Why do some businesses flourish from the get-go while others struggle to establish their business footing even after several years? The answer lies in how well a company has been able to define its target audience and market.
If you’re running a small business, you probably have a vague idea about your target audience.
However, in today’s ruthless business environment, this half-knowledge can cost you precious time, energy, and several amazing opportunities to increase your revenue.
This is because a company’s brand value and success are majorly dependent on its target audience.
Unsure of where to begin? Read on to learn more about how small businesses should narrow down their target audiences.
What is a Target Audience?
Although target market and target audience are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences between the two.
A target market refers to a defined segment of consumers whereas, a target audience refers to a specific group of people you want to reach through your marketing. They need not necessarily be your end-users.
Your target market usually covers common characteristics like age, gender, occupation, education, income, and ethnicity. In comparison, your target audience includes all of that and your potential customers’ interests, habits, lifestyle, personality, and values.
8 Steps to Define Your Target Audience
1. Analyze Your Service or Product
Before you try to understand your customer, familiarize yourself with your product or service offerings. List your product’s or service’s features and map these to benefits for your customers.
How does your product impact your customers’ life? What are the problems faced by your customers presently, and how can your product or service help solve them? These are some vital questions you need to address.
2. Identify Your Current Customers
Analyze your existing customer base. This can better position you to identify and serve your aspirational client base. Find out who is currently buying your products or services and extract common factors like demographics and psychographics. After that, encourage them to spread the word about your product through positive reviews, referrals, and loyalty programs.
3. Find Out Who Are Not Your Customers
Simply defining a target audience isn’t enough. You also need to understand who is “not” your target customer. In doing so, you can save time, energy, and resources. For example, if you’re into a footwear business, you cannot market sports footwear to customers keen on buying casual footwear.
4. Niche Down
When you niche down, you’ll be able to add more parameters that will help you identify your target audience. When you develop a specific plan of action, you’ll understand what pain points your business, thereby providing your customers with real value. Join as many online forums as possible and see the world through your customers’ eyes. Then tailor your product’s features to provide specific solutions to your client’s problems.
5. Run a Survey
Surveys are another excellent way of assessing your customers’ specific needs and problems. You can send out a survey after the checkout process either through an email list or SMS. There are many free tools out there that can help you create effective, to-the-point surveys.
6. Understand Their Psychological Needs
Today it’s not enough to just understand your customers’ demographic and geographic needs. You also need to be up to date with their emotional needs. Find out what kind of promotions attract them and to what extent they can tolerate them. Refrain from sending out advertisements in every space where they hang out. Similarly, determine what kind of content appeals to them by tracking their engagement on various social media platforms. Then try to create similar content centered around such themes. Play with colors and see which ones bring a better response.
7. Research Your Competitors
Always keep a close eye on your competitors, especially those who have been around for a long time.
Understand what works for them and what doesn’t. Take note of their areas of improvement and see how you can address that in your products and services. This could be super quality coupled with lower prices, faster services without delivery charges, or any other specific feature absent from your company’s offerings as well.
Always try to offer at least one unique feature that can help set you apart from your competitors.
8. Monitor Your Progress
Lastly, monitor your customers and their buying behavior and change your promotions, contents, and offerings accordingly. Doing this will help you retain your existing customer base and allow you to reach new, potential clients.
Most marketers engage in promotional activities and strategies without researching their target audience. As a result, they find it difficult to reach their ROI within a specified timeframe and end up incurring huge losses and missing out on great business profits.
Narrowing down your target audience is essential not just to increase sales, generate leads, or boost profits but also to build your reputation and brand image. When you focus on your customers, it becomes easy to serve them, and in turn, you emerge as a trusted brand in the market.
We hope the tips we’ve offered help you meet your goals and attain business success.