Define Your Target Audience

Typical business owners realise that success in today’s virtual marketplace is a multifaceted process. Maintaining an SEO optimised website that functions equally well on mobile and desktop, staying on top of a thriving social media account across many platforms, consistently creating interesting, fresh, and useful blog posts are just the tip of the iceberg for today’s entrepreneurs.


Why Do Business Owners Avoid Defining Their Target Marketing Group?

If you would like to keep up with the frantic pace of online marketing, it is essential for you to be as focused and streamlined as possible. An important factor in the process of focusing is defining the target audience for your advertising. However, a significant number of business owners balk at the idea of defining their customer base.

Typically, these companies resist defining their target group because they want the door open for everyone to buy their products or services.


Why is Trying to Target Everyone a Faulty Strategy?

Even though the idea of marketing to everyone is common, it is still a flawed idea for a few reasons.

  • You are not selling to everyone. Very few, if any, products are completely universal. Whether you are selling T-shirts or tractors, just because a person can use your product, does not mean they want or need it.
  • Effective targeting connects with the potential customer making them feel understood. This helps build loyalty.
  • The people who are not a part of your target market are not forbidden to purchase your products or services. If you are a manufacturer of skateboards, advertising focused on people in their preteens through the early 20s is a good age-based target group. The same campaign aimed at 65 to 85-year-old’s will likely get you very little. But the older demographic is still free to buy from you. Perhaps they need a skateboard as a gift for a grandchild, or they are young at heart and enjoy skateboarding. A high-ranking website can (and will) get search-engine based customers without directing advertising money in the wrong direction.


What is a Good Definition of a Target Market?

Your target market is a particular group of people who share specific characteristics, making them likely to buy your product or service. These traits often include age, income, level of education, location, or family dynamic.


Customer demographics


How Do I Begin Defining My Target Market?

The first step to defining who to target is to learn about your audience. Many businesspeople believe that this is a matter of following their instincts. Unfortunately, this is not the way to go if you intend on succeeding in business. A clear and detailed understanding of customers comes from audience research.

It is a helpful strategy for you to begin the research by learning about your existing customers. You should work with whatever customer data is available to you. As you gather this information, look for trends or commonalities that set your customers apart as a group. Think about zooming a lens on a camera. If you want details, you must be willing to zero in on what you want to see. Businesses can gain useful information by looking at their current customers.


Trends to Watch

  • Customer Location – Knowing where your customers are is crucial for planned or timed advertising.
  • Age and Stage of Life – Are new parents purchasing from you often, or do you see business from empty nesters? Understanding how old and where your customers are in life helps to narrow your focus.
  • Hobbies and Pastimes – You probably will not sell much yarn to 20-year-old’s who enjoy motorsports and cricket. However, if you shift your focus, you could sell more than you ever thought possible.
  • Income Level – This information can be exceptionally helpful to your business, especially if you are marketing non-essential products. Many people can live without owning a speed boat, but nearly everyone needs light bulbs.

When you plot the trend information you have, you will be able to get a sharper picture of who is buying your products as well as people very likely to buy your products.


Fill in Information Gaps

In this age of overwhelming social media participation, a business can learn about customers by tapping into the resource of social media analytics. The largest social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) offer businesses various methods to track interaction with their posts.


Digital marketing analytics


The data goes beyond ‘vanity data’ that tracks the feel-good numbers of likes or retweets. Information gained from this analysis of your company’s social media accounts is a valuable way to learn more about who your customers are. Additionally, you can learn other valuable information such as when your social media ads or postings get the most attention and interaction or which ads your focus demographic interacts with the most.

Some businesses surprise customers with surveys at the checkout. This normally backfires and results in a cart abandoned, and a sale interrupted. If you want to try and gather information from your customers via a survey, offer them something of value in exchange for their time and information.

Consider giving people who complete a short survey a discount code good for their next purchase or free shipping on a follow-up purchase. You build goodwill, do not force anyone to comply and give them a reason to make another purchase from your site.


Determine What Problems Your Product Solves or How Your Product Improves Customers’ Lives

Understanding the impact that a product or service will have on a customer is a crucial part of pinpointing your target market. To understand the potential in your product or service, take an unbiased look at what you are offering and then differentiate between your item’s attributes and advantages.


What is the Difference Between Attributes and Advantages?

  • Attributes – An item or service’s attributes are the features which describe what the product is or how it looks.
  • Advantages – These are what your service or product gives to the consumer; how a customer’s life is better, easier, or more exciting because what you market is part of their life.

As an example, you run a car service. Telling potential customers that a friendly smiling driver in a black car with a sunroof will pick them up probably will not inspire any calls for your service. However, saying all your drivers’ display identification and have passed background checks, your company is fully insured with an excellent safety record, and you specialise in on time drop off and pick up at airports will likely get business.

Wording your postings and ads based on who you are zeroing in on and what your product can do for them, will make a noticeable difference in your ROI.


Benefits of Understanding Your Product’s Advantages

Another helpful point found in discovering the most useful or meaningful features of your products or services is that this will assist you in homing in on your target audience. Your advertising budget will make the biggest impact when you know who you are looking for and where to find them. Perhaps you sell expensive handcrafted jewellery. When you see that your product delivers a sense of luxury, originality, and affluence, you will not spend a cent on Instagram influencers focusing on teens.

Understanding your benefits that are specific enough to focus on your audience is crucial. This information allows you to place postings and advertisements in places that will help you find your clients.

For example, the following are advantages of newly constructed apartments:

  • Single floor living
  • Community knitting circle
  • Walk-in shower with handrails
  • Emergency alert cords
  • Daily tea and cards in the game room

These amenities show that your apartments are ideal for the elderly. This does not mean that a young man would not choose to live in your apartments. However, these are not the benefits the average young person typically looks for in a new apartment.

If your apartments have all of the amenities as mentioned above, but you advertise these amenities:

  • Swimming pool with a swim-up bar
  • Patio with sundeck and grill
  • New volleyball court
  • Outdoor hot tub
  • Elite fitness facilities

Younger people might be more likely to be interested in renting one of your apartments based on the benefits you highlight. However, all age groups could find these amenities useful.


Make a Concise Statement Identifying Your Focus Market

By defining your target group, you create a touchpoint for you to gauge your marketing. Having a fixed point will help you continue using a strategy that will reach your target by filtering out the peripheral distractions.

To create this statement, use the information you compiled to narrow your focus. For example, you sell and ship organic, freshly made meals. You specialise in serving vegans and vegetarians in larger cities. These customers are professionals focused on health.

In this instance, your statement that identifies your focus market could look like:

We focus on marketing to busy urban professionals who prefer a plant-based lifestyle. Our organic meals fit in animal-free diets. We ship our meals to save customers time and effort while providing nutritious and delicious meals.

Notice the example does not include information that is not pertinent to the target group. Age, marital status, and the number of children are not factors that determine if the meals are useful.


Create Ads and Place Them on Social Media Platforms

Testing the waters will help you learn how well you defined your target market. If you have no social media presence or it is vague and scattered, check the demographic information to help you choose which social media sites fit your target.


Do Frequent Rechecks

The virtual marketplace maintains a frantic pace. Be sure your customers have targeted and clear information to lead them to your door. Keeping up is not a small task. Many businesses opt to have experts create and maintain their online presence. This allows owners to focus on their businesses.