As marketing professionals we must know who is going to be the most likely to be interested in our message in order to get the exposure we need. Tools like Google Analytics help us to understand what is the most popular or in high demand on our websites, but they don't give you as much insight about your target market as these resources can:

Quantcast

This is a free service that gives you essential demographic information. You get to learn about the gender, age group, interests, average income, and educational level of your audience. Sign up for a free account to begin tracking must see details about your audience. When you first install the tracking code, it takes some time before the demographic information is displayed, but the wait is well worth it.

Social Media Advertising

When you decide to step out and reach out to others who don't already like your social page you tend to learn a lot about what your audience likes and doesn't like. Facebook and Twitter advertising allows you to target posts to people based on the age, gender, and more importantly their interests. Most likely you already have a pretty good idea of what their interests are, but when you advertise you have even more insight than what social analytics will tell you. You get to see which groups give you the most response, the topics that perform the best and spread like wildfire. It comes at a cost, but knowing as much you can about your audience only serves you in the long run. 

Surveys and Polls

Curious to know what your audience wants? Try simply asking them with a short and to the point survey or poll. There is nothing better than getting information straight from the source. Most people are actually very willing to give you their feedback. If you want want to entice more people to participate you can always offer a discount or offer for their participation. Easy ways this can be achieved is by adding a poll to the sidebar of your website or you can can send them a survey invite via your newsletter. You can use free tools like Survey Monkey and Google Forms can even be utilized for this purpose.

Step outside of the analytics tools box to gain a deeper understanding of who your audience is. With this insight you will be a more effective marketer because you will know what makes your audience tick.