Updated: Sep 24, 2019
“Why do I need to define an audience?”
The answer is simple. In order to lead a successful marketing campaign, you have to understand who you’re marketing to. Knowing who your target audience is can help determine where the best place to market to them is, and knowing this could save you big bucks!
Not everyone is your customer. Do I need to say it again? Not everyone is your customer! If you're selling a baby product, you may not be looking to market to those who don't have children. If you're selling a service geared towards those in their 20's to 30's, you don't want to waste your hard earned money on marketing to everyone from 13 - 65+. Understanding this can save you money and help to develop a marketing strategy for success.
When we look at social media, younger demographics are spending more on Instagram than let’s say Facebook. If you’re trying to sell a product to 18-year olds, you need to understand what interests 18-year olds, what the best platform to market to them on is and you need to look at historical data. Sounds like a lot, huh? Trust me, it’s not as bad as it sounds. One of the biggest pitfalls business owners face in marketing is going with their “gut feeling” or not doing their research. This hour or so researching your audience could save you money.
Let’s start by defining goals, because until you set them you won’t really be able to identify who your target audience will be. If you’re happy with how your business is performing and you are not looking to expand, well, you likely wouldn’t be reading this blog. Growing is stepping out of your comfort zone and growing past the routine. Don’t get me wrong, routine isn’t bad, but it can also cause your business to become stagnant. Chances are likely that if you’re still reading, you’re looking to improve your marketing skills and would like to grow your customer base.
Delving further into your growth goals, will help give you a clear picture of who you should be marketing to. This can be broken down into 3 categories:
1) Who are your current customers? a. Age, location, gender, interests and what technology they use for browsing are among the biggest categories to research. 2) Who would you like to sell to? a. Are you hoping to broaden your business to a different age group? Or is your product tailored towards one gender over the other (i.e. ladies clothing, makeup, etc.) 3) WHAT IS YOUR COMPETITION DOING? (You don’t need to reinvent the wheel!) a. Who are they selling to? b. Who are they marketing to? c. What strategies are they employing to make them successful? (i.e. social media, billboards, flyers, etc.)
Once your three categories have been determined, you can then make the determination on where the best place to reach that audience may be. Perhaps some well-placed literature at a community center, maybe a social media advertisement would be ideal for your audience. The next step would be to draft a target market statement. A vegan bakery would not target everyone but might use the interests of their shoppers to help shape their marketing strategy. For instance, they might choose to run a social media advertisement that targets specific demographics including those in the local area and with interests in vegan, organic, gluten-free to name a few keywords.
Don’t let your business grow stagnant. Proper research and a little innovation will take your business far. Not everything will work. Don’t let this discourage you. Finding what works for your business will take some trial and error. Finally, don’t give up. You may not find immediate success, you may get frustrated that your marketing efforts aren’t bringing in new customers as fast as you’d like, don’t let that be what makes you give up. Not everyone has time to do the research and create a target audience let alone to go through the trial and error of finding what works. You don’t have to do it alone. Pendragon Consulting can help you discover your target audience and assist in determining the best method of marketing to them.