Marketing 101: Five Secrets to defining your target audience

- Entrepreneurial Skills

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by Susan Ranford

The importance of marketing in business is obvious to everyone. Whether you’re new to starting a business or have years of experience, you’ll likely know you’ll need to invest time and money into marketing your product or service. Yet, many people still have a lot of problems with marketing and sales. In fact, it’s often what separates the good companies from the great. It can also often be the difference between a business succeeding or failing.

The problems mostly lie in the details of marketing. Everyone knows the importance of ads, but don’t know how to create one, or who they want to view them. This is often because they haven’t ascertained their target market. So this brings us to the importance of targeting.

Defining a target audience means picking a subset of people that you want to attract to your business. This can be for many reasons, from the number of people in this subset to their willingness to buy your product. Ascertaining this target market can help you effectively sell to them. This can lead to greater market share and profits from your marketing efforts.

So, we decided to put together this article outlining five secrets to defining your target audience that you can use to help boost your business.

#1: Create a questionnaire that looks for questions, not answers

Questionnaires are one of the most widely used methods of finding a target market. The secret here is in asking for questions as responses. So, asking your subjects what question they ask themselves when stressed, when shopping, or when at home relaxing. You can also have a more specific section asking them what they ask themselves about your product. This can help provide unique problems for you to address with your product, service or marketing. Because many businesses ask for simple responses, their scope will not be as large. So, this can be a good way to get an edge when defining your target audience.

#2: Put out a ‘feeler’ advertising campaign

Feeler advertising campaigns are general advertising campaigns that are aimed at everybody. They are most useful in Facebook but can be used in other mediums. Here, you can see how the audience responds best to your ad and allow you to hone in on a population that has the most interest in your product. It also shows the audience most likely to engage. So, while it may cost some money to start off with, feeler ads can help make your advertising and targeting more efficient in the long term.

#3: Create an ‘ideal customer’ profile, or avatar

Another way to approach your targeting is to start with the customer that you want the most. Taking the time to sit down and fully detail your ideal customer can help you create a target audience with little cost or time. This can tie in with the above methods too for added effectiveness. Just make sure your avatar is specific and comprehensive.

#4: Try your product on a range of ‘sample’ demographics and have them rank it in terms of desire and preference.

If a feeler ad is out of the question, or you prefer a more practical approach, providing samples of your product to a range of ‘test demographics’ is another option. Here, you can provide free or discounted forms of your product or service to get feedback from different demographics. It also acts as an easy way to help market your product and improve your image by design, which could lead to future customers down the road.

#5: Question new clients on why they want your service (and why they want it from you)

Many new entrepreneurs focus solely on providing their service or product to new clients or customers that they often forget to ask why they arrived in the first place. Asking clients what they want from your service or product, and why, both before and after delivering it, can provide key insights into your audience. It can help you target them better based on their real needs rather than assumptions and create far more effective marketing strategies. This can boost both your sales and market growth and help you become an industry leader in time.

Photo Credit: Campaign Creators, Unsplash

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