Persona Building Step 1

Your Neuromarketing Guide, Step 1: Defining Your Unique Target Audience

We've shared with you the basics of neuromarketing in our introduction to this new blog series. Here we dive into the first step you need to tackle to get started with this strategy. Keep reading to learn more.

By C&EN Media Group

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Neuromarketing combines neuroscience best practices for engaging the brain with insights you will gain from your target audience, and in our previous blog post, we talked a bit about how neuromarketing helps your company and marketing strategy stand out from the crowd.

You know then that decision-making is an emotional process. The decision maker you are trying to connect with is not going to do so over graphs and data. They are going to connect with you because you have demonstrated you understand their frustration and the problems they need to fix.

You also know you need to direct your marketing efforts towards your unique target audience, but you may still have some hesitation or questions:

Is neuromarketing effective when targeting a business (B2B) rather than a person (B2C)?

Will narrowing my audience focus decrease my number of potential clients?

Who is my unique target audience? How do I find them?

Today, in our second blog post of this series, we’ll take some time to answer these questions, and then jump into the exact steps needed to start defining your unique target audience.

The Precision of B2B Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing data is collected and analyzed one person at a time, brain by brain. We also just launched our Persona Builder Guide. The research you will be doing and the interviews you will be conducting via this interactive guide will help you create your own unique data pool. You will start to see trends emerging with respect to the keywords, key phrases and emotions expressed by the decision makers you are trying to reach.

Your data – combined with neuroscience best practices on the brain-engaging power of colors, sensory elements, page design and storytelling – will bring your marketing strategy to a whole new level. We’ll be diving into personalized marketing strategies in a later blog post as well, but for now, we are focused on learning the first step, which is defining your unique target audience.

Neuromarketing in its essence is about knowing the precise combination of variables that will persuade someone to take a desired step. This step may be a product purchase, downloading an ebook or signing a partnership deal. The persuasive impact comes from knowing what is engaging to the brain, what is being retained by the brain, and what is triggering the feeling of satisfaction in the brain after taking the desired step.

You’ve likely heard about these tactics being employed in the B2C space. Good news for us, neuromarketing is effective in both B2C and B2B environments, because the brain you want to engage and the persona you want to create is that of the decision maker. In the B2C context, you are engaging with and trying to persuade a single person. In the B2B context, you are engaging with and trying to persuade the decision maker within a company who may have a whole team supporting the search for a solution.

Casting a Precise Audience Net

When you start to build a business or launch a new product, it’s almost instinctive to keep the audience you are marketing to as broad as possible. You want to bring in lots of clients, after all. The thought of limiting your audience through targeted marketing may feel scary – or even potentially harmful – to your business.

But consider that what is actually harmful to your business is the time consuming, costly and frustrating approach of creating content, putting it out there and merely hoping a few decision makers get scooped up in the net. The more potential clients you try to reach, the less personalized your content becomes, the less it impacts the brain, and you find yourself with little return on your investment. Using neuromarketing effectively requires a long-term strategy that’s focused on building an engaged community. The goal is to know exactly who they are and what solutions they are looking for.

Your target audience is not a limitation, then. It is a framework that allows you to start building a specific content calendar, create marketing assets, and engage with your audience in a more strategic way. It is the difference between merely having subscribers or followers, and building an active and engaged community.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

A target audience consists of several groups that when combined, form your complete target audience. For example, if you are a business owner in the science industry then your target audience likely contains:

  • Current clients
  • Prospective clients
  • Research institutes and academic supporters
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Strategic partners and industry peers
  • Current and potential investors

Each one of these groups contains decision makers you need to connect with through your marketing efforts. In order for your content to stand out – in a widening sea of content created and shared each day – you must be able to grab and hold their attention. Their eyes are constantly scanning inboxes, social media feeds, ads and promotional materials. You need to know exactly what the decision makers in your target audience are scanning for. Remember this:

They are scanning for solutions to their problems. They are scanning for answers to questions they have. They are scanning for opportunities to enhance their own businesses.

Your goal is to create the moment that gets them to stop scanning – and remain on your message. You only have a few seconds to reel them in, so you need to provide content that gives them the solutions, answers and opportunities they were scanning for.

science marketing silosSteps To Define Your Target Audience

Step 1

List the groups in your audience and why you need to reach each one. Get started by answering these questions:

Who are the intended targets of your marketing and outreach efforts? Most businesses are always looking for new clients, but what about your current clients? Are you reaching out to them and keeping them engaged? Are you looking for investors or strategic partners? Maybe you are looking for an influencer or need to start building a relationship with regulators?

Step 2

Order the groups according to your immediate business objectives.

Each of you will be in a slightly different place with respect to business growth, diversification, product launch, partnership development and financing. Think about each of these elements and what your priorities are.

Step 3

Working stepwise through your list, answer the following 3 questions for each group:

– What solution can only your business provide them?
– What are the questions a decision maker would have that you are best positioned within your industry to answer.
– What unique opportunities does your business provide in comparison to your competitors?

Each of these questions is a reflection of what those decision makers are scanning for. They are scanning for solutions to their problems, answers to their questions and opportunities for their businesses.

Ensuring that your content is even more specific and targeted is done by taking the research and insights another level deeper. This is where the persona becomes essential to guide your content calendar and content creation. A persona is the representation of the data and insights you have collected from research, social media metrics, website analytics and interviews. Our next post will focus on how to create your own unique personas.

A Recap

So far in this blog series we have shared with you the basics of neuromarketing and how to define your unique target audience. In the coming weeks we will also be sharing how to:

  • CREATE your own unique personas
  • DESIGN your personalized marketing strategy and
  • CAPTIVATE your clients, strategic partners and potential investors.

neuromarketing webinarIn preparation for the next blog post, creating your own unique personas, we released our Persona Builder Guide, where you can complete a target audience section and begin to answer some of these important questions. To help illustrate the effectiveness of target audience marketing, we will also include examples from within the science industry in our guide.

We also hosted a webinar to give you even more neuromarketing insights and tips with Jennifer Arnold, PhD, InnovaMap, Chuck Miller of The Market Element, and Jeff Lee, of C&EN BrandLab. Click to listen!

We can’t wait to hear your stories about the new insights gained into your decision makers and how you have already started to put these insights to work.


About the Author

Jennifer Arnold science marketingDr. Jennifer Arnold, Ph.D.
Founder of InnovaMap

Jennifer has a M.Sc. in pharmacology and a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She has over 20 years of experience in research and the biotechnology field. Before starting a neuromarketing firm, Jennifer worked for a biotechnology company and with an intellectual property law firm. Jennifer’s passions are strategic marketing, course creation, data analysis and all things neuroscience.

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