In order to have a successful business, you need to be able to identify your target audience. Doing so will allow you to craft your marketing strategies to their best effect. If you need help refining your business’ target audience or want better metrics for how your marketing is serving you, Performance Driven Marketing can help.
What Is a Target Audience?
A target audience refers to the set of consumers to which a business or organization focuses their marketing attention. This group usually exhibit empirical interest in the business’ type of product or service, and are therefore more likely to buy what the business is offering. Target audiences may be defined by many factors, including location, gender, age, income, interests, etc.
Your target audience, a more specific subset of a target market, is dependent on the service or product you offer. If you want your business to succeed, it is essential that you understand who your intended target audience is before starting your business and that it may evolve as you progress. Your marketing strategies should be based around your target audience to ensure best performance.
Strategies for Identifying a Target Audience
If you have already started a business, the likelihood that you have already considered who you want it to reach is good. However, it is vital to have a specific target audience in mind and to have means in place to track how well your marketing is received by them. To do so, here are a few suggestions.
Define Who Your Target Audience Is Not
While they say all publicity is good publicity, your budget may not necessarily agree if you spend precious business resources trying to reach a demographic that is completely uninterested in what you have to offer. Your intended audience should be defined enough that you can act on it (for example, simply saying “women” is not a very measurable audience). Narrow things down by things like age, interests, or location without constricting your audience to a group that is too niche.
Assess Your Current Clientele
If your business is already up and running, conducting research using current customers can help you see the kind of audience your business already resonates with. What kind of demographic is already buying your product or service? You can build more efficient strategies based on this information.
As people give your business their custom, ask for pertinent information, either in person or through optional surveys. Gather information such as age, location, language, income (this can be tricky), significant events (i.e. local high school graduations or sports competitions or elections), challenges unique to the area or to the demographic, stage of life (are you setting up your business in a college town and want to capitalize on it?). During this process, be careful not to interrogate your customers or spam them with surveys.
Use Google Analytics
Do most of your customers find your website through other sources? Do they access it and do their purchasing from their phone or from a desktop computer? On average, how long does a customer stay on any of your pages? This is all information that can be ascertained from Google Analytics, and the list doesn’t end there.
Google Analytics allows you to see what type of content your customers engage with the most. It can also help you see how your social media marketing is faring and if your target audience is engaging with it. What kind of audience follows the links you include in your social media stories or posts? The answer allows you to make more data-driven decisions as you plan your marketing campaigns.
Identify Industry Trends and Conduct Market Research
In addition to conducting your own research on your existing customers, it can be very helpful to examine the market research out there for the industry in general. This can help you find holes in the industry that your business can fill. Google is a helpful resource in this regard as well, especially in conducting keyword research.
Google Trends can help you see who is asking for the services or products you offer, and this can help you define your target audience. While you are in the “Related Topics” section of Google Trends, keep an eye out for “Related Queries.” These can generate subsections of your business, product categories, or even promotions. Use the “breakout” feature to see how viable each new term is.
Assess the Competition
One of the reasons a little competition is healthy is because it allows you to see what works for other companies without expending the resources yourself. Analyze who your competitors commonly sell to and how they reach their audience. Do your competitors have the same target audience as your business? Is there an audience that is being bombarded? Is there an audience or niche being missed? Are their marketing strategies working for their target audience?
Create a Target Market Statement
The goals you set for your business should be measurable and specific. Creating a target market statement can really refine your marketing strategies to serve your target audience, but you must be specific as you establish it. Incorporate the most relevant behaviors and demographic information. Your target market statement may read: Our target market is [gender(s)] aged [age range], who live in [place or type of place], and like to [activity].