Defining Your Target Audience

Defining your Target Audience

Working out what service or product you are going to offer is a pretty straight forward part of starting a new business. First, you find the problem, then you present your solution. What can often be challenging for business owners is determining who has this particular problem and how to get your solution to them. This is why defining your target audience is a fundamental step to marketing your offering.

There is no doubt that by defining your target audience will bring clarity to your business and your brand.

Thinking that everyone needs your product or service is not a wise mind set and can often be one of the biggest mistakes businesses make. By trying to reach everyone, you will end up appealing to no one.

It can affect your brand in many ways, making it diluted and confusing.

In this post, our aim is to help you understand what a target audience is and look at the reasons why it’s so important to define it in order to grow your business. To develop a strong brand requires laser focus on the specific group of people who really need your product or service offering.

What is a target audience?

A target audience is a specific group of people at which your marketing message is aimed.
Targeted marketing will narrow your attention on the people that really matter to you, bringing them closer to you and your products or services.

A target audience can be defined by people of a certain age, gender, marital status, location or a combination of these factors. Determining your target audience is one of the most important activities you can do to help bring clarity to your business, so you understand where you’re heading, which then allows you to carry out the best work you can do.

The clarity with this is to understand and listen to the group of people you want to attract, who they are, what their habits are. Become familiar with their behaviours, likes, dislikes, geographical location, when they are most likely to read your communication. The list is endless, the key is to really get under the skin of those you want to target, to understand how they think, what triggers them to make decisions and what influences them.

Listening to your audience sounds an easy task, but for many of us, it proves more difficult than we think. You may want to start with a little investigative work to find out about them, looking at where they hang out, where they network, what is their preferred social media platform, what conferences or forums they attend, your goal is to locate them to strike up that first conversation.

Of course you will be excluding a lot of other people when you become very specific but that’s ok. Just because you are targeting a particular set of people, it doesn’t mean that those are the only people that are going to be attracted to you. What’s more, you are not saying that you don’t want to do business with anyone else outside of your target market, you are just focusing your efforts on the people who you think are most in need of what you offer and who are going to be most receptive to your message.

If you look at any large successful business or brand, they are very specific about who they are trying to reach. They understand that the more they niche down to get to know one type of person with a specific problem, the easier it is for them to speak in a language that resonates with them, making it easier for them to refine their message and more importantly offer a bespoke solution to the problem.

It’s far more effective to appeal to one category of people and capture everyone in that category, rather than appeal to 20 different types of people, where your message and language can become convoluted and perplexing.

Once you’ve established yourself in a specific market over a period of time, you can start to grow by expanding your audience.

It’s much easier to start small, giving your target audience and your business room to grow, rather than starting on a large scale, which often makes it difficult to really communicate and connect to the people you want.

As you grow, you may need to redefine your target audience. This is great as long as you are conscious that by adding a different category of people you are not compromising your business values or purpose or diversifying too far away from your core product or service offering.

Once you have defined your target audience, you know their problem and you have a solution, you will then need to evaluate the best way to reach them. This is a whole new topic which opens up a multitude of options; we will be back to talk about that in a future blog post.

For now, we hope this article has given you some valuable insight into the importance of defining and understanding your target audience to help you tailor your best work to people that really matter to you, which will lead to building yourself a great reputation and establishing yourself as an expert in what you do.

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