So you are looking to learn how to define your target audience…
You’ve probably heard that one of the key ways you can make sure that your digital marketing campaign works as well as you need it to is to first define your target audience online, right?
One of the biggest mistakes when marketing product or service online is to not properly defining the target customer or client. If you don’t take the time to do this right you’re just throwing your marketing money away.
Marketing isn’t just a matter of placing ads. It’s a method of attracting new business. Before you can have a good chance at achieving this, you first have to know exactly who you want to target with your marketing. You need to know your target market before you can reach them.
What’s the point of marketing apartment building investment consultant services on Instagram to people in colleague? Is that really the type of people that are positioned to invest in apartment buildings? Or to afford to pay for your services? That choice probably won’t be optimal for your advertising dollars (or time).
That’s why today I want to talk to you about how to define your target market. That way you can properly position your marketing to grow your business.
The Key Points In How To Define Your Target Customer
Let’s take the time to walk through the steps in determining your target customer for your business and brand. Now instead of saying “product or service” throughout this blog post I’m going to just say “product”. I’m lazy… lol. And those extra 9 letters are annoying to keep typing out. 🙂
How to Define Your Target Customer
Is It B2B or B2C?
The first question you have to answer is “are you targeting a business or a consumer?”
They both require very different approaches, so you definitely need to factor in who you will be targeting.
The main hurdle for B2B (business to business) is that it is often a harder sell in most cases. You cannot create a detailed “profile persona” for a business , unless it is a sole proprietor business. But with some though, you can identify the person who will be making the decision to buy your product… and that person will be a lot easier to “profile”.
The Person That Will Pay You
There are essentially three people that fit into your brand’s target audience:
- The person that will pay you. This is your main focus. It might be your direct contact, or the person who may be the boss of the person who will be working directly with you. They ultimately make the decision to pay for your product or not.
- The person that influences the person that pays you. This is the person who would benefit from your product, but may not be the one to pay you. In a small business, especially a sole proprietor business, this is the same person as who will pay you (duh… there is only one person in a sole proprietor business), but for larger businesses this becomes less probable.
- Your supporter. This is someone who supports your product, will directly benefit from it, but is not the person paying or will be directly working with you.
The first person on the list, the one that pays you, is your main focus. This might be your current boss or your next boss. It might be the target customer of your current business or your next business. It could also be an investor or a bank.
Once you have identified what type of business you are targeting,and who in the business you want to target, let’s start working on the description of this target customer. These next steps will take you through the necessary process of refining your target audience to make your brand implementation more effective.
What Is Your Target Customer Demographic Profile
Demographics are an extremely important part of determining your target customer. It helps make sure you are talking to the right people.
Establish the demographic profile of the target customer by answering questions like:
- How old are they? Determine the range
- What is their gender?
- What race, religion, and orientation are they?
- What is their education level?
- What is their marital status?
- Do they have children? If so how many? How old?
- Where do they live? Country? Urban vs rural? Any specific cities? Specific zip codes?
- What is their income level/net worth? Determine the range
These may not sound like important questions to ask, but the more answers you can provide, the better you can narrow down your ideal target audience.
A common mistake that people often make is that they are too broad in their target customer… especially when it comes to the demographics (if the demographics is too broad then it just trickles down).
This is where I often have to convince clients the importance of narrowing your target client down as narrowly as possible: just because you “exclude” people from your target customer profile doesn’t mean you turn them away, or turn them off… it just means that you don’t specifically talk to them in your messaging.
If you find this impossible, maybe you actually have two or three target customers. For example, it is often advantageous to target women separately from men. Both require different messaging to resonate with their needs… so you need to consider if you need to have more than one target customer.
What Is Your Target Customer Lifestyle and Attitudes
Lifestyles and attitudes are also important when determining your target customer profile. Working people have lifestyle priorities and constraints on their time that retired people typically don’t have. Is your audience:
- Employed or retired?
- How do they like to spend their spare time? What are their hobbies?
- What are their shopping habits?
- What other products do they buy?
- Where do they go on vacation?
- What are their hobbies?
- What TV shows do they watch?
- What authority figures do they follow?
- What books do they read?
- What professional publications to they read?
- What conferences do they attend?
- What is their preferred social media platform?
Again, be as specific as you can. The more questions you can answer (thoroughly) the better. The more narrowly you focus your target customer the even better.
To help you with defining your own target customer, I’ve created this worksheet. Use it for each target customer you need to define.
Final Thoughts On How to Define Your Target Customer
In this blog post I covered how to define your target customer to help grow your business. If you don’t do this exercise you may find yourself wasting your advertising time and money on people that aren’t your ideal audience. When you really know your target audience it helps you to keep the marketing message very clear and concise. You get better sales conversions. And you can even establish your entire brand around this target customer to really hone in your message.
Be sure to check out the next step, Your Consulting Client Avatar.
If you need help in defining your target customer, running marketing campaigns like Facebook ads, or creating capture pages or lead magnets, then feel free to contact me and we can talk about the different consulting options we offer. Or use the link below to apply for your “results in advance” free consultation and let’s get started right away:
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