In certain brand categories, it can be obvious who the target market is. Cosmetic companies, for example, can be sure that a majority of its target market will be women, without having to run extensive market research to verify this.
However, in other sectors such as sport, running research on what audiences are interested in can steer brands towards opportunities that might not have been realised before.
Research featured in Marketing Week reveals the audience interests around six sports, including rugby, tennis and cricket – all of which have received coverage with the Lions in Australia, Wimbledon and the Ashes currently taking place.
The study, by advertising intelligence agency Exponential, looks at the online activity of 7 million Britons and maps behaviour against 50,000 attributes to show the sectors they are interested in.
It reveals that Rugby fans are 68 times more likely to be interested in classical music, cricket fans are 44 times more likely to be interested in mortgage brands and golf fans look at content around snowboarding and winter holidays.
The study also shows that tennis has a female following with fans 16 times more likely to look at maternity wear, nine times more likely to be interested in weight loss and 11 times more likely to look at content featuring actor Robert Pattinson.
This shows that audience mapping and online behaviour can open up new avenues for targeting through advertising. If snowboarding brands targeted golf fans they may see an uplift in interest in their products.
It’s important for marketers to have an overarching idea of who the target market is for the brands they work on but it’s also important to know the interests of that target market and where further opportunities lie in other sectors – research is one way to get to know the customer even better.