NAILING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Have you ever responded to an ad for fine dining and walked into the restaurant only to find plastic table cloths and tomato sauce bottles on the tables with a menu that smells like last weeks’ steak Diane?  Or perhaps you’ve walked past a bridal shop every day on your way to the bus stop unaware of Betty Brown inside making spectacular one-of a-kind evening gowns selling at bargain rates?

Clearly both businesses have missed the mark in targeting their own unique customers.  By clearly defining who your target audience is, you can avoid disappointing potential customers, or being a blur on the side walk.  Not only that, by defining your target audience you can start making your advertising dollars really work for you.

There are so many elements to think of when connecting with customers: visual identity, tone of voice, marketing channels, promotions, decor, signage, staff and systems.  If these don’t match up to the expectations of your unique customer, your business will shrink into the background, or worse – your customers won’t have a good experience; won’t buy anything; tell all their friends you stink on a video; post it on YouTube and you become an overnight sensation for all the wrong reasons.

Being able to define your unique target audience will enable you to make intelligent marketing decisions.  By reducing your range of audience and focusing only on those customers who are likely to respond to your call for action means that your advertising dollars are not being wasted on unnecessary marketing but instead, working more efficiently and effectively for you.

So, how do you define your target audience?

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It helps to create a profile of your customer, get it down on paper and ask yourself these questions:

What is their age, gender, location, marital status, occupation, income, any children?  Then consider their lifestyle, beliefs, values, goals, information and inspiration sources, problems, fears, wildest dreams? Once you have a comprehensive profile of who your customer is, you can decide on the best way to reach your target audience whether it’s through social media, TV, letter drop, email, print media, or even the side of a bus. Your customer profile should guide your advertising content, the language you use and graphics, right down to helping you redesign your store inside and out.

You might even want to go that little bit further and segregate your target audience into two or more profiles for specific areas of product and service.  Take the dress shop for example, Betty Brown could create a profile for brides and another profile for women that regularly attend balls and charity events.

For an added tip, it’s important to remember as trends change and your business grows your target audience may change. It’s a good idea to review these profiles every year or two and keep them up to date.  Check all your business marketing decisions against the profiles you have created regularly so you know you’re always up to date, communicating to the right people in the right way and your arrows will never fall short.

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