Updated: Nov 30, 2020
How well do you know your customers?
Successful businesses take this question very seriously. Business owners want to know who their potential customers will be prior to even launching their sales initiatives and the business itself. Why? Simply put, it's because it’s important to understand your customers behaviors and purchasing decisions. Every investment that you make to reach and interact with your customer base needs to factor in their preferences, habits, and demographic characteristics. Take Jack Sparrow for example:
Identifying a target market helps your company develop effective marketing communication strategies. A target market is a set of individuals sharing similar needs or characteristics that your company hopes to serve. These individuals are usually the end users most likely to purchase your product.
So when it comes time to identify your target market, start by analyzing both the demographics and psychographics of your target audience. Meaning, you want to get a better understanding of why your customers will buy what they buy and do what they do, so that you can adhere to their needs and wants.
In the marketing mix, there are a combination of factors that can be controlled by a company to influence consumers to purchase their products. These factors include what’s called the 4 P’s in marketing lingo: Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. However, there are many external factors that cannot be controlled by the business, which is why getting a crystal clear understanding of your target audience is absolutely crucial.
The important thing to remember here is that depending on your target audience’s demographics and psychographics, there is generally a “best suited” way to communicate value to them. There is not a one size fits all in marketing communications, so understanding which marketing medium is right for the appropriate target audience is important.
For many businesses, the marketing and communications strategies being deployed include some combination of the following elements:
For each of these, it is paramount that the business is utilizing a common, unifying objective that allows them to work in synergy to reach your target audience. Knowing what they are going to need to hear, understand, and see about your product/service offering to drive them to take purchasing action is, ultimately, the core tenet that you need to tap into to drive sales. Everything from the look and feel you are deploying to the “Call to Action” geared to drive the business conversion must resonate with your target audience. Quite simply, that is impossible to accomplish without having a deep understanding of your target audience.
So where do you get started when defining your target audience?
We have 5 steps that we like to begin with when we start working with our clients to help refine this process:
Step 1: Define an answer to the question: “Who is going to benefit from your products/services?” This is ultimately going to be the audience that you want to focus on reaching as they have the incentive to want to acquire your product or service.
Step 2: Outline the demographic information that is known about the individuals that are going to benefit from your product or service. This information will help you understand core characteristics that need to be accounted for when deciding how to reach your target.
Step 3: Outline the psychographic information that is known about the individuals that are going to benefit from your product or service. This information will help you understand habits and patterns that need to be factored in when deciding on how to reach your target.
Step 4: Map out the factors that are going to drive the buying decision for your target audience. This is important because you want to more than just effectively reach your target audience, you want them to convert to business. Knowing what will drive that decision allows you to make sure that the conversions are happening after you reach them.
Step 5: Determine any limitations or internal restrictions that will impact how you are going to be reaching your target audience. Budgetary realities, time constraints, or competing strategic priorities all can affect what your business is going to be able to realistically execute. When making your plan on how to reach your target audience, this needs to be an element that is considered so that you are positioning yourself in the best way possible to drive success.
Businesses of all sizes struggle with the exercise and it's one that is going to need to be continuously done as your target audience’s preferences are not going to remain static. Oak Street is here to help whether you are just getting started or if you are looking to jump start your existing approach. Reach out today for a free consultation on what a consulting project could look like for your organization.