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Cheat Sheet: Defining Your Target Audience

Cheat Sheet: Defining Your Target Audience

Defining your business’ target audience in detail is a SUPER important step in figuring out how to communicate effectively with them. Yet somehow, the vast majority of small businesses I talk to don’t have any clear answer as to who their target audience is.

Unless you can talk to you audience about the things that matter to them, trust me, they’re not going to listen to what your brand has to say!

So, below we have a list of questions that will help you start to define your target audience. Give as much detail as you can and don’t leave any blank. If your business sells multiple services or products and each attracts a different type of audience, then create a target audience profile for each. For example, our online Social Media Success training program has a different target audience to our Social Media Management service.

NOTE: Don’t try to blanket everyone!

One of the most frustrating things I hear from small businesses when asked, “Who is your target audience?” is, “Everyone! We have all ages and genders buying from us!” or something more or less like that — *SIGH*

“Everyone” or even “Almost Everyone” is not a target audience. Even a toothpaste should have a specific, defined target audience even though everyone uses it. Why should you be so specific? Because if you can define who you core target audience is—the people who are (1) the easiest for you to sell to, or (2) become your loyal repeat customers, or (3) spend most $$ with you, or ideally all three—then you’ll be armed with the information to create marketing messages that truly resonate with that audience. The more people who are compelled by your messages, the more your business will thrive.

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DEMOGRAPHICS (THE WHO):

Age?
Location?
Gender?
Income?
Education?
Occupation?
Ethnicity?
Marital Status?
Number of Children?

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PSYCHOGRAPHICS (THE WHAT):

Personality Traits?
Attitudes?
Values?
Interests/Hobbies?
Lifestyle?
Purchase Behaviour + Influencers?
This last one refers to the decision processes and acts when buying your product or one similar i.e. Why do they make the purchase? Why they choose one brand over another? Who do they seek advice from when making a decision? There are 5 steps to properly understanding your customer’s buying process.

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Some things I want you to remember when defining your target audiences…

Ages 18-80 doesn’t cut it. Would you market the same way to 18-24 year olds the same way you would to 60+? Do an equal number of sales come from 18-24 as from 60+? Probably not!

Where do they actually live? For most businesses, broad statements like “Australia and UK” don’t cut it either. Are there specific states or territories where your product isn’t available? Are there cities where you niche tends to thrive? Get as specific as you can even down to suburbs!

Is it REALLY in your best interests to target men AND women? Or do you find that a significantly higher portion of women buy your product over men? If that’s the case, maybe you should consider women being your core target audience.

Don’t just write anything down, actually think about your who’s buying from you or who you want to buy from you. Do some research if you can, ask your current customers the questions rather than assuming or get out on the street with a survey. Go on, get amongst it!

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and think you could use a little one-on-one help getting your target audiences and Social Media marketing strategy in order, reach out to us here!

Laura Choong

Self confessed Nutella and Social Media Addict, Laura coupled a background in Marketing with her experience in business to establish The Brand Plan in 2013—A boutique Digital Marketing agency with a passion for helping other small businesses achieve success.

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