Identifying your target audience helps your business in a multitude of ways, such as helping you create the most effective marketing campaigns. Additionally, it can have a significant effect on your branding. Knowing who you’re trying to serve with your company will allow you to target, connect and convert clients and customers much more easily. It gives you a clearer idea in which direction to shift your business focus and efforts to as well.
1. Crafting the right messages
The most appealing messages such as on a landing page, in an ad, or a social media post, is specific to an audience. The more specific you can get in identifying your target audience, the more targeted our message will be. There are plenty of products to target both genders. However, if you narrow it down to just females or males, your message is going to resonate a whole lot more. You can then take it even further by targeting gender fluid or transgender people or even as specific as transgender females golfers and so on…
The reason you want to do this is that a transgender woman who golfs is going to respond to a different message than women in general and men altogether.
Don’t stop at gender either! Identify their age, their lifestyle, believes/values, religion, geographic area, income, industry, career level, and even personality! There are so many different ways to characterize groups of people. The more you understand them, the better you’ll be able to speak their language and relate to them.
Subaru wowed the lesbian market
Back in the 90s, Subaru was struggling and decided to hire an agency to help with their marketing. They didn’t want to compete against larger car makers like Toyota and Ford. They wanted to focus on on the outdoorsy target audience, and they started to research that target audience. That’s when they discovered that lesbians were 4 times more likely to purchase a Subaru! That’s an incredible finding, wouldn’t you say?
Even though it was considered risky to do so during the 90s – due to backlash and ignorance – Subaru decided to follow through on their research. It was so successful they created a cult following among the lesbian community. It worked significantly in their favor to target such a specific audience!
2. Maximize your time, effort and resources
As a small business, you don’t have time or resources to waste. By focusing on a specific target audience, you will be able to narrow down the market and get better results. Trying to target every type of audience is not cheap, and even giant companies like Apple, SalesForce, or Venmo do it.
In turn, this gives you the ability to focus your efforts on people who are most likely going to make a purchase which just makes financial sense. And, focusing on a target audience becomes more cost-effective because your campaigns are now running on a smaller scale.
3. Gain a competitive edge through value
When it comes to completion, most companies offer more or less the same features or services. Understanding your target audience’s needs is good enough to create a product or an offer that will serve those needs. But, knowing who they are, what they value and what results they’re after will help you stand out from the competition and connect with your target audience more efficiently. It’s not just about crafting the right message but aligning your company with the values of your target audience. This will give you great positioning in the niche against your competitors since you’d now be filling an emotional void in the marketplace.
This is especially important to take note of if you’re competing against larger companies. Thanks to online marketing, small companies like yours or mine can easily compete against the giants and win. Hell, we can now even tap into international customers!
When you know your target audience, you can anticipate their needs within the sales funnel and level up and customize the customer experience to your target audience. That is so underrated in almost any market, it will help you stand out right away!
Reshaping fitness industry
Take for instance the fitness industry. You join a gym for a reason. Your reason is different than mine. I hate going to a typical gym because I don’t know what to do with the machines. Not knowing how to use them at all, or better yet, how to get the best work out with them I avoided gyms altogether. I always thought it would be boring to work out there for an hour a few times a week because it’s mindlessly repetitive and, again, I’m intimidated by the whole setting. I also don’t have time to fidget with machines for 5-10minutes because I’ve got a life and business to run; this is the last place I’d want to hang out, so those extra 10 min are important to me.
What if a local gym knew that and make an effort to target “gym-shy” people who want to lose weight like I did earlier this year?
They could improve the experience of the gym by investing in signs on the walls or even a workout app that tells me exactly what to do today in order to work out my arms. It would tell me that since I can’t do proper pushups, I should try doing ten push up on an elevated bar at the Smith machine instead. Then ask me again next week to see if I can maybe do twenty now. They can tell me to walk up to this specific machine, put these settings on it and show me how to perform a simple exercise and for how long. Hell, take it a step further and have an “I need help” button on the walls or in the app that would call a trainer to come and help me.
I joined LA Fitness and they, of course, said that all the trainers will gladly help me, too bad I could not identify them nor find them during my whole 3 months of training there. As luck would have it, I got no help and stuck repeating the same two moves with dumbbells over and over again. It was a horrible experience.
What I’m getting at is this. If the experience of the gym can be improved for shy, clueless and intimidated people like myself, they can then use this to craft the best possible messages in their marketing. I’d go so quickly!!!
I also want to point out that for me, hiring a personal trainer wasn’t a financial option at the time. In this scenario, the gym would invest to make the customer experience better for someone like me who can’t afford one or someone who is also intimidated in working out alongside one. And that is such a targeted scenario! That’s the whole beauty of it!
How do you learn and identify your target audience?
The best way to learn more about your target audience is to do some research on your past and current clients! I’m sure there are some patterns you’ve observes, but we need to dig deeper. The first step is to look at your analytic tools as it can tell you a great general story of who your visitors and buyers are such as their location, gender, and even age. This gives you a quick, high-level overview of your target audience.
Next, you have to take it a step further. The reality is that your products or services can, in fact, appeal to a wide range of people whose goals, motivation and needs vary drastically. Even someone as specific as gay, transgender women can have different fashion styles. At the same type, you can find people with all sorts of needs at your local gym such as weight loss, muscle gain, toning, improving flexibility, general movement, attending classes and so much more.
An excellent way to learn thoroughly about your target audience is to send a quick survey to your past and current clients. Give them an incentive like $10 Amazon gift card or a 25% discount on their next purchase for taking the time to fill it out for you. Do many different surveys to cover various topics or areas of interest. Sending a single large survey is a bad idea for two reasons. First, people won’t sit through it. Second, you can use the insight already gathered to further develop your target audience research.
If you don’t want to do it yourself, hire a consultant, and they will be able to take care of it for you.
Lastly, be honest with them why you’re doing it, which is to learn about your customers and be able to better resonate with them in the future! As you know, I’m a big proponent of honesty and authenticity, so this can only help build your brand up!
As you can see, by understanding, observing and listening to your target audience can help your business compete on value, not just the features. You can save money, time and effort trying to please or appeal to everyone. You will also save because you’re no longer guessing, you’re informed now! There is no better way to get the highest conversions as crafting a specific message to your target audience – one that will feel like it’s speaking to them personally. But you can’t do any of this without a proper understanding of your target audience.