Define your target audience

8 Aug

One of my biggest bugbears at work is when I receive a brief with the word ‘Everyone’ proudly scribbled in the ‘Target Audience’ section. Reality check: not every bloke, missus or kiddo needs your product.

If you fail to sharpen your brand message, you could confuse potential buyers. And when these people are confused, they simply waltz over to the next brand that knows how to treat every individual like, well, an individual.

Why is it so important to define your target audience? Remember that you’re not advertising to a horde of zombies who all have more or less the same needs: tattered clothing. That would be too easy, wouldn’t it? You have to identify which group of people can best relate to what you’re selling. Find out what makes them tick, where they prefer to socialise and how often they trim their toenails. Ignore that last bit. But you get the point.

Once you get the lowdown on their preferences, you’ll no longer fumble in the dark when crafting your brand messages.

Look at it this way, finding a present for your best friend’s birthday is way easier than finding one for a complete stranger. And don’t you just hate it when you need to buy a generic Christmas present for the hi-bye colleague down the corridor?

So, imagine how ‘everyone’ would feel when they are greeted by one of your many, many leaflets that are stuffed into their face by equally disenchanted part-timers.

Defining your target audience gives your brand an industrial-strength searchlight that seeks out compatible matches.

Don’t be afraid to discard the rest who aren’t chummy with the profile of your brand. It’s ok to give up that one firefighter who really doesn’t need your accounting services. It’s ok to abandon grandma Smith down the road who sees no practical use in your construction gear. The bottom line is, you aren’t losing out much (and neither are they).

You can’t please everybody. Resources are better spent on those who are more likely to listen to what you have to say. They are already more receptive to what you’re selling. Make use of this knowledge. Woo them, charm them, convert them.

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