How to Find & Empathize with your Target Audience using a Free AI Researcher

Kenn Costales

From our experience helping marketers and business owners at our performance marketing agency, we've found that most of them define a target audience using demographic traits. While that's convenient, we believe that leads to a shallow understanding of the audience as you're unclear on what your customers' problems, needs, and desires are, and how your product connects to it.

Lack of deep, psychographic understanding of the customer leads to:

  • Lower conversions for clients: Marketing messages, offers and websites will fail to resonate with customers, resulting in fewer leads or sales.
  • Dissatisfied customers for clients: When folks create products and services without truly understanding what customers value, it often results in customers who are unhappy and spread negative feedback.

To truly succeed, marketing teams need a deep empathic understanding of their customers' key problems, desires, aspirations and beliefs.

Only then can they develop offerings that truly meet customer needs and drive growth. That's where tools like an AI researcher can help uncover valuable insights about your customers' pain points and needs. Here's how it works:

Step 1: Discover Pain Points and Desires in Places Where they Hang Out Online

An AI researcher tool can help you understand your target customer's pain points and desires by scouring the internet for relevant forums and review sites.

Using Mai's Web Researcher, you can enter questions using this sample template: "what problems do <audience> face? site:<forum or site name>."

For example, if you're selling swimwear, you can use this query: "what are some common problems women face when buying swimwear?"

With this query, I got this output from Mai, complete with sources:

  • Finding swimsuits in plus sizes can be difficult [1]. Many swimsuit lines do not offer a wide range of sizes.
  • Juniors and petite swimsuits may not be suitable options for women of different sizes [2]. The cuts and styles are designed specifically for certain body types.
  • Women may have difficulty finding swimsuits that hide their thighs [3]. Many styles expose more of the thigh area.
  • [1][2]
  • [3] &rh=n%3A7141123011
Video 1. Here's a video example of me researching customers of bed sheets using the Mai's Web Researcher.

This is great as the problems here are highly specific, allowing me to give specific ad angles that will resonate deeply with certain customer segments.

For instance, I can have a separate set of ads that feature swimsuits that hide thighs yet flatters their shape. We can also look to recategorize a swimsuit ecommerce website to be more attuned to body types as opposed to styles / patterns.

This goes back to our earlier two points at the start of this article: if we have specific copies, conversion rates will be higher as this will better resonate with the reader. And if we use deep customer understanding to inform our product decisions, this also leads to better customer repeat purchase rates.

Let's now look at a business example. Let's say I want to understand what are the common problems faced by customers in the sales CRM space.

I would then simply do this query: "what are some common problems people face with sales CRMs".

This is the output:

  • Some common problems people face when buying sales CRM are:
  • 1. Lack of user-centricity [1]. Most CRM platforms are tailored for sales managers and leaders rather than the end users like sales reps.
  • 2. Lower than expected CRM adoption rates [2]. On average, 53% of organizations face functional challenges while switching to new CRMs.
  • 3. Integration difficulties [3]. Integrating CRM software with other tools can be challenging and reduce its effectiveness.
  • [1]
  • [2]
  • [3]

There are two interesting insights here: 1) if we design the software not for decision-makers, but for the people doing the job, you'll get better retention rates and 2) if we focus on offering integration services on top of the software itself, we'll get better conversion rates.

Step 2: Look for other dimensions, such as desires, recommendations, thought leaders, and more

The prior step only covers pain points. Try different queries that look deeper into different psychographic areas such as desires / benefits, product recommendations, people they follow, and more.

Using the swimsuit case, here are a few examples:

  • What do people consider when buying swimsuits?
  • Which instagram influencers are known for swimsuits?
  • What are the hottest swimsuit brands in 2023?

Using the three queries above, Mai's Web Researcher gave me these interesting insights:

  • Fit. A well-fitting swimsuit is important for comfort and function. People consider factors like waist band tightness, fabric stretch, and coverage.
  • Material. Many swimsuits are made of nylon and spandex blends for stretch and durability. Some consider rash guards or swimsuit liners made of specific materials.
  • Style. People choose different swimsuit styles like one-pieces, tankinis, or bikinis based on preference, coverage needs, and type of activity.
  • Support. For some, support is crucial, especially for bust, abdominal area, or hips. They consider features like underwire, over-bust panels, or tummy control panels.
Video 2. Here's a video example using the Web Research to find trends quickly.


In summary, a great AI researcher tool like Mai can uncover deep, psychographic understanding of your customers and target audience. By using it to uncover pain points, desires, product recommendations and more, you gain the insights needed to:

  • Create highly targeted, resonant marketing messages that drive higher conversions
  • Design products and services that truly meet customer needs
  • Gain a competitive edge by deeply understanding what customers truly value
  • Build deeper loyalty by serving customers in a personalized, empathetic way.
  • Continually optimize your marketing and products based on customer feedback.

The key is to start using an AI researcher regularly - for every new campaign, product idea, or content project. Over time, you'll accumulate a wealth of data that helps develop a nuanced picture of your customers' most important concerns, values and aspirations. By serving those needs, you'll drive growth for your clients and organization.

Next Step: Sign up for Mai and access the AI Web Researcher

Mai provides an AI Web Researcher tool that allows you to uncover deep insights about your target audience. By signing up for Mai, you'll get:

  • Access to the AI Web Researcher to do queries and extract insights
  • 2000 words of free web research per month
  • The ability to save queries and insights for future reference
  • Integration with the Content Brewer for creating marketing content based on your research

To get started, simply sign up for a free Mai account at Once logged in, you'll see the Web Researcher under the "Spellbook" tab. There you can enter your first query, and start uncovering meaningful insights about your target audience.

By regularly using the AI Web Researcher, you'll develop that crucial deep empathic understanding of your customers that drives growth and success for your business.

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