To build a solid foundation for your business, it has never been more important to define your target audience. As the foundation for every element of your marketing strategy, from how you develop your products to the marketing channels you use to promote them, a target audience helps you identify and understand your particular niche so that you can dominate it.
No one knows how to define and understand a target audience better than online mentors Darren Ewert and Mike Dreher. With decades of experience in the business and online mentorship space, Darren and Mike of Vancouver, British Columbia, use their insider information to help reiterate the importance of target audiences for both new and growing businesses.
What is a Target Market?
What is a target market? Darren and Mike define it as is a specific group of people that you want to engage with your content, service, product, or marketing message.
While some companies might try to target anyone interested in their services, Darren and Mike explain that this target is far too general. While many may think that targeting a certain group of people means excluding others, it is actually about focusing your marketing dollars and efforts on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This strategy can also narrow down the channels, language, and information you use to connect with your audience, further customizing your message.
Focus on Demographics
The first step to identifying your target audience is understanding who is already using your products or services. Depending on the way that consumers interact with your business, you may only have a small amount of information on them. Darren and Mike explain that whatever information you are able to gather will be useful and will act as data points to track trends and averages. These data points may include age, location, language, spending power and patterns, and stage of life.
It may also be useful to consider the types of products or services that your consumers are combining if you sell more than one key product. If you have a loyal but small customer base, Darren and Mike explain it might be useful to ask for their feedback when they purchase a product, and consider inviting them to fill out a form or survey in exchange for a gift, discount, or freebie. While you don’t want to bombard your consumer with this type of information right away—and force them to abandon their cart altogether—you can now quiz your followers and customers on certain social media platforms.
Look at your Competition
If you are a fairly new business, you may want to look at what your competitors are doing and who they are targeting on their marketing initiatives. Scroll their websites, look at their social media feeds, and use online social listening tools. This will all help you get a feel for who your competitor is targeting and whether the demographic they’re looking at is in line with your business. When you analyze your competitors, you may come across areas that they have neglected, and this will be important to help you further develop your niche market.
Know Your Value
Next, you will want to identify what the true value of your product or service is. Other than the features of your product, you will want to outline their direct benefits. What does the consumer gain from engaging with your product or service?
Darren and Mike explain that features are what your product is or does, and the benefits are the results. Consider the profession of a graphic designer. The product is the logo and branding material, but the benefit is brand recognition, a professional company image, and subsequently more customers and profit.
Darren and Mike on Crafting a Target Market Statement
Lastly, Darren and Mike suggest trying to create a target market statement. Boiling everything down into one simple statement that defines not only the demographic but psychographic nature of your audience will help you pull focus when you start building out your marketing strategy.
Learning how to define your target audience and creating a user profile is now considered to be the only effective way for a brand to survive in the current marketplace. In a world where consumers expect personalized and unique experiences from their favorite companies, you just can’t afford to take a general approach with your marketing efforts, say Darren and Mike.