Defining Your Target Audience
In our last article we spoke of the importance of marketing during an economic downturn and shared that by focusing on your target audience and defining your message that a business can actually thrive.
Defining your target audience is not just some simple three or six-step process; it is a sharpshooter approach to marketing and advertising that identifies which customer is a good fit for your goods, services and your business as a whole. Researching the triggers and habits of your target audience is critical for attracting and retaining customers. If you want to connect and engage with potential customers, you must target your message to their interests and needs. This process goes beyond simply using demographics to develop a target audience.
Using 4 of the 5 Ws to Communicate to Your Buyer
In today’s digital world, all marketing communications need to be focused on the buyer and not the business. Buyers do not want to be addressed as a mass audience or as consumers, but as individuals with unique needs, concerns, interests and values. With that in mind, we must work through the process of Who, What, When and Where our marketing efforts are focused.
For example, when we begin a new marketing plan for a client, we start with getting to know their customers and who they are as individuals, what are the common denominators among them and what are the demographics and behavioral attributes in order to generate assumptions that are shared by their customer base. Our objective is to develop a target audience model so that as we move forward, we can identify what platform best suits our marketing efforts.
After we identify the customer base then we begin to list their problems, struggles or challenges and how our client uniquely solves their obstacles. During this phase of the process, we are also discovering trends within their industries and if our client is following those trends so that we may communicate effectively when marketing directly with our target group.
By working through the process of defining your target audience, we will uncover your preferred customer base. Understanding your preferred customer will help us create the message you send in your marketing channels, the What, such as your website, social media platforms or other marketing networks.
For example, let’s use a pretend company called My HVAC, which says it is a premier provider of Pure AC Units. My HVAC provides services for both homeowners and businesses. So, we know that one target audience base is homeowners and thus we market that Pure AC Units are the Cadillac of the HVAC industry. We may conclude that not every homeowner will spend their hard-earned money for such a high-end unit. Through research we can find out where in your territory you can sell your high-end units without having to mark down fees in order to be competitive with lower end AC units. We can do additional investigation, based on the territory of your target audience, to determine what their interests are and what they value most. During this study, we dig deeper by researching your competition to recognize their strengths and weaknesses.
We now begin developing our marketing message that will uniquely fit your high-end client’s expectations. This means your vernacular must match that of your target audience, along with proper value propositions and business authority. Keep in mind that if you are targeting a transient area, meaning a good amount of people move into and out of the territory, then your message needs to match those values as well. The message we communicate must address their motivation which breaks down to the nature and magnitude of the customer’s demand for the AC units.
Be sure to check out our next article as we continue to break this marketing process down and help you define which customer is the best fit for your goods or services. Stay tuned for part 2 of Defining Your Target Audience.