All companies want to make sure that their marketing strategy actually connects with audiences in a way that drives purchasing behavior. Naturally, carefully tailoring the process of content production and distribution begins with rigorous audience research. In the cosmetics industry, where newer, smaller brands can threaten global brands, thorough audience research can make all the difference. Today, we’re taking a look at how a French global cosmetic brand can use audience research data for strategic targeting, product marketing, content marketing, media planning, and events.

Use Audience Research to Identify The Needs of Your Brand’s Unique Target Age Range

Profiler, Synthesio’s audience analysis tool, compares the affinities and preferences of a target audience versus a reference audience. The target audience must be a part of the larger reference audience (i.e. a target audience of entrepreneurs in Tokyo compared to all entrepreneurs in Japan). This comparison allows companies to understand the unique preferences of the target audience in relation to a larger group.

Let’s look at the typical target audience profile for this leading cosmetic brand. In terms of demographics, 88% of the audience are women, and more than half of the population is between the ages of 35-44 years old

We used Profiler’s auto-generated reports to dig deeper into different categories, such as age. Here we can see that women aged 55 and above are underrepresented in this audience, meaning that marketing, ad campaigns, and product development should focus less on this population.

Note: The orange bars represent the target audience while the green bars represent distribution in the reference audience (i.e. general population).

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The proper target age range of 35 to 54 years of age gives the company essential pointers toward the skincare needs of this population

Audience Research Reveals Top Interests That Marketing Content Should Include

People who are fans of this cosmetic brand have a much higher affinity for live events and literature as opposed to games, music, and movies.

Let’s take a look at which live events generate the most attention. Fashion Weeks around the world are well-loved, suggesting that the fashion industry is influential within this population.

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Accordingly, the top brands for this audience are all fashion or handbag labels, including Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, and Chanel. Again, this information confirms the amount of attention this audience gives to fashion, while alerting the brand of potential brand partnerships that will catch the attention of this audience.

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To create content that effectively captures audiences, companies need to know the themes and visuals that interest them. Marketing content that focuses on fashion or perhaps models preparing for a photo-shoot will generate more engagement than content that only features the product itself. Another way for the cosmetic brand to appeal to its target audience is to partner up with the models who work with Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, or other brands identified above.

Aligning Your Company (And Your Product Packaging) With The Themes That Your Target Audience Cares About

According to Forbes, 52% of all US adults consider company values before making a purchasing decision. And when it comes to millennials, that number rises to 70%. That’s why companies need to keep their mission at the forefront of their branding and marketing.

We looked at the themes that fans of this cosmetic company care about: sustainability, animal rights, and spirituality

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With these thematics in mind, here are some possibilities for the cosmetic brand to start considering. It can move toward sustainable packaging and practices, while emphasizing this in its product packaging, website, and marketing materials. Or, since animal rights are another top concern, this brand can engage in animal-free testing and emphasize that in their packaging and marketing materials as well.

Inform Research and Development

Proper audience research also means knowing the exact products that your audience likes. For example, fans of this cosmetic brand are interested in fragrances, lipsticks, and anti-aging creams. With this information alone, the brand can consider further research and development of these products, or increased marketing focus.

A look at the preferred cosmetics brands for this population reveals leading competitors, like Lancome, Givenchy, and Benefit Cosmetics. It’s crucial to consider their strengths. Are they known for their fragrances, lipsticks, or anti-aging creams? How does your product compare to theirs?

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Use Audience Research to Identify Optimal Ad Placement

Knowing the media outlets where your audience likes to spend time allows you to spend your ad budget wisely. For example, we found that fans of this global cosmetic company enjoy reading Vogue Magazine, Grazia, Elle Decor, and more. Physical ads in these magazines, as well as digital ads on their website counterparts, will draw the right eyes.

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We also looked at websites and blogs frequented by this audience. Notice that this group enjoys reading Highsnobiety, a streetwear blog, and Quartz, a news website. Digital ads on Highsnobiety and Quartz are highly recommended.

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On the other hand, Buzzfeed, TED, and Demotivateur are websites that the audience does not like. (Notice the red dots under “Affinity Score.”) Audience research allows companies to pinpoint which platforms to avoid and reduce wasted efforts and budgets.

In addition to ads on news outlets and websites, it’s important to consider optimal ad placement on social media. We found that this audience has a low affinity for Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, and LinkedIn. Nonetheless, although affinity is low, the reach on these platforms are so vast that the cosmetic brand should still invest in these platforms. However, the targeting strategy must be precise. The brand can target specific pages for which the audience has a high interest, like Vogue or Tom Ford’s page.

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Audience Research Reduces Risk of Misplaced Ad Budget and Meaningless Content

Marketing is a balancing act that requires precise preparation. A well-made but poorly placed ad will not reach the right audience, while a well-placed ad with poor content is easily overlooked. So, who are the people you should target? Where and how can you reach them? What kind of themes, images, or initiatives will catch their attention? Get the answers from our newest study on audience insight and how one leading energy drink company successfully targeted a new audience.