One of the biggest marketing mistakes is to attempt to appeal to everyone at once. Without a target audience, a campaign may come up empty because it casts too wide a net. The most-efficient way to reach more qualified consumers is to target smaller, more specific groups.
What is a Target Audience?
“There is only one winning strategy. It is to carefully define the target market and direct a superior offering to that target market,” marketing author Philip Kotler once said.
A target audience is a specific group of people with shared characteristics who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Businesses typically use demographic information to define their target audience. Examples of common demographic information include:
- Education level
- Marital status
Why is it so Important?
Since it’s impossible to reach everyone at once, narrowing your focus to a core audience helps you to develop an effective marketing strategy. It helps your company craft a messaging strategy that appeals directly to the type of consumers who are more likely to convert into customers. For example, Facebook Ads allow you to target users according to their interests.
It is also more cost-effective to refine your audience, because your campaigns are run on a smaller, more focused scale. Instead of sending direct mail to every local household, you will receive a better return on investment by targeting consumers who may already have an interest in your type of products or services.
How to Define a Target Audience
The first step to building a successful marketing campaign is defining its target. This process will inform every deliverable from social media marketing posts to email marketing blasts.
To get stared, you can ask yourself simple questions like:
- Are your target customers male or female?
- About how old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
You can answer these questions by following these seven steps:
- Examine your current customers
- Research the competition
- Analyze your product or service
- Create buyer personas
- Choose demographics to target
- Choose personal characteristics to target
- Evaluate and revise your segmented audience
Once you have chosen a specific audience, all the other pieces of the puzzle will more easily fall into place because you now have a guide to follow.