is interested in, you are better equipped to respond to their wants and needs, putting you in a strong position to gain a competitive advantage over your competitors.

In addition, social listening can help you understand your target audience's evolving behaviors in real-time and adapt your strategy accordingly, allowing you to gauge customer sentiment about your brand and your competitors' brands online.

If you are launching a product, you can use these tools to learn what people are saying about your company. Listening to this feedback and making adjustments as needed is a great way to improve and keep your startup on track.

3. Market Research Data

As a startup, you need to understand your target market and the industry you are participating in. This means obtaining quantifying data on market size, the participants (including competitors), customer spending habits, geographic locations, and economic conditions.

Using this data, you can narrow down your target audience into buyer personas. This allows you to develop a more focused approach to your marketing efforts, which will help you to yield a better ROI on your ad spend.

Once you have an idea of the size of the market and the estimated share that you expect to acquire, you can position your entry into the market more effectively and fine-tune your product launch strategies.

4. Consumer Behavior Data

Consumer behavior data is vitally important to all businesses, but even more so to startups, since you need to understand what influences consumer buying decisions as soon as possible.

Unlike more established companies that possess the time and resources to run long-term experiments with new product lines, most startups are not usually afforded that same luxury.

This means that you need to understand how and why consumers decide on a product in your category. That way, you can fill the gap in the market and identify the products that are in demand, and those that are obsolete.

Furthermore, analyzing how people purchase products and services in your industry allows you to adapt your website’s UX/UI design, marketing campaigns, and social media strategy accordingly.

Finding Your Tribe

Successfully running a startup is a challenging undertaking at the best of times, but even more so in the midst of a global pandemic. Even though investment in new businesses is rising, entrepreneurs need to do their due diligence and use the data at their disposal to zero in on a target audience.

Not only will this help to save time and money by avoiding mistakes through marketing to the wrong consumers, but it will also enable business owners to allocate their resources more efficiently, establish and execute more effective strategies, and develop products and services that are tailored to the wants and needs of consumers.