Guide to Precise Target Audience Analysis with Online Surveys

How to get inside customers’ heads? What strategy to build to know the audience inside out? Which product enhancement plan to choose to impress clients? These questions bother business owners and company executives daily, as understanding what your existing and potential customers want and seek is vital to have a competitive edge and be one step ahead.

Online surveys can help you get the goldmine — real and honest feedback with unpretentious opinions revealing your brand’s quality, trustworthiness, and reputation. Moreover, various surveys allow you to gather insights about your target audience so that they provide a shortcut to winning customers’ hearts and making the right adjustments to your products, services, and company culture.

This article aims to uncover the power of online surveys for precise target audience analysis. You will also discover how to define and segment your target market, build a compelling survey people want to participate in, and wisely implement the survey findings into your business strategy.


Getting Deep in Target Audience Analysis

To define your target audience, you first need to understand your entire market and then narrow it down to the particular segments of clients you want to reach. To do this legwork, focus on your business strategy and plan, and be sure to intensely scrutinize your niche, the size of your market, the product or service line you offer to customers, and your buyer personas. Various professional market analysis tools can be an excellent choice to complement this broad task and streamline the workflow. For example, a competitive research tool by SE Ranking has high-end functionality to help you understand how your target audience combs for your products or services and what makes your business particularly prominent and in demand.



Source: SE Ranking


The tool will help you examine top keywords and pages of your website as well as assist you in running comprehensive market research exposing your primary competitors and their development strategies and marketing efforts.

Once you get a clear idea of your business and industry environment, consider segmenting your target market according to some crucial criteria.

The first criterion is demographics, which covers gender, age, household income, level of education, marital status, occupation, and geographical location. The latter is significant for location-centric businesses with specific offerings and a product assortment tailored to a country or region. 

For example, a company selling hiking gear and equipment can target prospects living in mountainous areas that have diverse camping and hiking trails. However, it is equally essential for enterprises to offer their products and services to other demographics interested in and seeking those goods.

Shopping behavior is the second segmentation criterion, as it allows for learning about customer shopping habits, sensitivity to marketing activities and product pricing, impulse purchases, product selection patterns, purchase frequency, and more. 

To give you an idea, an electronics manufacturer releasing a new line of smartphones can benefit from behavioral segmentation by providing the product line in different price ranges to cover clients who want to save their money and those who prefer to buy premium and luxury devices.

Then consider customer psychographics to help you identify your target audience’s values, interests, traits, hobbies, attitudes, and lifestyles. This segmentation provides a hefty list of things to perceive about your customers’ everyday living, so you can understand whether they work remotely or in the office, the frequency and style of their vacations, their approaches to routine duties, etc. 

For instance, a travel company can utilize psychographics to make more accurate offerings to clients, such as providing spa-oriented peaceful destinations to those who prefer to rejuvenate and relax on vacation while suggesting adrenaline-powered and adventurous packages to thrill seekers, etc.

Additionally, pay attention to business-to-business or B2B segmentation, which refers to segmenting the audience, a.k.a. customers’ companies, by annual revenue, the number of employees, business location, industry, company size, and structure. To illustrate, a human resources training and consulting company can implement B2B segmentation to provide aligned HR solutions depending on customer business size and employee count. Thus, corporations with massive workforces and startups with few employees will get professional assistance tailored to their different needs.


Define Your Audience

Check out this list of criteria for target audience analysis just in case you need a quick reference to evaluate your market.

  • Demographic criteria: age, gender, household income, education, marital status, occupation, ethnicity, location;
  • Behavioral criteria: consumer purchase habits, product selection patterns, brand loyalty, affairs or circumstances impacting purchasing decisions, expected product or service benefits;
  • Psychographic criteria: personal traits, lifestyle, values, hobbies, attitudes;
  • B2B criteria: business size, industry, structure, annual revenue, number of employees, location, and company growth stage.


How to Create an Ideal Survey

To create a valuable online survey that is information-driven, you should follow the three C’s rule, be clear, concise, and communicative. If your survey takes little time to complete, has straightforward and topic-oriented questions, and is sharpened to attainable business goals, you will surely gain relevant responses that can be turned into lucrative enhancement strategies.

Start by Asking the Right Questions

Reasonable and relevant questions are paramount qualities of a good survey, and therefore writing good survey questions requires time and effort. Moreover, different types of surveys demand different questions to bring accurate responses and pique respondents’ curiosity. The essential question types are as follows: 

Multiple Choice Questions

Questions with multiple answer choices allow respondents to select an option from a list of predefined answers. These questions are the most popular for surveys as they ensure a simple survey-taking experience and provide clean data for target audience analysis.




Open-ended Questions

These questions don’t have pre-made options for answers, entitling survey participants to type their answers into the comments box. Although they provide more meaningful data, such questions should be balanced as they can overload the survey and complicate the analysis of responses.




Rating Questions

Rating scale questions are survey helpers that gauge customer opinions and experiences. However, to get accurate responses for such questions with numerical rating scales, consider adding some context to help participants understand the value of the scale numbers.




Likert Scale Questions

Also known as Agree/Disagree or Satisfied/Dissatisfied questions, they provide a range of answer options, from strongly agree to disagree strongly, to gauge customer attitudes and comprehend the feedback.




Demographic Questions

Such questions aim to gain an understanding of customers’ backgrounds so as to interact better with them. Demographic questions also need balance as having too many questions in the survey may seem biased or touchy for respondents, which can affect the survey-taking process.




Matrix Questions

Matrix questions are great if you have multiple questions with the same options for answers for each question in your survey. Even though these questions can help reduce the content of the entire survey, keep them brief. Otherwise, participants responding on mobile can face problems answering such questions.



Combine these essentials wisely to create a pleasant survey with a logical flow of questions that help you get information on customer demographics, brand perception, satisfaction level, feedback, buying behavior, and product or service usage.



Choose the Right Survey Creator to Make the Job Easy

Even though surveys are indispensable tools for collecting relevant data directly from your customers and employees, there are other more crucial elements of a business strategy. Business owners and their teams need to handle a range of essential processes daily, and therefore spending too much time on designing a survey from scratch is an imprudent decision. 

Delegating your survey design, distribution, and data collection to online survey-making tools can save you time and resources that can be spent on vital things like corporate culture development, product enhancement, customer experience refinement, etc. However, a broad selection of such tools makes it hard to decide on the most suitable option, evoking frustration and inefficiency, especially if you pick an alternative with poor functionality. Hopefully, the following features of an ideal survey maker will help you to narrow down your choice.

Easy-to-use, Intuitive, and Drag-and-Drop Interface

A survey maker should take over the techie survey creation process, only leaving you with the customization part. So, it is essential to pick a user-friendly tool that allows you to omit the coding job and personalize your survey by dragging and dropping questions and adjusting the layout design.

Responsive, Fully-editable Online Survey Templates

Keeping a logical flow of questions, using appropriate question types, and maintaining a neat survey structure are the pain points when building a survey. They can drive the entire company crew nuts and are very time-consuming. 

Versatile pre-made online survey templates can help to address the elephant in the room and speed up survey-making. A good survey maker usually comes with a collection of pre-made designs on various topics and goals, and all you need to do is to customize questions according to your branding and product line.

Advanced Customization Options for Questions

A powerful online survey tool for conducting target audience analysis should certainly boast cutting-edge features for adjusting survey questions. It should enable you to choose from different question types like matrix, rating scale, open-ended questions, etc., and provide the functionality to establish logic and skip patterns to go through a chain of relevant questions that were framed depending on their previous responses. For example, dedicated surveys containing questions about marriage and children should include skip patterns for single respondents or those who don’t have kids.




Straightforward Survey Distribution

Online survey makers carrying easy and seamless survey distribution through multiple channels like websites, social media, or emails are goldmines as they allow you to bring your survey to the masses in just a few clicks. You just need to choose the most suitable survey layout to send via email, embed it on your website, or copy the generated link to share your survey on social networks.

Profound Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting

To facilitate survey response collection and examination, you should choose survey makers offering related features on automating data gathering, in-depth information analysis, formulating clear statistics, and producing enhanced reporting. Moreover, opt for survey-building platforms providing simple data export that will help you to share survey results with your company management.

Cutting-edge Privacy, Collaboration, and Integrations

A reliable survey creator should ensure security by encrypting data and providing the opportunity to anonymize responses. Furthermore, such a feature as creating invitations to team members is also a great advantage allowing you to designate collaborations on building different surveys for more profitable and consistent outcomes. 

Besides, multiple integrations with CRM systems, content management systems (CMSs) and supplemental data analysis, customer support, file management, lead generation, productivity, project management, email marketing, team collaboration, marketing automation, and other software also contribute to an excellent online survey maker. It provides flexibility and convenience as you can seamlessly carry out various data transfers and automate several workflows.




Eventually, the ideal survey maker is a comprehensive platform featuring simplicity, beautiful ready-made survey designs, advanced customization options, state-of-the-art data collection and target audience analysis possibilities, spacious data privacy, and seamless integrations. All these features contribute to providing a smooth and fruitful survey creation experience.



Things to Make a Survey Effective

Effective online surveys help to yield insights, engage participants, and improve business processes and decision-making. Whether you survey to measure customer satisfaction, evaluate your new product, understand employee pains, etc., you should go the extra mile to make your survey sufficient. Below you will find things that will help you pave the way to a successful survey.

Strive for Balance in Question Types and Answer Choices

Choosing between a wide range of survey questions and answer options may evoke bewilderment and fatigue. You surely want your online surveys to look smooth, so try to find harmony and balance in selecting and arranging survey questions and answers. For example, consider using more close-ended questions in a checkbox or multiple-choice format, as they refine the look and feel of your survey and provide a sleek experience to participants without encumbering the survey form.

On top of that, make sure your answer choices don’t look biased and clearly cover various options. To request honest opinions, you need to provide honest answer variations without overlooking those that can spoil your statistics of positive feedback.

Aspire to Perfect Timing, Relevance, and Simple Wording

According to the National Institute of Health, a survey containing 20–30 questions should last at most half an hour. This should also go for surveys conducted considering in-depth research on a particular topic or concern.

However, online surveys to gather feedback, assess consumer shopping behavior, measure employee satisfaction in the workplace, or any other business-related survey should have fewer questions and take less time to complete. You need to respect your respondents’ time, so follow the good rule of thumb and keep all your surveys no longer than 15 minutes.

Also, consider keeping your online survey relevant to all respondents to avoid wasting their time, as a negative survey experience may affect your brand perception. Let’s get back to our fictitious company PetCos to illustrate the importance of survey relevance. So, answering questions about the dog food product line will be a complete waste of time for respondents that don’t have dogs. 

It will also affect the accuracy of survey findings. To ensure you serve relevant surveys, consider adding multiple paths to send respondents directly to the end of the survey and thank them for their time.

In addition to relevance and proper timing, pay attention to your survey’s vocabulary and wording. Avoid jargon and keep questions simple so as to leave no room for miscommunication. 

Add an Incentive to Encourage People to Take Part in the Survey

Achieve higher response rates and involve hard-to-reach people by keeping potential survey respondents’ eyes on the prize. Various incentives like free samples, discount coupons, gift cards, cash rewards, and sweepstakes can help you capture more participants for your survey. For example, Starbucks offers survey participants special discount vouchers that can be redeemed with their next order.


Source: Starbucks


Survey Reports & Implementing Them in Your Business

The reports from collected survey responses are crucial for recapping and interpreting survey data. Proper survey reporting helps develop new, more profitable business strategies and design product updates tailored to customers’ demands, so it is essential to understand how to log, compare, and utilize the acquired reports. The following tips will help you learn the ins and outs of correctly implementing survey reporting in your business.

  • Stick to systematic logging of survey reports and save all the supporting documentation and details like the list of survey questions, survey goals and objectives, response rate, etc.
  • Compare and analyze survey reports regularly across various target audience segmentation characteristics and timeframes to track progress, make more informed business decisions, and pinpoint trends.
  • Constantly share survey results with different company departments to expand on improving customer and employee experiences, clearly understand product or service pros and cons, and create a blueprint for overall strategy improvements.
  • Utilize survey feedback to refine survey methodology, questions and answer choices, and survey design.

Actionable Impacts through Feedback

Survey feedback is a major thing to consider. It allows for acquiring in-depth insights about your customers and employees, highlighting their needs, pains, comfort zones, and general experience connected with your brand. By conducting surveys, you can define your competitors and understand their competitive advantage, dive into proper target audience analysis, and segment your customers for better reach, allowing conversions to grow and improving ROI.

Moreover, survey responses help to understand the product or service’s real strengths and weaknesses, so companies can align their goods with the current market demand leading to increased profit and better sales. Online surveys offer hints to improving your customer journey and facilitating business processes as you obtain precise data on your current gaps and sensitive touchpoints. 

As a result, you transform your business operations and nudge them toward a better ROI, increased profit, and exceptional business performance.



Target audience analysis is a crucial part of business development strategy. And relevant online surveys created with proper tools, having accurate timing, and featuring the right questions can become your number-one helper for understanding your target market and acquiring authentic feedback. 

Compelling online surveys contribute to better decision-making, profound business growth, and genuine customer satisfaction. So take the tips from this guide and get started with your first survey today!

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