How to Find Your Target Audience
Finding your target audience is a never ending search, but it will help you solidify your brand. Understanding how to find your target audience is a major key when developing targeted marketing strategies. Oftentimes when I speak to many new business owners, they stumble on the answer of who their target audience is. I completely understand because it took me a little while to narrow down my target audience and market but after some research, I have a good grasp on the terms and what they mean.
These two terms can be interrelated as they work closely together. I have found the perfect scenario to help you understand the difference. Before we get into our scenario, you need to have answers to these questions:
- Why you started your business? Who do you intend to help or service?
- Who you don’t serve?
- What age group needs your products or service?
- What’s their occupation, or are they in school?
- What do they like to do for fun? What are their hobbies?
Once you’ve answered these questions thoroughly we can move on to how your answers will help you identify your target audience. Knowing why you started your business and who you will help is important in identifying who needs what you sell. I like to start with the people who don't need my products and services because it helps me narrow my audience quicker. This strategy may be easier and quicker for you when thinking about your target audience. The age group of your target audience is extremely important because it affects your marketing efforts. Their occupation and their hobbies are important because it will help you understand their lifestyle, their motivations, and their interests. You will take all of this into account when choosing your marketing strategies.
Please note: Your target market is also your target audience. Your target audience is just a larger group of people who either:
1) influence your target market to purchase from you, or
2) purchase the product for the intended user.
Now on to our scenario:
Let’s pretend you make handmade wooden toys for children from ages 5-12 [this is your target market]. Let’s cover what we do know about this age group:
- They are dependents living with parents, grandparents, or guardians.
- They are in school and have teachers.
- They watch TV and play with electronics.
- They read and study so they may go to the library.
- They may have older siblings.
Now let’s consider how they get what they need and want. It’s safe to assume that their parents, grandparents, guardians, and teachers provide their needs and wants, right? These people are the people to get what you sell to the intended users (the kids) of your products and are your target audience. This group of people will buy what you are selling for kids in this age group.
To dig a little deeper, older siblings can also be a part of your target audience because they could influence parents to buy for their younger siblings. Teachers are also a part of the target audience because they can use the toys as rewards in their classrooms. As you can see, by looking at the lifestyle of your target market, it will tell you a lot about your target audience.
Finding your target audience can take a little time but it’s very important to know who your target audience is so you’ll know how and where to market your business. We can go a little further by thinking about where to find these parents, grandparents, and teachers so you can consider these places as potential places to market your brand. As I mentioned earlier, a couple of places can be school and the library. They may also participate on social media platforms or in local neighborhood groups. Once you scratch the surface of who your target audience is, you can dig deeper to make sure you’re marketing to the right people.
The Take Away:
A great takeaway from this article is to think about who your products and services are for, the people who influence your target market to buy, and the people who you influence to buy for your target market. Think about how they live their lives and what matters the most to them. Once you learn what your target market’s needs are and understand the lifestyle and values of your target audience, you can gear your marketing efforts towards those groups of people.
Finding the right target audience will be unique for each business. There is no cookie cutter for this process. There are so many variables to consider in relation to what your business sells. You must consistently research and evaluate changes within your target market and audience so don’t worry too much about getting it wrong at first.
You must stay proactive with your research to make sure nothing has changed within your target market. There will be some trial and error, but what’s learning without it? Don’t overthink this. Be confident about understanding the difference between the two so you can market more effectively.