You may have the most astounding product or service, but it means nothing if you aren’t getting it in front of the right people! In fact, a slight miss in your target audience demographic definition may be responsible for sluggish sales. If you are ready to talk to the people that need to listen, it may be beneficial to head back to the drawing board and start from scratch.
First and foremost, it would be impossible to target everyone. That wouldn’t even make sense since your product/service is likely not meant for the masses in equal ways! Plus, almost no company could afford this marketing approach. Instead, in Inc.’s “How to Define Your Target Market” article, Mandy Porta breaks down some critical strategies in sizeable (and achievable) tips. They are included briefly below.
Examine Your Customer Base
It’s time to put the microscope on your customers. Who are they? What do they buy? And more importantly, why do they buy from you? When you start to map out these characteristics and overlapping behaviors, are there some common threads to look at more closely? Are certain trends bringing in the most profit? Once you zero into this sweet spot more closely, where are the other people just like them? That’s what you want to find.
Look at Your Competition
It may seem like a natural source of finding customers is to follow your competition, but pump the breaks. If your competition is very successfully targeting a certain group and owning that market share, go find another niche market that may be even more successful and worth your money. Chances are, they may be ignoring a great target audience that is just right for you.
Really Look at Your Product and Services
First, write out all the features of your product and/or service. Now, next to each feature, list out all the benefits that this particular feature provides. Once you look at these benefits, determine who exactly needs these the most. These lists will likely point you in the right direction of the people you need to get in front of.
Choose Your Demographics Wisely
Who is most likely to buy your product or use your service? It’s not a straightforward answer especially since it starts with consideration of established things like age, gender, education level, family status, and occupation. Then, go even deeper. What are the personal characteristics that you need to consider? Things like values, attitudes, personality, and lifestyle are all critical psychographics that absolutely need to be factored into your target demographic selection.
Once you have these defined, where do you come in? How does your product or service fit into their life, and why do they need it? What features help them the most? And, where are they going to be looking for information about you?
Weigh Your Decision
Now that it’s all on paper, how does it look? Does it pan out? For example, did you define the right people that will benefit most? Did you clearly outline what drives them? Can they afford it? Can you reach them with what you have in place? And, do different niche markets need different messages to make this all work? Research, focus groups, and tried and true experience will help you find all the answers.
What About Millennials?
An article on target demographics wouldn’t be complete without a quick specific mention on the elusive Millennials. In her Social Media Examiner article “Reaching Millennials With Social Media: New Research,” Michelle Krasniak quickly looks in at the latest news of these people born between 1980 and 2000. It’s a group of about 1.8 billion people worldwide (more than Baby Boomers now) and marketers can’t stop talking about how to reach this squirrelly group.
If this is your target demographic, remember these powerhouse consumers are all about the digital. They live online and they shop online. Facebook and Twitter are still on their radar, they plan to use Instagram more, but Snapchat is huge.
These savvy consumers also can’t stand the direct sell. They will skip ads the second they can, and they will only consider your brand with an indirect and meaningful pitch. You need to get into their inner circle to become an option and that’s done through solid and original content and a clear outreach strategy that proves you care about them. It’s all about proven value with this group, so think out of the box for this crew.
Go Forth and Prosper
So, what about you? How would you define your target audience and what is the best way to reach them?
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