You may have set several 2018 goals for your business, but there’s a good chance at least one of them relates to connecting with your target audience. To achieve that objective, you have to find them first.
Below, we’ll look at several strategies you can use to locate the people who are most likely to buy what you want to sell. Otherwise, you risk wasting money and other resources by trying to appeal to too many individuals at once.
Answer Questions About Your Product and What It Offers
It’s crucial to carry out a thorough market analysis that involves answering numerous questions about what you’re attempting to sell this year and the willingness of consumers.
For example, what benefits can you offer? What are the things about your merchandise or service that make it superior to competitors? You could pose those questions in a survey.
Are there certain marketing methods that might be more appealing to the ideal demographic than others? The response to that question could help shape how you market to different segments of the target audience.
For example, if you sell a safety key ring for elderly people, you might advertise it on television to reach out to the end users but go on social media feeds to appeal to the younger loved ones who might buy the product for their parents or grandparents.
Always attempt to ask yourself, “What need am I fulfilling with this product?” Once you know that detail, it becomes easier to evaluate the overall marketplace and narrow it down to find the target audience.
Seek Out the Identifying Characteristics of Your Audience
After going through the process above, you should find it’s easier than expected to notice some reoccurring factors about the sections of the market that became apparent as you went through an analysis.
Going back to the safety key ring example, you may discover the majority of individuals who are most willing to buy your product are females over 60.
You can then take that fact further by digging deeper to see what else is common about that group of people. For example, maybe they tend to live alone and do not have income levels that warrant being able to afford a drop-in caretaker.
Finding the shared characteristics of a target market is called market segmentation. Keep in mind that third-party data could be indispensable for this part of the process.
While analyzing the market, it’s essential to determine which the typical pain points your audience has. By doing that, you may find an even more specific target audience ready and be waiting to buy.
As you start to pick out similarities in sectors of the market, you’re naturally finding your target audience. Keep in mind, though, that portion of your audience may also evolve, so it’s necessary to continually evaluate things.
Invest in a Demographic Map
Like many people, you may have browsed spreadsheets full of official census data. Seeing the numbers in the cells is one thing, but the statistics sometimes stand out even more via a visual representation, such as a demographic map.
It can give location-based details that tell you necessities such as where most of your customers reside, which areas you haven’t reached but need to target and surprising places where you may find leads.
A demographic map is also useful for helping you track the success of marketing campaigns after identifying your target audience.
You could look at how the map’s data changes over time and determine how the differences correlate with your promotional efforts.
Watch What Competitors Do
As you become more aware of the makeup of your target audience, it could pay off to observe competitors and learn the tactics used to appeal to those customers.
You may realize your target market and that of your competitors is very similar. If so, it could be appropriate to adapt some of their techniques for your own needs.
However, don’t overlook how you might be superior to them. Are there things you could do to serve customers better? Have your competitors missed an unmet need you could fill?
Depend on the guidance from your careful research and confidently seize those opportunities.
Build and Review Buyer Personas
Some of the steps above focus on theoretical buyer behaviors rather than actual ones.
You may assume your business typically appeals to people in a certain age group but not yet have a large amount of information to back it up. If that’s the case, get ready to engage in another kind of market segmentation by creating and studying buyer personas.
Think of a buyer persona as a customer profile built from a combination of hard purchase data and possible scenarios driven by the market research you’ve already carried out.
It’s also worthwhile to monitor website analytics, especially if you sell things online.
By looking at those metrics, you can discover the things people search for before they ultimately arrive on your website. By looking even closer at the data, it’s possible to find out whether your site met their needs.
Your buyer persona should contain basic demographics, such as age, gender and education level.
If applicable, make your buyer persona feature a generalized role or job title, such as a stay-at-home mom, small business owner, corporate executive or college student.
Flesh it out by including content to describe hopes and fears, as well as the challenges faced and beliefs held. Then, come up with a punchy marketing message that gets to the heart of all those features of the persona. That’s your pitch, and you could build an entire campaign around it.
Pay Attention to Current and Potential Customer Feedback
Hopefully, your business has some established social media channels. If it does, those online destinations could also reveal your most appropriate target audience.
By reading through comments and seeing which kinds of posts get the highest levels of engagement, you might realize things about your key target market that hadn’t been obvious before.
Also, try to track trends in all kinds of feedback received.
Do your in-person customers often say the service they receive is second to none but think it’d be even better if you were open later to suit their work schedules?
Maybe people who shop online at your company website love the speedy shipping times but think the website inventory doesn’t have enough child-friendly products.
Customers appreciate it when you pay attention to what’s on their minds. By tuning into what they say, you’ll show them you care about doing everything possible to meet their needs, plus learn valuable business insights while you’re at it.
Although defining your target market can be an involved process, it’s undoubtedly valuable.
The knowledge you gain should help you confidently invest your marketing dollars and hard work into sectors of people who are most likely to give favorable responses to your output.