Whether you work for an established company or are just starting your business, identifying your target audience is crucial to effective marketing and the continual success of your company. Your target audience is made up of individuals who need the services and solutions you provide. Determining your target audience is a lot easier than you think. Use the following steps as a guide. Let’s begin.
STEP 1: WHO?
Ask: “Who is currently buying your product or service? Where is your profit coming from?” Identifying who your buyers are points to your current target audience. Now it’s time to get feedback from them.
STEP 2: SURVEY
Send out a survey to collect factual information about your clients. It’s better to get the answers from your customers instead of guessing. Don’t have clients yet? Create a list of people in your network who fit the criteria for who you’re looking to target, and send it to them. This survey should consist of questions that allow you to know the demographics, psychographics, and geographics to make sure every aspect is covered.
Demographics refers to general facts about your customers such as their age, gender, occupation, income, marital status, and children. We call this hard data.
Psychographics refers to the personality, likes, dislikes, interests and motivations of your customers. This can include anything from hobbies, music taste, and lifestyle, to religious beliefs and values.
Geographics refers to the location of your customers. This is not only limited to where they are located on a map, but also it consists of their setting, surroundings, town population, and climate.
STEP 3: CATEGORIZE
Once you’ve collected the information from your survey, categorize the responses into their respective groups, such as men, women, employed, and unemployed for psychographics, demographics, and geographics. You can even get more specific. For example, your categories could include: married men/women, stay-at-home moms/dads, college students, athletes, and so on. Identify the categories that suit your company best.
If you’re a business owner for a restaurant that offers vegan or gluten free options, your categories could be related to food allergies (i.e. gluten intolerant, vegan, dairy free). Now if you work for a shoe company, these categories are most likely not as relevant. So again, create the categories best suited for your company.
STEP 4: EVALUATE
This step is crucial, but often is ignored. After you gather this information, you’ll want to evaluate your current clients and decide if this is the target audience you still want to market towards. In other words, is this target audience the right fit for what your company provides? Does it make sense to market to this audience, or is a change necessary? Come together with your team and discuss how your current target audience benefits your company. Finally, decide if you want to make any adjustments to your target audience moving forward.
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Now that you have these four steps to identify your target audience, you are ahead of most businesses who never take them into account. Because you have information directly from your customers, you can give the right message to the right person at the right time. They will happily pay you for the solution that you provide. It won’t feel like marketing — it will feel like help. Let us know in the comments what you find out.
Written By: Intern Julie Phillips