A target audience is the people who are most likely to buy your product or service and should therefore be the ones you target in your marketing campaigns.
Identifying and utilizing your target audience is extremely important because advertising to the wrong people is a waste of time and money.
After all, a little bit of advertising to the right people is often as productive as a lot of advertising to the wrong people.
Finding Your Target Audience
Trying to pin down your target audience can be deceptively tricky and overwhelming. However, breaking it up into small categories can help ease the load.
- Consider useful demographics. This includes age, gender, location, hobbies, interests, income, education level, profession, marital status, who they trust, what they read/watch, purchase intentions, subcultures, etc. Consider each of these aspects to determine where your ideal customer resides—the more specific, the better. Try creating 3-5 buyer personas with extremely specific target markets. This will help create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.
- The decision-maker vs. the supporter. Understanding the difference between the decision-maker and the supporter is key. The decision-maker is the one who ultimately buys the product or service. The supporter may not directly buy the product but heavily influences the purchase. For example, gift receivers and children reside in this category. Targeting both these demographics is useful, but it’s important to understand which one you’re reaching.
- Research your current customer base. Usually, your target audience consists of people already buying from your business. Send out surveys and collect data on who are already your customers. Determining your competitor’s target market can also help determine your own. This will also give you insight into what your competitors are doing and what you can do to win over customers. Understanding your competitors is just as insightful as understanding your own business.
Reaching Your Target Market
Identifying your target audience is just the first step.
The next step is reaching them. This can be challenging, especially when not all people especially like being advertised to.
Infer where your target audience receives advertisements.
Use various aspects of your target audience to determine the best way to reach them. For example, if you’ve determined your target audience prioritizes their health, perhaps the best way to reach them is through websites, magazines, and social media pages promoting health.
Bring in third-party help.
Various third parties exist that can help you identify the best ways to reach your target audience effectively. For example, social media is quite adept at this. Many sites store user information for advertisement purposes, and businesses can then advertise through those sites to effectively reach their target audience.
Timing is everything.
When it comes to getting the attention of your target audience, determining the best time to reach them is crucial. You’re going to want to reach them at a time when they’ll be most likely to see it. For example, if you’re trying to reach them over email, avoid weekends because many try to avoid their emails during this time.
Determining your target audience saves your business money by helping you reach the people most receptive to your advertisements. However, target audiences aren’t everything. Don’t let it cloud your judgment and make you miss interested potential customers.