Updated: Jan 30, 2020
An essential part of marketing is identifying and understanding your target market. If you don’t know your audience, your marketing efforts will be wasted.
Defining your audience serves three purposes:
It makes sure your good or service is available to the right people.
It creates an understanding of what your customers want or need.
It increases conversions of potential customers into buyers.
So, how do you define your audience? Here are a few steps you can take.
1. Research. Studies have shown that 65 percent of marketers seldom conduct audience research, but those who do are 466 percent more successful. Figure out who your audience should be and start creating an audience persona. Look at demographic details such as customer age or generation, time zone if applicable, spending habits or spending power, interests, or life stage. For business customers, consider the size of the business and identify key decision-makers to determine your target market within the company.
2. Know your own product. The better you know your own product, the better you will be able to define your target audience. Consider what your product does as well as the results or solutions your business provides. What are your features and benefits? Who needs those solutions? The answer will help you better identify your ideal customers.
3. Look at your existing customer base. Your current customer base can not only tell you about your existing audience, but also give you clues to additional audiences you should be targeting. See how your products or services are being used. See who is already using your product or service and how they are using it. Study your social media pages to identify the type of audience that is attracted to your online presence.
4. Look at your competitors. Identifying your audience and identifying your competitors go hand in hand. According to Hubspot, 97 percent of marketers use social media, so there’s a very high chance your competitors are using it. In the same way you reviewed your own customer base, take a look at your competitors’ customers. How are their social media interactions? How are they representing their products? What solutions are they offering? Since your audiences are similar, this will help you gain more insight into your target market.
5. Create a statement that defines your target audience. When you have identified your market and understand their needs, create a statement that defines your audience. This vital step will create the framework for your marketing efforts. Through your process, you may discover that you have different audiences. For each audience, create a different statement.
6. Research, test, and revisit as needed. Understanding your audience is an ongoing process. It is important to keep researching and updating your marketing strategy as needed. Test different strategies to gauge participation and effectiveness. Continue to monitor audience perception and adjust as needed. This will help ensure that you are delivering your product to the right people.
This is part two of our Marketing 101 series. For part one, see Marketing 101: The Four Ps of Marketing.