Before you start any business, you need to get your target audience down the path. Who do you want to serve? Who will your product/service benefit the most? Don’t worry about the rest.
-Kelvin J. Donaldson
The most important aspect of planning or creating a brand is discovering your target audience, I.e. the people who will patronize your offerings. This is certainly not the easiest phase of developing your business but it is the most important because every other thing such as marketing, verbal identity, and visual identity of a brand is done to attract and compel the target audience.
According to Seth Godin, “Everyone is not your customer.” This is absolutely true because when you are bent on serving everyone, you will end losing them all.
A lot of Brands have chosen their target audience based on different inappropriate observations like:
- They chose to define referrer groups as their target market, not clients.
- They follow their instinct and assumptions: it will be very disastrous for any brand that neglects to carry out good market research and going by mere “eye observations”
- Neglecting psychographic profiles in favor of demographics: really good targeting goes a step further than demographics, into the world of psychographic segmentation, which categorizes customers by personality, values, interests, lifestyle, and other factors.
- Targeting a market that’s too broad: Many brands make the mistake of targeting an audience that’s far too broad. The temptation here is rooted in a valuable idea: “try to reach as many people as possible”.
- Reaching people who can’t buy from you: Just because a target audience might be interested in what you have to sell doesn’t mean they’re going to be valuable. It’s impossible, and a major mistake, to target people who can’t actually buy from you.
- Targeting a market that’s too narrow: it’s also possible to target an audience segment that’s far too narrow. If you drill down far enough, you’ll eventually get an audience segment that’s too small to be relevant.
How then do you discover the right target audience?
1. Do your research:
Going by mere observations and assumptions will ruin your plans and profit in a long run. It is therefore very important to study the market before the commencement of your brand. When doing your research, don’t be tempted to focus more on demographics than Psychographics. Demographic information includes the gender, age, marital status, and level of education of your audience.
On the other hand, psychographic information (personality, values, goals and interests, lifestyle challenges, and other factors) is a sophisticated, intuitive, and often highly accurate method of understanding your customers and will enable you to craft your marketing messages in a way that will appeal much more directly than only using traditional demographics. To succeed in a tough market and keep your business growing, you need to know your customers on a demographic, psychographic, and personal level.
2. Discover and note which target market is the most profitable and that you love working with:
Having done your research through your demographic and psychographics study, you should begin to note those who are most profitable and those you love to work with.
3. Give your audience a personality:
it is a way to put your audience into the human form instead of relying on flat demographics. When it comes to advertisers or potential advertisers, the persona can be that of a company decision-maker or of the type of business with whom you’d like to work. In other words, the persona can be either of an employee in the company they represent or just the company.
4. Get the ideal location of your target audience:
After establishing personas, it’s time to develop an understanding of where your target audiences are, both online and in terms of their daily routine and media consumption habits. Does your audience utilize all social media channels, or do they skew heavily toward just Facebook or Instagram? Do they tend to read print, or do they read their news online and read their books on tablets?
5. Define the client group that is going to pay you money for your services:
Targeting customers who are either unwilling or unable to buy from you is a rookie marketing error, but one that is often made. If someone doesn’t have the money to buy from you, then you can market to them as hard as you like but no purchases will be made. The target audience can be otherwise called the “core” of your brand and if you start missing it from them, it will be a clear indication that your brand may be short-lived or won’t last long in the market. With the right target audience in place and a better understanding of how they operate, you’ll be much better able to serve them well.
By knowing your target audience, their location, how to reach them, and a better understanding of how they operate, you’ll be able to serve them well.
Do you have further questions or are you still confused about identifying your target audience?
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