Don't Know Your Target Audience? Here's how to identify themJun 01, 2017
It is astonishing but true that many businesses do not have a clue regarding who their target customer is. Before understanding the concept of target audience, you need to know what branding means. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organisation, product, or service.
Defining your target group is the first step of brand building. Without knowing who your target customer is, brand building can be challenging. Narrowing your target group down will allow you to create smart and effective marketing material.
To build a solid foundation for your business, first identify your typical customer and tailor your marketing pitch accordingly.
Focus on your Target Group
You cannot be everything to everyone. If you try to be, it will hinder your marketing efforts, not let you focus, and ultimately will harm you, not help you. Having a broad target group does not help you grow your business.
Have a niche and you will not end up working harder than necessary to market your brand to everyone. Remember, smaller is bigger. Build your niche off of your interests and your own story. Be interested in what you are providing to your target customer.
Ways to Narrow Down your Target Audience
Targeting a specific group does not mean you have to exclude people who do not fit within your parameters. It simply means that your marketing efforts and budget will be focused on those who are in your market. It is your audience that decides if what you are creating is hitting the market.
Segment your audience by demographics and learn their similarities and differences. This lets you target certain aspects of your audience’s attention. You need to learn what appeals to them to adapt your marketing efforts to match their interests.
Keep these factors in mind –
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital/Family status
- Ethnic background
Any demographics you claim are mere semantics unless you are intimately familiar with the psychology of your target customer. Apart from demographics, you have to remember the psychographics. They are the more personal characteristics of a person, like –
Determine how your product or service will fit into the lifestyle of your target customer, how and when they will use your product, what features are most appealing to them, and what media do they turn to for information.
Do not make assumptions about your target market. Craft a customer persona, which is basically a fictional character who exhibits all the traits an average member of your target audience is expected to have.
Solving the problems of your Target Audience
Learn about your target group as a whole, and what they may be looking for. What you want is for your product or service to be a solution to an overarching problem. Analyse your product or service and create a list of problems it could resolve.
Write out a list of each feature of your product or service. List the benefits each provides. Then make a list of people who have a need that your benefit fulfils.
Be the answer to the wants of your target customer. That is how you need to market your product.
- What makes you unique?
- Why should your target customer use your product or service over one of your competitors’?
- What sets you apart?
Answer these questions and you are on your way to building a brand that you can market.
Researching your Target Audience
Look at your current customer base. Find out who your current customers are and why they buy from you. Finding common characteristics and interests will tell you which ones bring in the most business. It is very likely that other people like them would benefit from your product or service.
One great strategy to learn more about your target group is to conduct one-on-one interviews, over the phone, in person, or online. Ask open-ended questions and avoid asking leading questions that unfairly influence the answers your customers provide. Your data, thus, gets manipulated. Encourage people to speak their minds and share their feelings.
Social media is one of the best and simplest tools to research your target market. Find out what people are saying about your company, check your mentions or search your company’s name through the platform’s search function.
Analyse who else your target group is following and get an idea of the kind of people, businesses, or topics your target customer cares about or finds interesting. Find out who is linking your content on social media and you will have a better idea of what performs well with your target audience.
Check out who your competitors are targeting and who their current customers are. It is not always wise to go after the same market. Probably you could find a niche market they are overlooking.
Evaluating your Decision Regarding your Target Audience
Once you have decided on a target market, consider these questions –
- Are there enough people who fit my criteria?
- Will my target group really benefit from my product or service? Will they see a need for it?
- Do I understand what drives my target customer to make decisions?
- Can they afford my product or service?
- Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?
You do not want to break your target down too far. You can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message for each niche should be different. The hard part is defining your target audience. Once you know who you are targeting, it is easy to figure out what marketing messages will resonate with them and what media you can use to reach them.
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