Three steps to define your target audience

Changes to the marketing landscape over the years with the emergence of different marketing channels and the advancement of technology has played a vital role in changing the behavioral needs of consumers, making marketing a much more sophisticated game play. With competition now coming from all corners of the world since locational limitations are made almost obsolete by the worldwide net; how can you best grow your business? 

There are multiple ways your business can excel. Be it that you are looking for target market expansion, competitive take over, new market venture or even just protecting your existing market share. There is one paramount factor to your marketing strategy – knowing your target audience better. Identifying your audience group and understanding them well will help ensure higher effectiveness of your company’s marketing strategies.

Target audience – Who and What

Who are your target audience? What lifestyle and mentality do they all have in common?  What is their pain points? These are a few fundamental questions that will help you draw a specific buyer persona. 

Who are your target audiences?

Create your buyer persona by first building a generic demographic of your customers. It is a fundamental starting point for you to dig deeper. A guide to get you started; you can ask yourself these questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Is there a gender segmentation?
  • Is there a highest education segmentation?
  • What do they do for a living?
  • What about their income range?
  • Where do they live? In the city or suburban or rural?
  • Are they married? If yes, how many children would they have?

These questions allow you to pinpoint accurately who your customers are. Answering these questions would give you a somewhat pictorial understanding of your target audience. Just think about it like a job interview; demographics would more or less be information that would be filled up on a sheet of pre interview paper. It serves as a basis for you to segment out the “good” and the “bad”, and in this case, the relevant audience and the non-relevant audience.

Their mentality, lifestyle and pain points

Once you have filtered out the non-relevant audience segment, it is now time move on to the psychographic profiling of your audiences. Psychographics will help you gain insight on what they are thinking and what makes them tick. Discussions around topics below will help.

  • Personality traits
  • Motivations
  • Cognitive biases
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Goals
  • Cultural influences
  • Environment
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Interest and hobbies

These answers combined gives you a more accurate representation of your true target audience. It adds a human element to the outline. It is like the face to face candidate interview which gives you more insights into the subtle elements of a person’s character. 

And this “character knowledge” will be the critical element that impacts the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. This knowledge will be the guiding light to your key messages, and helps you better comprehend what kinds of problems you can help solve, and the best conversion point. 

Psychographic factors are not as easy to decipher compared to demographics which is why to be able to successfully find out the “why” (the lifestyle and mentality), you may have to do a lot more than sitting in the office. While the “who” can be found by digging into your existing sales data and market numbers, the “why” on the other hand, would need more on the ground investigation and A/B testing, marketing trial and error to figure out.

Use all available resources to “see” better

The journey to specifically define your target audience does not stop at who they are and why they buy from you. Look even deeper. Understand the influences around them, understand how they consume information in public and privately(online). 

With the popularity of digital marketing, companies can now easily observe response to different content, even get a sense of who their competitors are targeting through company websites and social media feeds. When you are digging for information, make sure to take advantage of tools such as Google Analytics, Facebook data and form based conversion points of sorts. 

The secret to success in drawing a buyer persona lies in the details. In some cases, the buyer is not necessarily the one who consumes your products (think in the case of a parent getting a candy for their child).Consider the example of a X-men deodorant –a men’s product from Viet Nam.

The X-men example projects an ideal example of a right target audience choice. Parent brand – ICP Viet Nam realized that the women of the family were usually the one who makes the purchase decisions for these products. They then decided to include both gender in their marketing strategy, which effectively allowed the brand to appeal to both the consumer and the purchase decision maker.

Successful advertisement of X-men in 2007: Link


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