Who is to going to buy your product or use your service? This is the question you need to answer so that you know how to get your brand out there and noticed by the right people. One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is trying to appeal to everybody. The marketing strategy is too general and consequently unappealing to everyone. A business needs to hone its strategy so that it appeals to the needs and wants of its target audience.
What is a target audience?
Your target audience is the group of people with whom you will share your message – namely, the advantages and benefits of using your product or service.
In order to craft the benefits in a way that will appeal to your target audience, you need to think about the following:
1. What problems do the people in my target audience have?
2. How do they go about trying to solve those problems?
3. How will my product or service provide the solution they are looking for?
If you can answer these questions in as much detail as possible, you will understand your target audience and find it much easier to talk directly to them. A personalised message provokes a more emotional response in a potential customer and is much more powerful in persuading them to act. Your customers are happy because you have solved their problem and you are happy because your tailored marketing approach has seen an increase in sales by up to 20%!
Now, finding and understanding your target audience takes a fair bit of effort on your part and it can be tricky knowing where to start. Here are some steps to help you on your way:
1. Establish these categories of attributes: Demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioural.
Let’s look at each of them:
This information includes details such as the age, gender, education and qualifications, income, ethnicity and marital status of your customers.
With this data, you can start on a basic level to communicate with your customers. For example, your product or service may target females aged between 18-24 who are likely to be unmarried and in the process of obtaining a tertiary qualification.
Where do your customers live? In cities or in rural areas? Where a person lives influences the sorts of problems and issues they may have and the resources they have at their disposal to solve them.
Looking at this information will help you achieve a deeper understanding of your customer. Answer questions such as:
• What are their interests?
• What hobbies might they have?
• What opinions would they have about major issues?
• How would you describe their self-concept? That is, their self-image, self-esteem and ideal self?
• How important is family to them?
• What sort of house do they like to live in?
• How do they speak? Do they use formal language or slang? Do they swear?
• What are their goals?
• What are some of their problems?
• How would they feel before engagement with your brand?
• How would they feel after engagement with your brand?
This is where you look at how your customers make their purchase decisions. This area can be incredibly complex and involved, but on a basic level it is important to consider questions such as:
• Do your customers prefer online purchasing or in-store purchasing?
• How much research do they do before they make a decision to purchase?
• What factors do your customers weigh up when making a decision to purchase your product?
• What benefits of your product or service are most important to them?
• Do they typically like to try out different products before making a decision to stick with one?
• How do your customers use your product or service and how often do they use it?
2. Analyse the data – don’t just make it up
Sometimes your assumptions about your target audience may not be entirely accurate, so it is important to use hard data to identify exactly who they are and how they behave. Tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook and Instagram Insights can help.
3. Create a detailed description of a customer – even give them a name and find an image of them!
Describe your customer like a character in a book. Name them and find an image or photograph of someone who matches what they would look like. It might be helpful to think of someone you actually know who would benefit from your product or service.
4. Pretend you’re in conversation with that person
Now that you have that person in mind, how would you describe your product or service to them if you were having a conversation with them? What features and benefits would be important to them? How would you encourage that person to give your product or service a try?
It might feel strange, but you could have this conversation out loud and record yourself. Then you could play it back and transcribe it and voila! You have created written marketing material that speaks directly to a person within your target audience.
Talk to us! Getting into the nitty gritty of this sort of stuff is easier and much more fun when you work with people on it. There is a lot to think about and it can be a little overwhelming. We will help you break it down and conduct the right research so that you know exactly who your target audience is and how to market your product or service so that they are persuaded to buy it!