Revenge of the Target Audience
In basic terms, marketing is convincing someone to buy your product or service.
You want to market your company to the consumers who are the most likely to buy it.
95% of them fail for one of seven reasons – targeting the wrong market is one of these reasons.
When Microsoft launched Zune in 2006 to compete with the iPod, they had no target audience in mind.
It was a money grab. Later, Microsoft admitted this, saying it offered consumers no reason to switch from an iPod to a Zune.
Don’t make this mistake. If you can develop a clear understanding of your target audience, it is one of the most important things you do as a marketer.
How Do I Know I’ve Chosen the Wrong Target Audience?
According to a Rakuten Marketing study, marketers expect to lose 26% of their marketing budget on the wrong channels. That’s a lot of money to waste.
When it comes to converting your target market, you should not have to start from zero. If you are, you’ve chosen the wrong audience. A target audience is made up of people resonating with your company and who already show an interest, or need, for your product.
When significant drops in revenue occur, it, often, means your target market is taking revenge. You’ve incorrectly defined your target audience, so instead of increasing revenue like it was meant to, you lose revenue.
If you’re targeting the wrong market, you’re probably creating a major disconnect between your message and the audience receiving it.
Your message won’t resonate if received by the wrong audience.
How Do I Choose the Right Target Audience?
Here’s a hint – your target audience is not everyone. Let’s be real, no one can afford to target everyone anyway. There’s no “one size fits all.” Small business owners, stay-at-home moms, and homeowners, that’s way too general.
Here’s the right way to identify your company’s target market.
1. Compile Data On Your Existing Customers
Your phone is constantly collecting data about you, e.g., search history, online purchases, texts, and so on. It’s a never-ending database about you. Successful businesses use this information to target customers who are more likely to buy their product – hence, their target market.
These days, consumers expect their marketing to be more personalized. In fact, according to Deloitte, 36% of people expressed an interest in purchasing personalized products/services.
57% of businesses expect to achieve the capability to follow a consumer’s journey through their digital footprint within this year. This allows companies to pinpoint the most suitable target market for their brand.
Consider the age and stage of life your customers are in. What are defines the majority of your customers, e.g., Boomers Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z? This is commonly the easiest and first demographic quality businesses narrow down.
Where are your customers, geographically? You should examine your customer’s location and language. Knowing this information can help you better understand what geographic and linguistic areas to target, you’ll then know the best time (and time zone) to schedule your posts and ads.
Quantifiable demographic factors, like above, are not the only factors you should take into account. Knowing psychographic factors, like the interests of your customers, is essential. This ultimately helps attract and retain your audience.
Do they all share a common hobby? What about favorite place to travel? What other businesses do they interact with?
Evaluate spending patterns. How much money do your customers generally spend? Also, how do they approach purchases in your business’s specific category?
Social media analytics tools, such as Hootsuite Analytics, Brandwatch, and Talkwalker, provide much of this information and help monitor the impact of your ads on certain demographics. By identifying who is already engaging with your ads, you can determine who is most likely to be interested in the future.
2. Keep Track of the Activity Happening on all Your Social Channels.
Spend time thinking about how people mention your brand day-to-day by monitoring post engagement, mentions, keywords, and hashtags. As well, it’s important to recognize the different tools each social media platform provides.
Instagram allows business accounts to search up to 30 hashtags in a seven-day period, so you can easily join relevant conversations.
Facebook makes it easy to monitor your competitor’s activities.
Twitter users can search keywords and hashtags to monitor specific mentions. For example, you can monitor positive mentions by using terms that include your brand name and the key words, “Love it.”
When adding terms to your search, you shouldn’t not use commas, but instead, use spaces. According to Hootsuite, this provides results that include all terms.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Competition
Most likely, your target audience overlaps with another company. 90% of brands are using social media to build brand awareness. Analytics tools, such as Buzzsumo, allow users to search industry keywords to examine the top shared content across numerous social platforms.
Look for patterns and common characteristics: Are there any lessons there?
Real-life examples of target audiences:
- Fashion retailer, The Limited: “The Limit’s target market is the 16 to 35-year-old female. She is educated, affluent, gregarious, fashion-oriented, and more often than not, she is a working woman who lives in or near a major metropolitan area,” according to Retail Marketing Management.
- American car-sharing company, Zipcar: Kellogg on Marketing stated, “To urban-dwelling, educated, techno-savvy consumers who worry about the environment that future generations will inherit, Zipcar is the car-sharing service that lets you save money and reduce your carbon footprint, making you feel you’ve made a smart, responsible choice that demonstrates your commitment to protecting the environment…”
- Travel company, Tourism Australia: Tourism Australia stated, “‘High value travelers’ who are motivated by what we have to offer and are most likely to choose Australia for their next holiday or business event. High value travelers value travel, dream of visiting Australia and enjoy the experiences which Australia is known for. Most importantly, they are more likely to spend more, stay longer and disperse further…”
- If your target market does not have the money to spend on your product, you chose the wrong market. For example, children and teens lack money. Although, their parents have purchasing power.
- Sometimes business owners fear excluding people from their target market. They are afraid to lose possible customers. However, it’s important to understand identifying a target audience does not mean excluding everyone else. Instead, according to Inc., it allows focusing “your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets.”
- Assume your customers are mobile, every day, more people connect with one another through mobile devices. 2.8 billion people use the Internet. Of that 2.8 billion, 2.1 billion are mobile. Once your target audience is defined, you can make sure to create ads, which are easily accessible and aesthetically pleasing on mobile devices, based on information from Bluehost.
In the words of award-winning author and editor, , “The better you understand your target market, the more you’ll be able to focus your ads and reach the audience most likely to convert into customers.”
Your entire business relies on understanding your target audience. If you target the wrong market, you will not have a successful business.
Marketing teams spend so much time perfecting ads. So, you should ensure them the best chance to be seen by the people most likely buy the product.