Updated: May 28, 2020
The most important question you should ask yourself is, "Who is my target audience?"
This is one question I ask my clients at the beginning of each design project. Why? Because I need to know who the marketing piece needs to attract.
Most of the time the answer is, "everyone."
We can't exactly market to everyone not only is it expensive, but it will produce poor results and be a waste of time and money. No one wants that.
Try this quick experiment:
If you're a spa, you're likely targeting __(who)__. Women, right. You might say, "men go to the spa too." Yes, they do, but they are not the spa's main target. If the spa started targeting men only, how would their marketing change? How would it look different? The most profitable demographic would be women.
If you're a sports bar, or say Hooters, you're likely targeting __(who)__. Men, right. What if we started targeting women or children for a sports bar or Hooters? What would change? How would people react? Would that be profitable?
Why define your target audience?
Defining your audience creates a compass for your business. Think of it as a "True North" for making business decisions. Knowing your target audience focuses your attention on the right people and increases your sales.
Below are a few places to start. Some are more involved than others, but all are important. Start by visualizing a person that reflects the personality and desires of your ideal customer. Next, compare your ideal person to the data and insights from your website, social media and your competitors. Finally, go straight to the source, your current customers.
Great marketing starts with knowing your audience
By the end of this exercise you should understand your ideal customer, know your areas for improvement and where/how to modify your marketing strategies.
1. Create a Persona
It sounds silly, but it will make things easier. Think of it as a Memoji of your customers. Every time you create a marketing piece or post on social media visually think of this person. When your "ideal customer" reads or sees your marketing they will feel like you're talking to them. Give this person a name. After you define them, find a random picture that best represents this person. Fill out this Persona Template (document link below) and hang it up in your office.
2. Google Analytics
Google Analytics has a ton of information about who is visiting your website, where they are from, what they're interested in and more. After you create your ideal customer, hop over to your Google Analytics and see how close your ideal customer compares. If you don't have your Google Analytics setup up, start now. It takes about a week for Google to analyze and collect data, but after that you'll have a goldmine of reports. From there you can see if your website is accurately targeting your ideal customer or not. This will give you information on whether or not you need to change your tactics.
Alexa, or Amazon, provides a free competitive website analysis tool. You can get insight on any website in the world, even your competitors. Simply type in the web address and go. Instantly you'll have a page of easy information for a website's strengths, weaknesses and digital marketing opportunities. Not only that, you can get information demographics and more. Major win!
4. Facebook Insights
Most of you reading this likely have a Facebook page. If you do, good news, you have access to the demographics of people who like your page. Go to your Facebook business page on a desktop computer. Click "Insights" up at the top of the page and instantly you have information on how your page is performing. On the left hand side you'll see a category called, "People." There you will get information on people following your page. Again, just because these are your page demographics does not mean these are your ideal customers. This will, at the very least, give you a starting point and a comparison.
5. Create a Survey
Last, go straight to the source. Either in person or with a short survey (Survey Monkey).
Ask your customers a few questions about what motivates them to buy from you. This will tell you how you can motivate other ideal customers to buy from you. Use that information in your marketing.
What problems are your products or services solving for them. Speak directly about your benefits and how you are solving your customers problems on social media and in your advertising. Your target audience will feel like you're speaking to them.
How did they find out about you. This question will tell you where you should place your ads or market your business.
By now you should have a greater understanding of your customers and their needs. You should know how your service/product benefits them, your main audience demographic and your mission/purpose. Here's a simple fill-in-the-blank that you should be able to complete:
"[INSERT YOUR COMPANY NAME] is here to help/inform [INSERT
DEMOGRAPHIC] so they can [INSERT ACTION] better."
The next step is to go forth and prosper! There's people out there waiting for you to make them happy! It's up to you to solve their problem and provide them with the information they need.
If you still need help with your marketing pieces, social media graphics, or don't have a website, I can help you. I'm here to help small businesses thrive! You can reach me at (956) 410-1989 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ____________________________________________________
Tracie is the Founder and Lead Designer of Push Creative Designs. Her specialties include business development, marketing, copywriting, photography, graphic and web design. She was born and raised in Harlingen, Texas and graduated from UT Austin. When she's not working you can find her crafting, painting, hanging out with her five year-old, or on a beach somewhere.