How to Understand & Find Your Target Audience

Written by Dario Hudon-Verrelli
Written by Dario Hudon-Verrelli
Written by Dario Hudon-Verrelli

Digital Marketing Strategist | Marketing Lecturer at Mount Royal University | Co-Founder of Work Nicer Coworking

In This Article ...

As you can imagine, we come across a lot of content meant to help marketers like sound bites & listicles focus on hacks rather than the important pieces of marketing, such as your target audience and how to find them!

You’ve seen them, listicles with vague points like, ‘be more creative’, ‘try video’, ‘mobile content is king’, all extremely obvious points that leave you wondering where the value is. Then there’s the other extreme. Content that dives into the deep end of Facebook Ads, written by marketers trying to ‘hack’ it for their greatest return all while using terminology that leaves you feeling overwhelmed at best.

So where’s the middle? Where’s the foundation that everything else is built atop of?

The One Question

There’s a question that all marketers will ask themselves prior to building a marketing strategy, and it’s the thread that untangles everything else. Who is my audience?

The social trends of audiences dictate more of our success and failures than the slight change in automated or manual bidding selections and though this may be a bold statement, all marketers will agree that each audience they market to requires a unique approach that once identified, is the difference between success and failure.

Audiences are the first piece of the puzzle we work on, the most important R&D that lays the foundations for all other efforts. Without understanding them, we’re wasting our client’s time & money.

It’s very simple

How Do I Learn More About Your Target Audience?

Understanding who your target audience is starts with a little bit of imagination. The first step is to build an audience persona, a character that represents your ideal audience.

It’s involves three steps.


  • Name
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Attitudes
    • These are personality traits (soft aspects) such as, are they social or private, outgoing or introverted, rebellious or loyal, flexible or stubborn? Identify 3-5 traits.
  • Attributes
    • These are the (hard aspects). Where do they live? What kind of car do they drive? Do they have children? Are the married? Where do they work? Identify 3-5 that fit.
  • Image
    • Yes, go find an image that brings this person to life.

Empathy Map

This involves their emotional makeup. The best way to connect with someone is to experience what they’re experiencing.

A User Empathy Map is used by marketers to better understand their Target Audience

Custom Archetypes

This is where you dive into the customer psyche by using a derivative of Carl Jung’s archetypal system. There are 12 archetypes that help you understanding your persona better, an example of the Caregiver archetype is as follows:

Those who identify with the caregiver archetypes are full of empathy and compassion. Unfortunately, others can exploit their good nature for their own ends. Caregivers must pay attention to looking after themselves and learning to say no to others’ demands sometimes.

Goal: to help others
Fear: being considered selfish
Weakness: being exploited by others and feeling put upon
Talent: compassion and generosity

We’ve created a quick quiz that provides a wealth of information to build out your customer, try it here:

In the end, you will have an in-depth idea of who your target audience is. Though the question many will ask is, ‘What if I’m wrong?’. Well, that’s the process of elimination which will be deduced through the success or failure of your campaigns, however, it needs to start somewhere and that somewhere is here.

What Does a Complete Persona Look Like?

Here’s an example of what a completed marketing persona looks like, it includes the following:

  1. Title
  2. Photo
  3. Context Paragraph
  4. 3-5 values, motivations, and behaviour drivers

In Closing…

Understanding your audience is what you gives you the upper hand far more than Facebook Ad ‘hacks’, far more than ‘just’ being creative. The former (Facebook) is the vehicle you use to find them and the latter (Creative) is the means by which you attract them ie. the worm, however, all of that is for nothing if you don’t hone in on who your audience is.

So go make some persona’s right now and find that audience!

In maintaining the ethics and transparency of AI use, we leveraged AI tools to enhance the insights shared here in this article. Learn more about Why the Ethical use of AI is Important to Your Business.