How To Identify Your Target AudienceWritten by Richard van Zyl
Creating a great start for any brand or business is identifying their target audience. Once this is done, then it's all pretty much plain sailing to the next step in building one's brand. Once every entrepreneur has an extremely clear picture as to who their target audience is, then building the business around one's customers is much easier. Remember - it's always about the customer and their needs and not the entrepreneur and their agenda.
Here is a small list to get you going in helping you target your customers:
1. Start at the beginning
Carefully scrutinise your business plan (if you don't have one, I suggest you sit down with a mentor and create a real business plan) and look at your product and service carefully. Think about who would want to buy your product or service.
Then write down all the things you need to find out about these people who would need your product and service and why. Then make a list of all the things you need to know about them. List all their needs, aims, values and ambitions.
Remember – it's not what you want to sell, it's about who wants to buy.
2. Become your customer.
It is important to create a very clear mental visual about who your target audience is. You need to split your research into 2 very distinct parts:
Demographics (Who will buy your product)
Psychographics (Why they will buy your product)
3. Ask them
Once you have a clear image in your head who you are about to talk to – now you need to find out if your product or service is what they really want.
So ask them. Create polls, phone them, talk to them in person, email them, any which way you can. Ask. You will get a much clearer image in your head as to what you are going to say.
4. What do you say?
Going back to your business plan – find out what you are going to say to sell your product or service to your target audience. Check your brand promise. Break it down to 10 words or less. Be clear, simple and memorable. Don't try and be clever for clever's sakes. Just be clear.
Check what your competition is doing and ask yourself: How can I do it better? How can I be different to them? How can I address their needs more effectively?
5. Where do you say it?
Check your budget now. Split it into various channels, online, print, promotions or whatever channels you want to pursue. Remember your target audience will be more receptive if they are exposed to your product or service over more than one channel.
6. Say it with style
Hire a designer or advertising expert to create your communication. Be sure that the SAME message goes out across all channels, this creates brand awareness, and security in your brand.
Every entrepreneur needs to have a crystal clear picturte as to who their target audience is. What really helps me is to do a mental walk-through of their customer's days. From the time they get up in the morning to the time they go to sleep in the evenings.
Make a note as to what brands they purchase, use, what their immediate needs are, how they feel emotionally, where they go, how they get there, what they eat, whether they have children or not and a host of others. Then figure out how your brand or product can fit into their lives and make it better.