Determining your target audience
One of the most important parts of any marketing strategy is determining who your target audience is. There is no point in spending money to market your product if you don’t know who you are trying to market to. Also, once you determine your audience, you will have a better idea of where and how to spend your advertising and marketing budget.
To determine your target audience you need to consider what your product is, where you want to sell it, and what demographics would be more likely to purchase your product, or products you compete with. There are several key demographics that you want to consider:
- marital status
A helpful way to do this is by creating buyer personas. Essentially what this is is writing down a “profile” of the person that would buy your product. Give him/her a name, a face, and a story. Write down what she does for a living, what her family status is, and list some interests and hobbies. Do a handful of these, each one different than the last. After you have several of these done, you will have a much clearer picture of exactly who you are marketing to. You’ll also have a personal connection with these people which will impact the quality of your message to them.
Depending on where your target consumer falls in these main categories, this will determine how you advertise. For example, if your target audience is single, middle-class, women aged 18-24 then it might be a good idea to incorporate Pinterest into your marketing strategy. Pinterest is an up and coming social network with an audience that consists of 80% young women. Now, this is a very specific example, but you get this point.
Another thing you might want to consider is making the distinction between who you want to buy your product, and who is actually buying your product. There are many instances where you expect your product or service to be very popular with a certain demographic, only to find that another group has adopted it. If you find that to be the case, it might be time to adjust who you are marketing to. This principal generally only applies to brands that have established sales figures, but if you are a new company starting the marketing journey, it would be best to pay attention to this from the start.
So now that you’ve determined who you expect to buy your product, or who you want to buy your product, you can spend time finding out which methods are best for reaching those people. For this you will have to do a fair amount of market research and a lot of “Googling”. You’ll want to find out what methods your direct competitors are using and also it would be a good idea to look at other products that target your same audience and see what marketing channels they use. An example of this would be someone that is marketing speed boats who has determined that their audience is men, aged 30-45, with an annual income of $80,000+. Knowing this, it might be a good idea to look at, say, golf equipment, or luxury cars, as these have similar target audiences.
Knowing your target audience upfront will save you a lot of money over the life of your campaign, and will yield much higher return on investment. By taking the time to find the small group of people that are most likely to purchase your product, you increase the chances that putting your ad in front of them will yield a result. Take the time to do this right, or find someone that knows what they’re doing to help.