How to Define Your Target Audience in 3 Simple Steps.

A big mistake you can make as a marketer is trying to appeal to the masses. Before you implement any marketing effort, there is one step you cannot skip. You must define your target audience. Below you will find answers to the most common questions when transitioning to a more targeted marketing journey and how to get started.

Why Does Target Audience Matter?

This is the foundation of a marketing plan and can be the key to your marketing success or the reason for its failure or poor performance. If you target everyone, you’re actually targeting no one. You can’t be all things to all the people. To effectively communicate and successfully meet each goal in your customer journey you must define your target audience to guide your external marketing communications.

Who is my Target Audience?

So, who is your target audience exactly? Your target audience may or may not be the end users of your product, but they are the people you plan to direct your marketing toward, in relation to your short term and long-term marketing goals. In order to communicate effectively with your target audience, you must understand who they are, their behaviors and what their needs and desires are.

How Does my Target Audience Influence my Marketing Decisions?

When developing your marketing strategy, the first step should always begin with determining your target audience, aligning your messaging to appeal to them and establishing marketing tactics and mediums to reach them.

No matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business. Meaning your marketing and strategic messaging should always demonstrate that you understand your target markets’ needs and, of course, how your product or service meets their need or solves their problem better than any competitive alternative.

With a clearly defined target market, every detail of a product or service can be tailored to their needs and desires. Every element of a marketing campaign can be tailored to appeal to their interests and emotions.  If you know how to create marketing messages that resonate with your target audience, you’ll achieve higher conversion rates, and build a more powerful brand.

How do I Identify my Target Audience? 

The key to a successful marketing campaign starts with a clear vision of your customers and prospective customers. Follow these 3 simple steps to get started on determining your target audience.

1. Identify the key benefits of your business or product.

Take a look at your core products and services and use primary and secondary research to identify who would be most likely to use them. Take a step back from your business and view your benefits from a new lens by envisioning the actual people who use or would benefit from your services and products, their emotions and why they choose your business over others. Answer these questions.

  • What problem do you solve?
  • What need do you meet?
  • What desire do you fulfill?
2. Stay objective. Analyze the data of your current customers.

Don’t fall victim to assumptions. A common mistake is mistyping who your customers are and strategizing your marketing and messaging around the wrong audience. Research is important. Data and analytics are important. Look at your current customer base and analyze their traits, buying behaviors and patterns. You may find that who you think your target audience is doesn’t match with those who actually use your products. Take these insights to create a more accurate depiction of your audience.

3. Look at your competitor’s audience.

Taking a moment to investigate both your direct and indirect competitors can reveal valuable insights and guide you on a path toward success. During this step, you must examine the shared and differing qualities of their audience as well as their messaging. By understanding how you differ can help you create a unique selling point to connect with a more refined audience and initiate a deeper connection through your targeting messaging.

Refine your target market.

Now that you have a clear understanding of your audience we will leave you with one bonus step. Narrow down the market segment you plan to target. Define the demographics of your target market to help you paint a better picture of your perfect customer. This includes gender, age, location, education and income level. Always take it a step further and get as granular as you can to understand their psychographics. Consider what influences them, where they shop, their key motivators, values and more.

The more informed you are about your target audience the more relevant and focused your marketing will be. Stay mindful that after determining your target audience and unique buyer personas is an ongoing effort. Stay agile and frequently analyze the insights available to reassess your audience and stay proactive in your marketing.

If you or your company is looking for assistance at this time, you can connect with us to learn more about our marketing and advising services! 

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