Posted By: Kyle Fagala
If you’re a small business owner, the topic of target audience is going to come up a lot in discussions about marketing. There’s a reason for that! If you don’t know exactly who to target, how will you know where to aim or if you’ve hit your mark? Taking the time to clearly define your target market will ultimately save you time, resources, and effort as you work to grow your brand. How? Let’s take a deeper look at the importance of defining your brand’s target audience!
Defining your target audience gives you focus and direction
Some business owners worry that being too specific in defining their target audience will mean missing out on a larger number of potential clients. But having a clearly defined audience doesn’t mean you can’t serve those who fall outside it! You’ll still be able to assist anyone interested in your services, you just won’t be investing valuable resources into attracting them to your business.
When you spread your marketing efforts too thin, it can be difficult to achieve significant results. Defining your target audience will dictate the platform, content, and tone you use in your marketing. This helps you refine your services to meet their specific needs, resulting in greater returns for you. Put simply, targeted marketing allows you to focus your money and your message on an audience that’s more likely to buy from you than another group of people. It’s an affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach more potential clients.
How do you define a target audience?
Start with what you already know. Who are your current clients? Which services and products are they most interested in? Look for any common characteristics and interests among them—it’s very likely that other people who are similar to them would also benefit from what your brand has to offer. You can break this group down further into demographics, including their:
- income level
- education level
- marital or family status
- employment status
Consider the psychographics of this group as well. These are the more personal characteristics of a person, such as their:
Stay curious! Determine how your product or service will fit into your target audience’s lifestyle. How will they use what you’re offering? Which features are most appealing to them? What media do they use when they need trusted information? Do they tend to read the newspaper, search online, or frequently listen to the radio?
You can also use some of these tactics with your competitors. Who are their current clients? Resist the temptation to go after the same audience if possible. This may give you the chance to find a niche market that they’re overlooking!
Analyze what you’re offering
Every business has something unique to offer, along with their standard services. Create a list that shows each benefit of your product or services. For example, Neon Canvas offers customized marketing solutions for every client. The benefit is generating and converting more leads. The more successful the brands we work with are, the more successful our own brand will be. Ultimately, we’re beneficial to each other!
The same is true for your business and clients. Once you’ve dissected what benefits your brand offers, make a corresponding list of people who have a need that would be fulfilled by those benefits. This will give you a solid base to start from.
Evaluate your audience
After you’ve taken the above steps and decided on a target audience, dig a little deeper. Ask the following questions about your brand and the target market you’ve chosen.
- Are there enough people in your area that fit the criteria for your target audience?
- Will your target market benefit from the services or products you offer?
- Will your target audience see a need for what your brand offers?
- Do you have a good understanding of what drives your target audience to make decisions?
- Can your target market afford the services and products you offer?
- Will your target audience be open to your brand’s message? Are they easily accessible?
At this point, you may be wondering where on earth to find all this information. It’s out there! Start with a basic Google search for research others have done on your target market. It also pays to look for blogs and articles that talk about or to them. There will be social media platforms, forums, and other online communities where people in your target market are communicating their thoughts and opinions, which can contain valuable insights. Be on the lookout for relevant survey results, or consider conducting a survey of your own! Don’t be afraid to ask your current clients for feedback, too.
Don’t go too far down the rabbit hole
It can be exciting when a picture of your target audience begins to emerge, but don’t be tempted to break the market down too far! Remember that it’s possible to have more than one niche market, but it’s all about finding that perfect balance. If you have multiple niche markets, you may need a different marketing message for each, or you may feel that a single message will suffice. If you believe you can reach numerous niche markets effectively with the same message, it’s possible you’ve broken that market down too far. Alternatively, if there are only a handful of people that tick every box you have for a target market, you may need to expand your criteria.
The good news is, defining your target market is the tough part! Once you know who your brand is targeting, it’s much easier to figure out how to reach them with an effective marketing message. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and aren’t sure how to make it make sense for your brand, our team is here to help! We’ll be glad to walk you through the process of targeting, marketing to, and converting your target audience for the greatest return on your investments. Reach out anytime!
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
Co-Founder, Neon Canvas