6 steps to identify your target audience
Before creating brands and products, you to have to define a target audience. This very important process includes building personas – fictional customers representing your target market.
Market vs public
A target market is a range of potential customers based on demographic, geographic, psychographic and behavioral segments. For example, single mothers aged 35-54. A target spectators is more specific, such as single mothers aged 35-54 who drink organic coffee.
The target audience should guide all onsite conversion efforts, including content, navigation, and calls to action. A brand’s voice encompasses more than words. Therefore, not understanding the potential buyers of your products is a surefire way to miss sales.
But what if you’re not sure? Or what if you target the wrong customers?
Here are six steps to knowing your target audience.
Identifying a target audience
Segment existing customers. Analyze website and purchase data to group customers by demographics and behaviors. How did they find your store? If they came from organic search, what keywords did they use? Study support tickets for common phrases. Read product reviews (on-site and off-site).
Study the market. Know your competitors. What are the gaps in the market? Consider hiring an expert to gather crucial information.
Analyze competitors. Study the competitors from top to bottom. Analysis is essential. What are they doing good and bad? Who are they for and how? Which of their campaigns is working? How much are they selling? Spy on your competitors to meet buyer needs.
Survey your buyers. Want to know what’s important to current customers? Ask! Simple polls will tell a lot. Avoid asking a multitude of invasive questions at once. Instead, deploy short surveys with one or two person-identifying queries, such as “where do you live?” or “how many children do you have?” Consider hosting live “ask me anything” or “tell us what you think” (video or audio) sessions with a group of customers for real-time honest feedback.
Review the trends. Industry trends impact both competitors and customers. Some trends are recurring or seasonal. Others are short and impactful. Examine the most compelling trends of the past two years and their effects on your business.
Interpret the data. Data from the steps above can reveal how people become loyal customers. Use a spreadsheet to do calculations and create clear characters in an easy to digest format.
HubSpot, for example, summarizes a hypothetical customer’s job title, age, education level, and more.
Identifying a target audience is not a one-time process. Audiences change.
One example is Duck Brand, which as the Melvin A. Anderson Company produced duct tape to support military efforts during World War II. As use moved to commercial (heating and air ducts) and then to consumers, the brand followed, introducing colored tape in 1980 and patterns (camouflage) in 1997 Today, the product is a staple of DIY projects and crafts.