Whether you’re a business owner, a marketer, an author, or something else along those lines, you will need to be familiar with your target audience. This is especially true for small businesses who rely on repeat customers for financial support. Drawing in the right customers could be the difference between success and mediocrity. In order to convince people to work with your company instead of one of your competitors, you need to understand your customers and promote your business according to their needs. Here are five simple steps to define your target audience.
Step 1 – Think about Age
How old do you think your customers are going to be? Are they in their teens? Their 20s? Their 50s? Their 70s? Every age group has a different set of needs when it comes to marketing and product design. If you can determine what the average age of your customers will be, you will have an easier time promoting your business in a way that connects with them. Teenagers may respond well to internet promotions because they spend their time online. Senior citizens may do better with traditional print ads in the mail. Until you understand the age group you are working with, you will not know how to effectively market your business.
Step 2 – Consider Income Levels
How much disposable income will an average customer have? Earning levels make up an important element of a target audience because they determine customer priorities. If your target audience consists of low income families, you may want to promote the long term financial savings they might get from your products or services. If your customers are more likely to be wealthy members of society, you may promote the luxury and exclusivity of your merchandise. Marketing strategies change considerably based on the income of the target audience. That is why you need to weigh out the monetary factor in your assessment.
Step 3 – Compare Men and Women
What gender will the majority of your audience be? Men and women respond to products, services, and promotions in different ways because of their goals and values in life. Men tend to think more like providers for their families, while women think like caretakers. This is not always the case, but that is how the male and female minds instinctually behave. If you can tap into that instinct while advertising your business, you may have a good shot at attracting potential customers. Determine which gender will define your target audience and adjust your plans to accommodate.
Step 4 – Determine Geographic Location
Where will most of your audience live? Economic conditions and personal beliefs change throughout the U.S. and the world as a whole. Whether you plan on working with local or international customers, you need to know where most of your customers are coming from. A business targeting the rural Bible Belt may have a hard time finding success with foul language in its advertisements. Edgier materials may be better suited for people in urban areas. The same could be said about heavily religious countries, like Spain or India. Know where your customers live before you say or do something to turn them away.
Step 5 – Envision the Full Package
Who do you see logically needing your business? What does the full package look like? You are the only one that can determine what your potential customers are going to be like. You must have had an audience in mind when you established your business, even if you did not consciously think about it. Picture the perfect audience in your mind, and reach out to them accordingly.
Additional Tips to Define Your Target Audience
- Define your own target audience. Rather than figuring out who your most logical customers may be, you could figure out who you want to reach out to. Then you can manipulate your ad campaigns in a way that draws in the new customers you want. If you run a website that depends on sales to generate money, you may need to attract adult buyers instead of teens. Change your site and promotional materials to suit a more mature group of people, and the sales should come in soon enough.
- Analyze your target audience every year. This will allow you to adapt if a new group of people starts to take interest in your business. The market and economy is constantly changing, and demographics tend to follow suit. If you do not adjust your sales pitches to reflect the changes going on in the world, you will not be in business very long. Conduct an annual audience assessment so you can get the best results possible from your marketing strategies.
- Ask your customers general questions. If your customers ever have to fill out forms to work with your business, you may want to include sections that request personal information, like age, location, gender, and occupation. Or ask nitty gritty questions like their preferred online invoicing option. Make these sections optional so the customers don’t feel forced to answer questions they are not comfortable with. If you analyze the answers from those customers, you should be able to determine what the average age, income, and geographic location may be for your target audience. The results of this research may be a little unexpected.
- Use your audience analysis wisely. Simply defining a target audience will not make your business a success. You have to use the information you find to make logical decisions about promotions and product designs. Don’t take the time to identify your audience if you are not going to do anything with the information you find. You have to be willing to make changes for the better if you want to attract the right customers for your business.
Learning how to define a target audience is relatively easy. The challenge lies in using the information you find to change your business strategies. Make the most of the information you learn through your audience analysis, and you will find success in no time!