Why your Audience Isn’t “Everybody”
When developing a print or digital marketing campaign, do you know your target market? No matter how great your product or service, it’s not going to appeal to everyone. By choosing the right target audience, and making an investment in that audience, you focus your marketing dollars on the people most likely to buy from you. You can also increase the effectiveness of your messaging (and therefore make more money) by tailoring your message to your audience’s specific needs.
Let’s say you are a commercial paving service. Most businesses need a commercially paved lot, but they may not be responsible for maintaining those lots. Your target audience will be municipal governments, the owners or property managers of strip malls or commercial buildings, and businesses with standalone locations. Likewise, if you are an independent pet supplies store, you might think your audience is anyone whose best friend has fur, feathers, or scales. More likely, however, it will be a subset of this market who value convenience, top-quality ingredients, and boutique service.
Once you have identified your target audience, you can craft your messaging specifically to them. You will use different language, different incentives, and appeal to different motivators than you would to a general audience.
But what if you don’t know who your target audience is? Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Open a conversation. Host in-store events or engage buyers in person. Find out who they are, why they buy from you, and what is most important to them.
2. Conduct surveys. Send a direct mail or digital survey with a link to a personalized URL where you can gather information easily. Use free online surveys like SurveyMonkey.
3. Profile your existing customer base. Send the data from your top customers to a data house. Look for patterns that give you a profile of the type of customer most likely to buy from you.
4. Look at your direct competitors. Who are your competitors targeting? Look at their messaging. What can you learn?
Find the right target audience and get to know them. While it might seem counter-intuitive, narrowing your focus actually helps you increase your revenues by selling more products to the right people more effectively.
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