Zeroing In: How To Identify Your Target Audience
A well defined target audience for your new product launch has never been more important. You can’t possibly speak to everyone. By targeting a specific group, you’re not excluding those who don’t fit in that group; you’re just focusing your efforts (whether that’s dollars or branding) on those most likely to buy from you. It’s a more efficient way to reach your clientele.
Identify your average buyer and mold your marketing accordingly, this allows you to build a solid foundation for your launch. Say that you’re a car company preparing to launch a new crossover. You can choose to target those who are age 30-65 with household incomes of $90,000+. To further refine your market, you might want to target people with families or young children. It can be also broken down a step further by singling out women. By clearly focusing on your audience, it becomes much easier to market your product.
Look At Your Current Customers
Who are your current customers? Why do they buy from you? Look for recurring trends, like common characteristics and interests. Which of your current customers give you the most business? It’s likely that others like them could also benefit from your new product. Be sure to identify early adopters; they will be the first ones buying and the talkers that will get others to purchase. Keep this in mind: it costs five times more to win over a new client than it does to serve your existing ones. Always try to meet the needs of your current audience; they are your key to expanding the sales of your new product. Talk to current customers on a regular basis.
Check Out The Competition
What audience is your competition going after? What does their customer profile look like? Try going after a different market. In doing so, you might find a niche that isn’t being addressed
Analyze Your New Product
Come up with a list of every feature of your new product or service. Then list the benefits that each one of those features provide.
For example, a window cleaning company offers a new power washing service. The benefit is the convenience of them already being there to clean your windows, so they might as well power wash your deck or driveway. One company handling both jobs saves you time because you don’t have to schedule two different appointments with two different companies. So ultimately, the benefit of the power washing service is to save you time because you’re only dealing with one company.
Once you have a list of your benefits, make a list of the type of person that the benefit will help. The window cleaning company can target busy homeowners who are interested in power washing. Obviously, this is a fairly general example, but it gives you a starting point.
You need to determine not only who has a need for your product, but who’s most likely to buy it. Consider:
- Sexual orientation
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
- Political affiliation
- Native language
Consider How Your Audience Sees Itself
Consider personal characteristics such as the attitudes and tastes of your target audience. These can include:
- Technological expertise
From there, you can decide how your product can fit into your audience’s lifestyle, how it is used and what feature appeals most to your audience.
Evaluating Your Potential Market
Once you’ve determined who your target audience is, there are still a few questions that you’ll need to ask yourself:
- Is there enough of an audience to generate adequate sales in order to meet my business goals?
- Is the market for my product growing or shrinking?
- What is the profit potential for this market?
- What’s my competition like?
- Where is my market located? Is it regional, global, etc.?
- Will that audience really benefit from my new product?
- What drives that audience to make decisions?
- Will my audience be able to afford my new product or service?
- Will they be receptive to my message?
You want to breakdown your target audience, but not to the point that only 100 people fit your criteria. You need to strike a balance between developing a niche audience and having an audience to sell to.
Finding Your Information
Do research online to find out more information about your target. Specifically look for trade publications, magazines or blog articles that talk to or about your audience. Look for forums that fall in line with where your target might communicate their opinions. Consider putting together surveys, and remember to ask your current customers for their input.
When you know who you’re targeting, it becomes that much easier to determine the way to reach them, and how you can motivate them to buy your new product.