As marketers, we can often spend days, weeks or even months figuring out the specifics of our ideal customers. The belief is creating a perfect buyer persona will give us a deeper insight into behaviour. We use this to map a user journey, to predict audience actions, and ultimately lead us to campaign glory. For many of us, creating these personas provides the confidence boost we need to smash it with our campaigns.


Buyer personas are a crucial part of a pre-campaign game, that goes without saying. But it’s surprising how many of us act on personas before validating them. So many have failed to understand the most crucial element: what our audiences actually want. The weeks of planning and assumptions are undone by simply not taking the time to fact check!


If you try to action your campaign based on a fictional representation of an audience, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Sure, you might get lucky, but you’re probably more likely to win the lotto! Figuring out what your audience wants needn’t be difficult. The truth is, acting on assumption can damage your campaign, and just isn’t worth the risk. So here are 3 super easy ways you can find out what your audience actually wants.


  1. Engage in conversations: What they want you to know


There’s a reason ad agencies of old relied on focus groups. Because being able to talk 1 on 1 with your target demographic is the most simple and effective way to validate your assumptions.


If venturing away from the comfort of your office seems too much like hard work, fear not. With everything being so focused on social media, you can avoid the hassle of having to corner a group of people or stick them in an enclosed environment to prize their untainted opinions. Social media gives you access to billions of real people, with more opinions than you can imagine – or even want to imagine!


So find out where your audience is having conversations and join them. Show that you value their opinion, and keep in mind, people will only tell you what they want you to know.


Side note: Engaging in general conversation with your audience is also a great way to boost engagement and brand trust. You’re welcome!


  1. Observe them on social: What they want you to think


Social channels also offer a very public window into the aspirations of your audience. When you’ve identified where they are, take a look at what they are posting to their social media channels.


Look at the hashtags they use and who they engage with. Look at the type of content they post, repost, and share. Look at what gets them fired up, and commenting, and what the tone of their comments is.


Remember that what people share to their social media channels is reflective of the person they want people to see. It might not necessarily reflect who they are.


  1. Look at the data: Actions speak louder than words


Data doesn’t lie – but it is misinterpreted a lot of the time! With modern tracking data, you can see how your audience behaves, at a glance. This, in turn, can help highlight what they actually want to consume based on their actions. Be they conscious, or subconscious.


If you delve deep into the data, you can understand where your most engaged audience comes from, and what engages them most. You can see how they act and interact with your landing pages. Where they click, where they convert, and where they bounce.


Most importantly, you can use all this data, alongside a well structured A/B test to optimise your campaigns.


So follow these steps to better understand who your customers are and what they really want! It will make the world of difference. Good luck out there!