One of the most essential parts of any business plan is the audience. You won’t survive without customers, and finding and connecting with those customers is what advertising and marketing are all about. No matter how solid or innovative your product or service is, you can’t count on your customers finding you on their own. That means it’s your job to target your product and marketing toward a specific group of people.
Having a clear target audience in mind also helps you to focus your work and guide your marketing and content more effectively. A well-defined target population is part of your brand itself, and it will help to shape and define your company and your work. It will also dictate the work your marketing team does in finding that audience and targeting them with precision. The market is too dense and the competition too sharp for you to try to target your product for everyone instead of a more specific, niche audience. You need to set yourself apart and hone in to be heard among all the noise of different media competing for consumers’ attention.
What Makes a Valid Target Market
The first thing to do in identifying your core audience is to study your product and the customers you may already have. Who benefits most from your product? Who is likely to get the most use out of it? Are there some demographic factors that unite the majority of your customers? “Take a look at your competition,” says Jason Hennessey, marketing consultant for Sultra. “Check out your competitive edges and weaknesses compared to them and let your strengths guide your thinking.” By bringing that edge to the core of your business and what you offer, you’ll be better prepared to find the exact group you should be targeting.
Generally speaking, the narrower your focus on a target audience, the better. This way you can also target your product or service to meet specifically their needs and ensure their satisfaction. Good reviews and referrals are key for growth, and if you’re trying to please everyone at the same time, you’re likely to fail. Are you targeting people of a specific gender or age? Where are they located and what are their interests? Does your audience share certain common professions? What income bracket does your audience fall under?
Do Your Homework
Taking the time to identify your target niche also gives you an important chance to get to know that audience better, and that’s step number 2. If you’ve found a sufficiently specific audience, your target customers will all be likely to share certain interests and values that correlate with the factors you’ve defined. Now you can incorporate those values more deeply into your work and your brand in order to connect to that audience.
Then it’s time to do some research to guide your marketing and brand-building around that particular audience. You want to connect more deeply with that group and save money by efficiently targeting your marketing directly to them, so you need to find out what media, programs, and sites are common for them. Study the media habits of your particular group and you’ll know where you need to be putting your advertising. Sufficient data can help you target your marketing right to the individual, whether it’s personalized internet ads on sites and videos or promos attached to specific TV or radio programs.