Identifying your target market and target audience is key to success. Although they sound similar, they are actually two different things.
What is a Target Market?
Your target market is a segment of customers that you want to sell to. It’s made up of the people whose needs your business can meet or have pain points that your product or service can solve.
What is a Target Audience?
Your target audience is made up of potential customers from your target market. So, when you create a marketing campaign, rather than targeting your entire target market, you only target certain audiences.
Imagine you run a business that sells maternity and baby products. Your target market is parents aged 18-36 in the UK.
You decide to run a marketing campaign with the objective of selling pregnancy pillows.
So, in this case, your target audience would be pregnant women in the UK rather than all parents.
Importance of Defining Your Target Audience
To succeed in business, you have to decide who to sell your products or services to.
Defining your target audiences means you’re targeting the right prospects which can help you:
- Spend less time and money on trying to attract customers
- Increase sales
- Develop your product line
- Set the right prices
- Decide the right marketing channels
- Identify the right keywords to use
- Improve your relationships with your target market
How to Define Your Target Audience
1. Specify What Audience You Want to Serve
Before you started your business, who did you picture buying from you? Ask yourself are you targeting:
- a B2B or B2C audience?
- individuals or families?
- employees or business owners?
Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to start really painting a picture of who your audience is.
Start by creating a Buyer Persona
Buyer personas are detailed descriptions of who your buyers are.
For example, let’s stick with the maternity and baby products company. You could target women who are between 18-35 years old with an annual household income of £30,000+ who are pregnant or have recently had children.
These are people who are likely to afford your products and likely to buy from you.
To create your buyer personas, identify the demographics and psychographics of your potential customers.
Demographic data tells you a bit about who your customer is and includes:
- Education level
- Income level
- Marital status
Psychographics tell you why a customer might buy your product or service. Data also includes:
- Regular activities
Hubspot has a great tool for helping you to create accurate buyer personas. You can access it here: https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona
2. Identify your target customer pain points
Your target audience has problems that they want to solve. As a business, your role is to find out what those problems are and solve them.
A pain point is a problem your target audience wants to solve. The entire purpose of defining your target audience is to work out what your audience struggles with. That is the key to working out how your product remedies those problems.
Once you’ve got that worked out, it makes it much easier for you to pitch your business as the perfect solution.
A great example of a pain point for customers is the time it takes to receive a product or service. In fact, 75% expect companies to offer same-day delivery. From this, straight away you can see that there is a huge desire for convenience.
How would this translate to your company?
Going back to the maternity and baby products business, you may want to offer click and collect for local customers or free next day delivery. This would satisfy the need for convenience a new parent craves. Ask yourself, why would they buy from your company if an order takes a week to arrive when they can use a same-day service like Amazon?
Types of Pain Points
We can categorise them into four main categories:
- Financial – Your target customers are spending too much and they want to reduce this
- Productivity – Your target customers are looking for ways to save time and increase efficiency
- Process – Internal processes are holding your target customer back from enjoying higher profits
- Support – This refers to a lack of support during the purchase journey. It could be any time from before they make a purchase to the after-sales care they receive.
Although it’s easy to think that most pain points are financial in nature, research shows that this is not always the case. More and more, customers are rating brands on the basis of the experience they have.
How to Identify Customer Pain Points
Identifying your customers’ pain points requires some effort from your end. You need to be willing to conduct this exercise because your business literally depends on it.
You can also refine your target audience and increase your knowledge of their pain points in the course of running your business. In fact, if you have a running business, knowing your customers becomes easier since you can reach them for feedback.
So, how do you identify your customers’ pain points?
We have seven different ways you can do this and you can use some or all of them.
- Use online tools such as SEMrush.
- Check out product review sites like Trustpilot to see what customers are saying about similar products and services
- Monitor social channels using social listening tools like Sprout Social
- Conduct online surveys using SurveyMonkey
3. Where can you connect with your target audience?
Now you know who your target audiences are and what pain points you can solve, it’s time to start talking to them. A big part of knowing your target audience is knowing which platforms they use and the marketing channels they respond to.
Here are some of the marketing channels you can use to reach and connect with your audience:
- Your business website
- Networking events
- Social Media
Discovering where your target audience spends their time will help you to effectively share your message.
So, once you’ve completed these 3 steps, you should have a pretty clear idea of who your business should target, where to find them and how they like to be communicated with.
From here, it’s time to look at constructing your clear brand messaging and tailoring it for those various target audience groups we talked about at the beginning of this article. But, if you aren’t sure how you want your brand to sound, talk to us.
Our experts will help you develop the perfect brand personality that resonates with your target market.