Define your target audience for maximum success

Minimize marketing spillage by defining your target audience

In marketing, targeting is tricky but crucial for success. It is hard to make an educated guess about who will actually listen and act on your efforts.

The key lies in defining who your target audience is and what are the best ways to reach them. But determining who that market is can be harder than you think.

Here are a few ways to think about your target audience

  1. Take a funnel approach: 

    For many business leaders it is helpful to think of audience determination as a multi-staged funnel, explained Forbes contributor Chuck Cohn. There are multiple layers to this technique. Say, for example, you start with gender at the top. For gender-specific products, this is a good starting point. Let’s take a nail salon, the gender of your audience will likely be female. From there you could filter through things like age range and income level. As you move through the filters, your end product will be a more focused target for your marketing efforts, noted Cohn. This approach can help you easily create a generalized audience base.

  2. Define the problems you solve: 

    A great way to narrow down your target audience is to determine some things about your business as a whole. According to The Marketing Donut, this should be the first step in distinguishing a target market. Ask yourself: What problems does my business solve? This can vary widely based on your business. If you own a pizza shop, the problem you solve is simple: hunger. However, the more technical the offerings are the more unique the solutions tend to be. Figure out what your value proposition is and you will be able to determine a whole lot about your target audience.

  3. Look to the data: 

    You’ve heard us talk about the importance of analytics and data before, and targeting your audience is a prime example of when this information is useful. If you have been tracking your marketing, there are ways you can see what age ranges, genders and overall demographics have responded best to your marketing. This can help you test and learn which content works best per audience segment.

  4. Ask yourself who stands to benefit from your offers:

    More often than not your audience is made up of people who can benefit from what you offer. Once you have determined the problems you solve, pinpoint what people have those problems in the first place. Those consumers are the ones you want to target with your solution. Make sure to get as specific as possible. Would one demographic benefit more from your services? They should be your top priority when crafting marketing materials.

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