Study Shows Most Marketers Don’t Know Their Audience: Here’s Why and How to Fix It


When it comes to marketing, nothing is more important than knowing your target audience.

But what if I told you that more than half of marketers are missing important information about their consumers?

In our annual SurveyOver 1,200 MarketersWe found that only 42% know basic demographic information about their target audience, such as their name, gender, and location.What information do marketers have about their audience

And, the data gap doesn’t stop there:

  • Less than half of marketers are aware of their audience’s interests and hobbies, purchasing habits, the products they are interested in buying, their purchase history, and where they consume content.
  • Only 31% know the online communities their target audience is a part of and even less are aware of the challenges they face.
  • Only one-quarter of marketers know what social causes their target audience cares about – a huge missed opportunity when it comes to conveying your brand’s values, especially when marketing to Gen ZAnd the millennium,

So why are marketers having such a hard time getting these data points?

Let’s take a look at the biggest challenges marketers face in getting the data they need and discuss some solutions to the disconnect marketers are seeing with their audiences.

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The biggest challenges marketers face in understanding their target audience

Nearly 82% of marketers say that having high-quality data on their target audience is critical to being successful in their role – but more than half of them say they are not getting the critical information.

So why is it such a big challenge for marketers to get the data they need?

The biggest challenges marketers face in knowing their audience

The biggest challenges marketers face in realizing their goals boil down to two main issues:

1. New Data Privacy Measures

data privacy rulesreducing marketers’ access to the consumer data they need. At the same time, consumers are less trusting of sharing their personal data.

As a result, marketers lose out on important data about their target audience. Shopping and media consumption habitsfor their basic demographic information.

2. Developing Target Audience

There has been a drastic change in the lives of consumers in the last few years, and a looming recessionTheir habits, attitudes and priorities are likely to continue to change rapidly.

The above two challenges are difficult to foresee because they are actively evolving as data privacy regulations tighten and unprecedented events that change consumer behavior continue.

So, what can marketers do now?

How can marketers improve their data strategy?

1. Collect First-Party Data

A smart solution to enhanced data privacy regulations like Google There is a plan to phase out third party cookiesCollecting your own first-party data.

First-party data can be collected from many sources – your website, surveys, email, SMS, your CRM, and more.

Since first-party data comes directly from your customers, it provides high-quality information about your audience and allows you to create a personalized experience for them.

2. Use a single source of truth for marketing data

Only 27% of marketers say their marketing data is fully integrated with their systems and tools, and as we saw earlier, not integrating data well can hurt marketers trying to understand their target audiences. There is a big challenge.

Disconnected marketing data is problematic because you don’t have the full context you need to make data-driven decisions. On the other hand, a single source of truth combines all the data points you have to present a holistic view of your target audience.

A single source of truth improves efficiency by making marketing data more easily accessible to marketers and their partners.

3. Keep Your Data Fresh

We talked about how consumers’ lives are changing rapidly and marketers need up-to-date data to stay updated.

The interests, habits and behaviors of your target audience have probably changed several times during the pandemic. And with a recession looming, your audience is likely to change again – so whatever data tracking method you use, make sure your data is updated regularly to track your customers in real time. Is.

Another reason you need up-to-date information about your target audience is so you can pivot your marketing strategy and messaging in response to changes your customers are experiencing.

Not only did more than half of marketers pivot in 2021, but 83% of them also PivotedChanged course 2-4 times in a year. And 20% of marketers have already pivoted in 2022 due to a potential recession, so it’s likely that 2023 will be no different.

Needless to say, you need a plan for when things go off track. When the next unprecedented event or unexpected challenge hits, will you have the data you need to adapt?

In an ideal world, you’d have all the data points you could ever want, but that’s not always realistic. So let’s end by taking a look at which data points marketers say are most helpful.

The most useful types of audience target data

Marketers state that their target audience’s interests or hobbies are the most useful data points, closely following consumers’ purchasing habits, where they consume content/media, and the products they are interested in purchasing.Which information is most useful to marketers

Basic demographic information, purchase history, and the online communities their target audience is a part of are also valuable data points.

connection problem

If you’re feeling like you’re missing important information about your target audience, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Many businesses are currently facing a crisis of disconnection, and it goes well beyond bad customer data. Read more about the challenges ahead and how your company can navigate them in our series crisis of disconnection,

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