When it comes to any business, whether it be B2B or B2C, the importance of your target audience is paramount. Without targeting the people that are going to purchase your service or products, your business will fall flat.
New businesses should put in a good deal of time and energy into researching and testing their brand and how it connects with their target audience. Established businesses should set aside time to test their current marketing and branding, to ensure they are still attracting and connecting with their ideal audience.
Understanding and tweaking your marketing to target your ideal audience, should be an ongoing process and a key part of any marketing strategy. Below, we take a look at the true importance of knowing your target audience and how it can make or break your marketing campaigns.
Are you targeting who you think you are targeting?
It can be easy to make assumptions when it comes to branding and messaging, we may think we are talking directly to one demographic, but actually be connecting with the complete opposite.
Something as simple as the colours used in your branding, or the tone of voice used in your social posts, can completely change the audience that is most attracted to your business.
To ensure you are creating marketing materials and content that directly speaks to your audience, you need to set aside time for testing, research and experimentation.
To get more data and information about your audience, you can use tools such as:
- Demographics from Google Analytics – This will give you some insight into the type of users interacting with your website.
- Social media insights – Similarly to Google Analytics, this will show you the age, sex and location of your social media followers.
- Focus groups – Collecting data from focus groups gives you a much more detailed overview of how an audience perceives your brand, it also means you can be a lot more granular with your research and get real time feedback on how to improve.
Identifying your target audience as a startup
Your target audience should be defined even before you launch your business, but it’s not unusual for this to change and evolve over the first few years, as you find your feet in your market.
If you are in the key stages of your startup, it is a good idea to do intensive competitor research, on businesses that have the same or a very similar audience to yours.
Take a look at how their audience engages with them online, comb through the content and marketing materials the company produces, focusing on areas such as:
- Tone of voice
- Content topics
- Brand colours
- Brand design
- Name of the company
- Imagery used
- Placement of marketing materials/advertising
- Specific campaigns being run or have been run in the past
You can glean a lot from simply reading and comparing competitors marketing assets. Make a note of anything you think could work for your business and pin point strategies that you want to test.
At first, it’s important to get as much feedback from your target audience as possible, so make sure to include focus groups and surveys to help you collect detailed comments on your chosen marketing.
Take on board every piece of feedback you get and start to put together a marketing plan. The opinions of your audience should be one of the biggest influences when building your brand and marketing strategy.
Identifying your target audience as an established business
If you’ve been in the game for a while, you probably think you already know your audience inside and out. However over time, things can start to twist and evolve and soon your marketing might not be hitting the same marks as it once did.
Refreshing what you know about your target audience is essential for continuously delivering effective marketing campaigns. Keeping on top of it is also advised, to ensure everything you do attracts the exact audience you intended.
This will help you keep your messaging clear and consistent, focus your product or services and ensure that all of your marketing budget is distributed effectively.
This constant evolution can greatly benefit your business long-term, as it helps to focus your audience and allow you to create a niche. Trying to appeal to a wide range of people will dilute your marketing efforts and make it less effective.
If you need support with defining and understanding the importance of your target audience, why not get in touch to find out how we can work together.