When asked about “target audience,” many businesses say they do not have anyone specific. As long as the consumers are interested in their services or products, these people are their target market. Some also say they aim at attracting small business owners, stay-at-home moms, or homeowners. However, these groups of individuals are too general. You need to target a particular market to compete with other brands effectively.
Having a particular market is not about excluding those who do not fit the category or criteria. What it truly means is you focus your marketing funds and efforts as well as your brand message on a certain market that has a bigger chance of buying than other markets. This technique is not only more affordable but is also a better and more efficient method of reaching potential clients.
If you have an interior design company and you choose to target homeowners, you can define this particular market further. Instead of just “homeowners,” you can aim at those who are from 35 to 65 years old with an annual income of $150,000 and up. You can identify your market even further by targeting a specific city in a given state. Include their interests as well, such as remodeling of bathroom and kitchen.
Because you have clearly defined your target audience, you will find it easy to determine how and where to promote your brand. Not only would a specific target audience help promote your brand, you can fully understand their pain points and come out with new products that they would absolutely love.
In simple words, your target audience is a group of people who will pay you. Before outlining the steps for you, there are basically three kinds of people who can fit into the description of your “target audience.”
The person who will pay for your products or services
The person who will influence #1
Your primary focus is the actual person who will pay for your product or service. Often, this is your current or your next boss, but it can also be your bank or investor. Of course, it can also be the target customers of your existing or future business.
Once you have figured out who that person or group of persons is, it will be much easier to reach your goal. The following steps will help you through the necessary process of refining your market to achieve a more effective brand implementation:
The first thing that you should do is to know the person who is in charge of your career’s progress. It could be your client, an investor, or your immediate superior as mentioned above. Once you have identified this person, you can move on to the next step.
Once you have identified the person, you should now be able to create a thorough description. You can open a document and write what you picture your audience to be such as their:
As much as possible, go into extreme detail, such as the daily tasks of the person and what they do on weekends or during their free time with their family and friends. Have as many details as you can, which can help you target this person easier.
As you build the profile, you will soon find yourself in their head, which will make it simple to find out what inspires them. This particular detail is important because it will make it easier for you to help them achieve their goals, which will give way to you achieving your own.
For example, if your target audience is your client and his or her motivation is to build their business, you should be able to help them get more sales for more profit. If you can do it, the client will happily pay for your products, which allows you to achieve your goals.
After you have learned what motivates your target audience, you can help them achieve their goals. While you can do this on your own, you can also discover opportunities that will help you learn more about them. One method is to simply have a conversation with them.
If you are already selling products or services, you can use them as a guide so that you can find your specific target audience. Your current customers and the reasons why they buy from you are clues that point to who your market is.
Look for something they have in common, whether it is their characteristics or their interests. You should be able to determine which ones bring in the most profits for your business. Even though you are the one getting the money from them, they are benefiting from your product or service as well. Additionally, it is highly likely that people like them could also find the goods you offer as helpful.
Inspect your direct competitors and know who they are targeting. Determine who their current customers are and make sure you DON’T go after them. Often, there is a niche market that they may have overlooked.
List the features and benefits of your product or service. After that, list the people who could benefit from what you offer. At this point, you could still have a general audience. However, you can use it as a base to specify a more restricted client base.
Now that you have decided what to target, it is time to ask yourself some questions to make sure you have chosen the right one for your brand. Some of these questions may be:
Are there enough individuals who match your criteria?
Are you sure that your target market will really benefit from your product or service? Will they realize it on their own?
Do you know what motivates your target audience to make their choices?
Can your target market afford your product or service?
Are they easily reachable through communication?
Often, the hard part is only when you find your target market. However, once you know who or what group to target, it will become much easier to provide for their needs and demands. It will also become simpler for you to define which media to use in reaching out to them, along with the kind of marketing messages that will resonate with them.
Just like you, other companies have devoted their time, effort, and resources to identify their target markets. Here are some examples, along with how finding their target audience allowed them to maximize their marketing return on investment:
You may find this a little strange since Apple is already a tech giant, so anyone would probably be interested in them. As with every business, Apple also specializes, particularly because it surprisingly has a small share of some markets where it operates compared to the competitors.
For example, with mobile phones during the third quarter of the year 2013, about 81% of devices sold were Android. Meanwhile, Apple devices only had 12.9% sales. It may sound bad for this big company because they just have over one-tenth of sales in the market. However, Apple made 56% of the total industry profits.
You can easily find clothes retailers these days, especially online. You can buy at different online stores, including Amazon where many people just look for anything they want. But Ties.com only focuses on one item of clothing, which sets them apart from others.
As their name suggests, they specialize in ties, which allowed them to offer the largest collection of neckwear. Yes, you can find many online places for buying clothes, but when it comes to a unique tie, the website is where you will find what you are looking for.
Pinterest started as a tool for the founders to simply collect what served as visual inspiration for them. After that, they decided to make it available online so other users can access it. At first, it was difficult for Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp (founders of Pinterest) to find their target market.
A certain conference allowed them to determine later that lifestyle bloggers found Pinterest helpful for them. However, instead of going for the broad target audience consisting of creative people, they chose those who were not professionals. Soon after, their target market became those who were interested in creative ideas for fashion, home décor, and others.
Pinterest discovered its target audience by observing how people were using the tool, along with the whys and who’s. Through the discovery, it became a hit and is now one of the most used social media platforms.
There are plenty of options with accounting software. Some of them are quite successful in their markets, which is why it is hard to stand out in the sea of competition. Blackbaud did not fear of the tough competition though, and instead of going for the same target audience, it focused on just one group of customers: nonprofits.
These nonprofit organizations have unique needs, which are not met by traditional accounting software. By supplying their demands through software solutions, Blackbaud achieved an average revenue growth speed of 15% for over ten years.
As with accounting software, the electrical devices and appliances is a highly competitive industry. It is also difficult to stand out, so instead of going with the usual target market, Lehman’s opted to provide products that run without electricity.
Lehman’s specializes in nonelectric tools and appliances. As old-fashioned as it may seem, they have successfully penetrated the market by targeting environmentalists, fishers, hunters, and homesteaders among others.
Their unique appliances allowed them to be used by set designers in Hollywood to make their layout more accurate whenever they need historical pieces for their films.
Aside from producing quality trucks, Volvo has also mastered content marketing. With their efforts, they soon became the second largest brand for heavy-duty trucks in the world. The company now employs more than 19,000 people from many corners of the globe.
The company is based in San Francisco, and it targets those who are left-handed. From school supplies to gardening tools to kitchen goods, everything is for lefties. The retail store also offers custom gifts for those with loved ones who are left-handed.
According to statistics, only 10% of the world population utilizes their left hand as their dominant hand. Lefty’s invested on PPC advertisement, which allowed for the use of search terms exclusively for lefties. For instance, if someone types “left-handed scissors,” there will be PPC ads from the retail store on the search results. Lefty’s has proven that it is not impossible to compete efficiently against big retailers in the PPC advertising scene.
This company works almost like Ties.com where instead of ties, Bonobos specialize on men’s pants. Founders Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn surveyed their schoolmates in Stanford and discovered that most of the guys were not happy with their pants. They said that slacks bought from stores did not fit them properly.
Therefore, they launched their brand. Six months after the debut of their e-commerce store, they immediately earned a total of one million in revenue. After that, they expanded their brand to include shirts, shoes, and suits for men.
Bonobos use the power of email marketing as well to reach their target customers. These people want to purchase specific items, which is why they send emails to them offering custom recommendations based on the transactions those customers recently had with their online store.
These companies have found success by knowing their target market and of course, by being a relevant source of products and services for their audience. Your business can achieve the same thing. Instead of going for the obvious, generic choices for your target audience, focus on becoming the best option for your ideal customers.