A profitable audience

You need a target audience that will be profitable to your business. Consumers have such a vast selection of goods to choose from these days.

Gaining customers

People will not buy from you, simply because you have a product or service on the market. You ought to do a lot more in order to gain customers.

Being everything to everyone

When considering a purchase, potential customers are less likely to purchase from a website that is trying to be everything to everyone. They will prefer a business that serves their personal needs and interests.

This is why niche companies are successful. They operate presumably in a niche market, while the product is more general.

For your business, this means that a strong audience can drive profits.

Prioritizing a specific group

The moment you focus your marketing efforts on a specific profile, other company decisions, such as naming the company and web design, etc., are greatly simplified.

Marketing the same product to different targets

Example: You can take the same base product and market it to teens then to mothers, while each feels you are targeting them specifically.

  • Back-to-school products can be marketed to kids via a cool site that also includes fun diaries and freebies, in the expectation that these children will pressure parents to purchase your products.
  • The same products can then also be marketed separately – on and offline – to mothers, who will be purchasing these products for their children.

Seasonal marketing

Many products are seasonally marketed, one of the most obvious being around Christmas and Valentines Day.

Your major marketing efforts for back-to-school products would happen towards the end of the summer break, right before school starts.

If you were to try and and please everyone, you would probably lose both audiences.

Understanding your audience

Understanding your target audience will tell you:

  • Where and how to sell
  • With whom to partner
  • What functions to attend
  • What kind of promotions to run
  • What your website should look and feel like

Defining a target audience

  • Describe your product or service.
  • Whom will it serve?
  • Are these private individuals or companies that you will be selling to?
  • Is your audience local, national, or international?
  • To whom will your products appeal most?
  • With whom will they connect best?
  • How will your product be used?

When selling physical products it is not difficult to determine your target audience. However selling services requires you to dig deeper.

What are you really selling?

Home and car alarms, as an example, are not about selling electronics.

People don’t purchase security alarms as a decoration – they want to feel protected and safe. So, that is what you are selling them.

You are selling a feeling and filling an expectation.

  • When you sell security, you are selling feeling safe.
  • When selling makeup or jewelry, you sell elegance and feeling desired.
  • When selling clothing, you’re probably selling fashion, style, and peer acceptance – not pants or dresses.

Who will be attracted to your product?

Who does your product serve? Often, a person purchases for other people and not for themselves. While we ought to market to the person who will use the product, it is often crucial to take into account who will be making the actual purchase.

How will the product be used?

This helps determine who it should be marketed and sold. When packaging or advertising a product, show the environment where it will actually be used and how it will be used. For instance: sports equipment includes performance and resilience enhancing features, and is pictured out on the court or playing field.

Subconsciously, the buyer envisions him/herself already on the court or field, club or racket in hand.

Such visualization also helps you understand the profile of those you want to sell to, and lets you target that audience specifically.

Incorporating these insights into your business

Once you have defined your target audience and fully understand their needs and motives, ensure that every aspect surrounding your product is aligned with this vision. These include: your marketing message, the look and feel of your website, print materials (brochures, fliers, coupons, etc.), promotions, and pricing.

Focus groups

So as to ensure that you get it right, organize some focus groups that meet your target audience profile, to try out and review your product and marketing efforts.

This will provide valuable feedback on which you can build great marketing.

Personalization

The business world is personalizing and targeting more and more.

This allows you to offer products and services to people who are already trying to find them, charge card in hand.

Hungry markets

It is far more efficient to target a hungry market, than being required to educate a market to desire your offerings.

Image: Flickr License

Your Target Audience

Step 1 in a marketing or communications strategy is to define a target audience. Thus your message can be tailored accordingly. In the case of a business, the audience would typically be potential buyers of services or products.

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