Know Your Audience

by | Mar 2018 | Business, Tips

Are you really speaking to your target market? Do you know who they are?

All businesses have a target market, or audience, they want to reach, that much is obvious, but why it’s so important as well as how to define your target consumer, may be less so.

Whether you’re offering a product or a service, as a business owner you’re going to want to know exactly who your target market is. It’s all very well having customers but if you’re looking to take further steps towards scaling your business, understanding the importance of your target market should be paramount.

Sadly, a lot of small businesses make the mistake of either focussing on the wrong audience or not focussing at all. Many just want a cheap website that tells everyone about their product or service, completely ignoring the fact that they need to drive the right people towards it and once there, convert those leads into sales.

Like it or not, we live in the digital age and your website is going to be the first port of call for many potential customers. It is imperative that your website is created specifically for your target market.

Are you focussing your marketing efforts in the right area?

There are plenty of ways to drive traffic through SEO and convert web sales through optimisation, but these efforts will not be effective unless, in the first instance, you know your target market.

Know your audience.

Who is my audience?

In short, your audience is anyone that has come into contact with or simply heard about your service or product. This group aren’t necessarily all going to be your target consumers but it’s a starting point.

What is my target market?

Think of your target market as your ideal customer. They want that which you are providing and they’re happy, if not eager to pay for it.

So why is identifying a target market so important?

Not everyone needs or wants what you’re selling. Trying to convert these people into customers is quite simply, counter intuitive. On the flip side, there will be a huge number of people that do need or want what you’re selling, and these are the people you need to get your product or service in front of. Your ideal customers.

Once you really know and understand your target market, you can focus your efforts on communicating effectively with them through marketing and your website. Identifying your target consumer is an integral part of building your marketing strategy, generating leads and converting sales.

Why is it important to understand my target market?

The beauty of understanding your key audience is that once you do, your marketing strategy has focus. You can hone your message and convey it in a way that will resonate with those most likely to want or need your product or service.

This will make your audience feel understood and cared about, and who doesn’t like to feel cared about? When you’re offering your product or service to this focused group, you’re no longer selling. You’re helping.

What happens if I don’t know my target market?

You can’t be all things to all people.

A lot of businesses make the mistake of trying to market to everyone and in doing so, they can alienate their true potential leads.

If you don’t understand your target market, you run the risk of diluting your message and losing focus on what your current and ideal consumers expect and want from you. This will result in a loss of interest from those who are most likely to want your product or service.

It is true, of course, that you may have a variety of target markets, those people or businesses who will need or want your products but for different reasons. Once you have identified and understood these differences, you will capture more attention from your likely customers as their needs are going to be at the forefront of what you do.

How do I define my target market?

Start by looking at your current customers.

Who are the people buying from you right now? What do they have in common? This could be as simple as budget, location, age, gender, field of business.

Once you have a broad view, begin to narrow it down by finding the common threads. Is there a particular demographic you can begin to identify?

Who is your perfect customer?

In an ideal world, what would your perfect customer look like? Who are they? This should be your target market. These are the people you want to work with.

Assuming you already have a customer base, it is likely you’ll have some people you prefer to deal with than others.

Why? What makes these customers a joy while others are less so? Is it because they pay on time? Is it because they understand exactly what it is you’re offering and are happy with the service you’re providing? Is it because what they want is in alignment with what you’re giving? Is it because they are repeat customers? Or perhaps they give you great reviews?

If you can specify the type of customer you want to deal with, you can gear your efforts towards them, growing and cultivating a client base you actually enjoy handling.

What problem does your product/service solve?

Who needs your product/service? What specific problem do these customers have that you’re solving for them? Why does your product/service exist?

Ask yourself ‘am I making it as easy as possible for my customers to say yes?’. An effective website will help you do that.

How do I really get to know my target customer?

Once you’ve defined your target market, it’s a good idea to drill a little deeper and really get to know them.

What’s their word view? Are they people who want to be the first to purchase something new or are they the kind of people who want to wait to see results before committing? Are they the kind of people who want the most for their money or are they purchasing for convenience?

What do they like? What do they believe? What do they care about?

Quick Tip: You need to understand why your customers want what you are offering and work on promoting that. It’s not the what, it’s the why.

It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask. Whatever your business, your customers will be talking about you somewhere, so the best thing to do is join in these conversations and lead them to where you want them to go.

Pick up the phone. Talk to a cross-section of your current key customer base. Ask them what it is they love about your product/service. Ask them what they would like to see from you. Ask them for feedback.

Quick Tip: Google Analytics allows you to build a picture of your current market and understand them better so that you can apply this knowledge to your marketing

Is what you promote in alignment with what your customer wants?

Summary

Understanding your target market, or audience, means clarity and focus in your marketing strategy.

Targeting your marketing towards the right people will gain you the right customers.

Identifying what problem your product/service solves makes it easier for your customers to say yes.

Louise Harman

Louise Harman

Freelance writer, blogger, and poet

Louise's new website is currently under construction so in the meantime, if you wish to contact her you can do so via LinkedIn