A clear picture of your target audience lays the foundation for all of your marketing efforts. Most businesses – big or small – can’t afford to target everyone. Taking the time to define and get to know your ideal customer will help you build a more efficient, productive business by enabling you to:
- Target the people most likely to buy your product or service
- Identify which marketing strategies will be most effective
- Develop new products/services to meet their needs
If you’ve ever described your target audience as “anyone who will buy” your product, consider doing some research and narrowing your focus. Then, you can create buyer personas that represent your typical customers. These personas provide your entire team a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs – and how to best meet them.
How to Define Your Target Market
So where do you start? Taking the time to think through your answers to the following questions can help you create a clear picture of your target audience. You want to learn as much as you can about who they are ( like age, gender, location, occupation, etc.) and what motivates them (such as attitudes, values, lifestyles). Remember to keep an open mind as you work through this process – you might be surprised at what you learn.
Who are you existing customers?
The best place to start is with your existing customers. Why? Because they’ve already bought from you! Who are they? Where are they from? How did they find you? Why did they choose your product? Your goal is to learn enough about that them that you can start to look for more customers just like them. If you don’t already have this kind of information available, consider an online survey or reach out via telephone. Let them know why you’re interested and consider an incentive, like a coupon or discount, for those willing to participate.
Who is coming to your website?
Analyzing your website traffic can provide insight into who is searching for products like yours. Thanks to Google Analytics, you can learn a lot about your website visitors, including their demographic information, how they’re finding your website, and what they’re searching for. Combine this hard data with what you know already about your existing customers and a picture of your ideal audience should start to come into focus.
What motivates your target audience?
Answering this question is a little trickier. You’ve already learned a lot about “who” your ideal audience is. Now, you’re turning your attention to “how” they think and “why” they are buying. What do they value in a product or business? How does your product help meet their needs? How do they communicate? Learning about the attitudes and values of your target audience can help you tailor your messaging and deliver it when and where they need it.
Start by searching online for research others have done about your audience. Look for blog posts and forums where your audience participates and hang out. You’ll learn a lot about their opinions and attitudes by listening to what they talk about. If you still don’t feel like you have a good grasp on what motivates your potential buyers, consider conducting a survey to ask your specific questions.
Who are your competitors targeting?
Finally, take some time to analyze your competitors. Who are they targeting? How are they communicating their message? Your goal isn’t to directly compete with them, but to determine if there is an overlooked niche that you can satisfy.
Get to Know Your Target Audience Today
While many smaller businesses fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone, taking the time to define your ideal customer will help you prioritize your marketing efforts and communicate effectively about what you have to offer. And that means you’ll generate more business. While this process take time and energy, it’s worth the effort.
If you’re not sure where to start or if you’re not sure what to do now that you’ve collected your data, EmoryDay can help. Our marketing experts can help you make sense of your data, so you have a thorough understanding of your target audience. Contact us today to learn more.