The Oxford English Dictionary defines a target audience as a ‘particular group at which a product such as a film or advertisement is aimed’, which seems fairly simple to understand as a concept. That said, how can you recognise the best way in which to find the target audience for your business?
Not knowing your target audience could be the reason your business isn’t performing the way that you hope. Rather than wasting money on targeting the wrong kinds of prospective customers, you can channel your marketing in the right direction.
Finding your target audience should be the first step involved in any marketing approach for your business, and it might be something you gloss over before looking at other parts of your wider strategy, but this is a huge mistake. In fact, it’s not enough to find your target audience; you should look to define your target audience as a priority too.
So how can you find your target audience?
There are many metrics through which you can work out how best to use your marketing budget in terms of targeting – for example, age, gender, location, education, occupation, and many other areas. The beauty of analytics means that you can measure how successfully you reach certain demographics once this initial market research has been completed.
Think about the specifics – what do your audience want, or even need in some cases? How do you meet that need? How can you continue to meet that need, whilst servicing other needs later down the line? These are all questions you can ask once you’ve found and defined your target audience. But of course they should form part of your thinking with regard to the bigger picture.
It also depends on how specific or general your product or service is – the more specific it is, the more vital it is that you engage in this first step of seeking your target audience. This could be through targeted web advertising, publishing an ad in something related to your field, or working on your company’s SEO.
You also have out-of-home advertising on billboards and on public transport. This could be of huge benefit if you have the budget to aim your advertisements at the relevant audience, particularly if you have something to sell to commuters on their way to work.
Take care when being specific
Of course being specific may be beneficial if you have a niche product, but it mustn’t come to the detriment of alienating other potential customers. There is always a danger in becoming too narrowly focused. You may have a specific product, but think about just how specific you want it to be in terms of how it impacts your company’s scope.
You may not mean to exclude people, but sometimes you can do so unintentionally. Whatever your intentions, it’s important to ensure this isn’t something that happens within your advertising and marketing plans.
All that said, there is something positive to be said of a degree of specificity if it can help you target your budget properly without wasting anything. When it comes down to advertising and marketing, reducing waste should certainly be something you prioritise.