The world of marketing is more complicated today than ever before. People are busy and resistant to advertising; there are so many channels that people could use for marketing and advertising, and social media (which has quickly become the most popular and successful method of marketing) is always changing. These are only a few of the hundreds of challenges that marketers are faced with as they sit down to determine their marketing and advertising campaigns.
However, although marketing and advertising are arguably more difficult than ever, the fundamentals have not changed. In fact, the basic rules of marketing and advertising will never change, and when you are feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless possibilities and confusion that marketing and advertising naturally bring, you can find your footing on basic principles that aren’t going anywhere, are easy to understand, and can be applied to every aspect of marketing and advertising.
One of those fundamentals might seem obvious, but in fact, many companies run into issues because they never stop to think about it. Many companies never stop to ask this very important question: To whom should we be marketing? If companies do ask themselves that question, they are often tempted to answer with “everybody!” Of course, every company would ideally want everybody’s business. They see it as a win-win: Our customers get our products or services, and we get their money!
But the fundamental flaw in that line of thinking is that a company’s target audience is never everybody. While it might be tempting to make your target audience as broad as possible, refining your target audience and coming up with a very clear definition of exactly who it is will help your company focus on what’s most important and therefore advertise more effectively.
So now that we’ve determined that your company’s target audience isn’t everybody, it’s time to find out who it is. And that’s what this article is here to help you do. In just a few simple steps, I’ll outline a nifty trick that you’ll be able to use to help you determine who your target audience is. Once you know that, you’ll be able to create better advertisements and reach your potential customers more effectively.
Determine Who Your Ideal Customers Are
The first step in defining your target audience is to create a detailed and specific depiction of your ideal customer. When creating your ideal customer, you’ll want to be as specific as possible. Here’s a list of questions you’ll want to ask about them.
- How old is this person?
- What is their income?
- How do they spend their free time?
- Is the person a man or a woman?
- Where is this person from?
- What time of day would they visit your store?
- How did they hear about your business?
Those are only a few of the questions you should be asking, but you can probably see what’s happening here—you’re creating a very specific outline of your ideal customer. After you’ve asked yourselves those questions, you should be able to write down exactly who your ideal customer is. Here’s an example:
“Our average customer is a 50-year-old caucasian woman from San Francisco, California. She is from a middle-class family and is married with children. She has an active lifestyle and loves the outdoors.”
Determine Who Your Current Customers Are
Once you have created a depiction of exactly who your ideal customer is, you’ll want to ask the same questions, but this time about your current customers. Take a look at your data and determine your average customer’s age, income, gender, etc. and then write down exactly who your average customer is, just like you did with your ideal customer.
Compare and Contrast the Two
Once you have an accurate depiction of your ideal customer and an accurate depiction of your average customer, you’ll need to compare the two and see which aspects of them are similar and which are different. This exercise is especially helpful because it shows you the disconnect between who you want to be serving and who you are serving.
If, for example, you want to advertise to teenagers but your main customers are in their early thirties, you’ll know that something is wrong with your marketing efforts. Maybe you need to make your advertisements less formal to attract a younger audience. Maybe you need to stop advertising on Facebook and start putting more emphasis on Instagram or Twitter. This is just one example of how this method can help you determine who your target audience is and create better content for them. I hope you found this helpful!