Whenever anyone talks about marketing your business you will hear a lot of mention of your target audience aka your avatar. These are the people you are going to target with your marketing with the aim of selling them your product or service.
Why do I need a ‘target audience’
In some ways narrowing the people you sell your product or service to seems crazy….wouldn’t it be better to have a huge pool of prospective customers. Unfortunately unless you have a budget to match NASA you just cannot afford to have ‘everyone’ be your target audience. The fact might be that anyone COULD use your product or service, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus your efforts.
How do I know who my target audience should be?
It can be quite tricky to decide who to target and in general we have two ways of figuring this out:
You already have a small business with clients and you want to grow
If you are already running your business then you can look at your existing clients to decide who your target audience should be. This could be based around who buys your highest value products and who buys regularly – so all about the money. However it is also worth looking at what kinds of people recommend you to others as this will enable business growth. Finally, and this is especially relevant if you are delivering a service yourself, bear in mind who you enjoy working with, so that every day is not a chore.
You are setting up your business from scratch and don’t have any customers
If you are starting your own business then your chosen target audience is going to come much more down to personal preference and your current connections. Perhaps you can target people in an industry you have worked in, so you have contacts to draw on and a familiarity with the sector. Maybe you are setting up the business because you want to help people like you; maybe single mothers or people living in city apartments. Really analyse ‘your story’ – why have you decided to start this business, what are your passions…this will help you develop your first target audience and you can always change and adjust it once you have customers and know what works.
What do I need to know about my target audience?
So the whole point of having a target audience is so you can sell to them and in order to do that you need to know things about them….the first things you will likely know are:
- Geographic location
- What economic bracket they fall into
If you are a Business 2 Business service provider these might be the characteristics of the decision makers, you will also need to know the businesses you are targeting:
Now you need to know more intrinsic things and these can be a little more tricky to find out. Sometimes you can find this information in social media or website statistics or you could survey your existing or possible clients, however you can also make assumptions based on your knowledge of your target audience (which you should have because selling to an audience you don’t know or understand is a mistake)
You need to know what your target audience Like and Do Not Like. You need to know what they are afraid of, what their problem is (in relation to your product or service) and how you can allay that fear and solve their problem. You need to know where to find them – physically or digitally, what they read, watch or where they hang out.
Once you have built this picture you will be ready to start on your marketing plan!
Remember if your target audience starts to get too vague or if you have a diverse target audience you may need more than one customer avatar and in which case you’ll need a strategy and budget for all of them!
One final point to remember is that these are the people you are TARGETING. If other clients come along and want to buy from you that’s fine, but this is to decide on your marketing for your business and make the best use of your budget.
If you need help defining or reaching your target audience get in touch.