When building a business, one of the key starting points is to define your target audience. Perhaps you're about to start some digital marketing for an ecommerce site that sells wooden toys or maybe you'd like to sell high powered luxury yachts to the wealthy – how are you going to catch their attention if you don't know where they hang out?
You may already have a picture in your mind of who your target audience is – perhaps it's someone like you, or someone like your partner or best friend. Defining your target audience correctly is imperative to enable strategic digital marketing and you may not have identified your most lucrative future customer yet.
Here are four simple steps you can take to accurately define your target audience:
1. What problems are you solving for your audience?
- Are you providing the ultimate tool for relaxation and leisure time to busy executives?
- Are you making it easy for people to find a product or service through your website, therefore saving them time and money?
Once you've decided on the problems you are solving through your offering, you can work out who is most likely to suffer from such problems.
2. Create a list of potential customers
Start fresh, discarding all assumptions and beliefs you already have. Document all of the types of people you can think of who would benefit from the problems you are solving.
Think about more than just their surface profile and start to build an in-depth picture – what is their income? Where are they most likely to live? Are they married or single? What do they do for work and leisure? What TV shows do they watch? What magazines and newspapers would they read?
3. Define your primary and secondary audience
You may have identified many potential customers for your product, but you need to focus on the ones that are likely to bring in the most sales.
- Which audience will you solve the most problems for?
- What type of person will be most likely to need or want your product or service?
Decide who your main audience type is, which you can call your primary audience (you will focus most of your marketing efforts on these people).
If you uncovered another type of person that is clearly very relevant, you can list them as your secondary audience (you may not focus your marketing effort on these people but you might consider them in your messaging).
4. Build a visual profile or mood board
Example: you've identified your primary audience as mums with children aged three to 10 with a household income above $100k a year who live in a major capital city and care about the environment. On the weekend they like to spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors and educating their children about community issues.
Find an image of a woman you think could represent this type of person. Give her a name and surround her with images and words from the written profile you built.
Stick your primary and secondary profiles on a wall in your office, your style guide, marketing objectives, user profiles or shared servers and refer to them whenever you are about to create a piece of marketing content. Provide the profiles to your digital marketing agency or team as part of your brief. Words can sometimes be misconstrued and confused, but a well planned mood board full of imagery will provide a clear focus and set you on the right path to success.