Council Post: 14 Innovative Ways To Learn More About A New Client’s Target Audience

Council Post: 14 Innovative Ways To Learn More About A New Client’s Target Audience

Every agency has its own onboarding process to kick off partnerships with new client accounts. Even if an agency knows what a new client’s goals and needs are, the efforts of the agency’s teams would be hindered at every step without a clear, in-depth understanding of the new client’s audience.

To craft a truly effective strategy, an agency must glean enough actionable information and insights about its client’s target audience, and this often requires a careful and creative process of discovery. The members of Forbes Agency Council understand the challenges agencies commonly face in getting to know a new client’s target audience well enough to form a productive relationship, and below, 14 members share innovative ways to do so.

We carry out customer-oriented marketing activities and can thus start public relations without investing too much time in a rather hypothetical market analysis. A pragmatic and successful approach is to offer publication opportunities to the client’s customers—through an entrepreneurial interview series published on the client’s blog, for example. -Melanie Marten,The Coup

2. Do Case Studies With Them

Work with them to draft case studies. You’ll get to know their clients and their target audience better, and you will also be creating powerful peer-to-peer marketing materials. -Jodi Amendola,Amendola Communications

Performing a market analysis and consumer analysis is crucial to understanding a client’s audience. By getting deep into the data, we are better equipped to understand the audience. Also, it is important to note that sometimes a client doesn’t really know their audience, so data is important! -Thomas Morganelli,Centipede Digital

Crawl online reviews and social networks to conduct sentiment analysis (actually read reviews too). Do this for the client’s audience as well as competitors and adjacent services and products. Listen to phone calls. Dig into CRM interactions. Conduct surveys. Dig into Web analytics data. -Gyi Tsakalakis,AttorneySync & EPL Digital

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Google provides valuable information about a new client’s audience. Look at the search suggestions—a.k.a. autocompletes; these often tell you what searchers care about, helping you understand the audience. You can also look at the “People also ask” questions, as these directly surface the greatest concerns of the audience. Google Search Console provides rich data on where the audience is, queries, browsers and more. -Sam Michelson,Five Blocks

Outside of gathering intel from the client, we use a suite of tools to help us better understand not only their pain points and challenges but also the common keywords they use in their social media profiles, what they’re talking about in professional groups and online, which leaders and companies they follow, which podcasts they listen to and more to capture a more holistic picture. -Beth Newton,alpha | BRAVO

7. Analyze Comments And Reviews On Paid Social Ads And Amazon

An innovative way to learn about a client’s audience is by analyzing customer comments and reviews on paid social ads and on Amazon. Survey responses can be inconsistent and inaccurate because people rush through their responses or expect to be incentivized. Reviewing the comments under a client’s ads on Facebook, Instagram or in the Amazon review section will provide raw insight into the audience’s sentiment. -Geoff Crain,Kingstar Media

Once you go through the process yourself and experience what it’s like to buy and use the product or service, your ability to empathize with customers will increase dramatically. From there, several methods can deepen your understanding: focus groups, one-on-one interviews, environmental observation, social listening, surveys and more. -Eric Gilbertsen,REQ

9. Create A Questionnaire For New Clients To Fill Out

Incorporate a wide range of questions that warrant detailed, solid answers so that you know exactly what audience they are hoping to attract and are working toward the same goals. For instance, ask them what the ideal client looks like for them and use the answer to guide their marketing strategy. -Hannah Trivette,NUVEW Web Solutions

10. Look At Clients’ Social Platforms And Research Their Keywords

Marketers can learn about a new client’s audience in a variety of ways. Look at their social platforms—what are people commenting on? What are they asking? Do some keyword research for their top products or services. What do they want to know? What topics have large search volumes or a variety of search types? From these answers, you can distill new insights and perspectives on your client’s audience. -Donna Robinson,Collective Measures

Start scouring YouTube for influencer content about your client’s industry. Every industry has creators producing content. These creators have their ears to the ground, know the lingo and can provide an abundance of contextual insights that speak directly to the core audience. Become a client first, absorb the mindset, understand the value and then proceed with your research. -Bernard May,National Positions

12. Put Yourself In Your New Client’s Shoes

Visit their facilities, meet the team behind the brand and attend their trade shows and events. Hearing, seeing and listening to your client’s audience and their personal feedback is the quickest way to understand the brand and its audience and even find new audiences that you can help market to. -Jessica Kopach,The JKO Agency

Tap into previous purchase experiences that the client’s audience has already made. For example, if you’re managing an e-commerce brand that sells retractable pet leashes, go to Amazon and read the negative reviews for that product. This way, you can tap into the customer’s mind immediately, and it’s free and fast. If you learn their language, you can find problems to use as unique selling points in your copywriting. -Callum Roche,Roche Marketing Group

Gain access to historical data and see what has led people to the client’s brand/site/profiles in the past, and then look at how those users interacted and converted. You first need to make sure you are targeting the right people and getting results from your efforts. Then, look at the goal of where you are trying to go and see if your past and future align. If not, revise. -David Kley,Web Design and Company

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