Clue: the more you understand about your target audience, the more effectively you can engage with them.

Understanding your target audience is crucial for effective marketing. When you can really get inside their heads, and understand not only their needs, wants or pain points in relation to your product or service but also their likes, dislikes and behaviours, it becomes much easier to create marketing messages and strategies that resonate with them.

Does your business have a marketing plan?

Looking at it the other way; if you don’t know who, where, or what your target market is, how do you craft messages that will appeal to them or plan a media campaign that they will connect with?

In this blog, we’re going to reveal some of the best ways to get to know our audience, and highlight some of the reasons why it’s vital.

Understanding Your Target Audience

Your target market should be at the core of any business or marketing plan. Not only do you need to know how your product or service will meet their needs (or solve their problem, if you like), but you also need to be clear about why they would choose your business instead of one of your competitors.

How to do it

In this age of data-driven business, understanding consumer behaviour by looking at what the data tells us is key for larger businesses. But many smaller businesses haven’t or can’t afford to invested in the technology necessary to gather, manage and analyse large amounts of data effectively.

How else can you start to understand your target audience?

One of the techniques we use to help our clients understand their audience is customer avatars, and this process is a regular feature of our brand and marketing workshops. It begins by asking you to think of your customers as individual people, rather than as a homogenous ‘target audience’ group. We create a detailed profile of several people – thinking about who they are, where they live and work, what their
interests are, and what they are looking for from you.

For a B2B business, this goes deeper than thinking only about the service they are looking for from you, remembering that people are more than their job role. We’ll look at the avatar technique in more detail in a future article, but if you’d like to learn more in the meantime, get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.

Seeing yourself as your customers see you when you’re a business owner, it’s really easy to get buried inside your business, and to think about your marketing from the inside out. The problem with that is that you can easily lose sight of what your customers need, think or feel. So it’s important to take a step back and look at your business from the outside in.

Understanding your customers’ priorities and behaviours is key here. We know, for example, that people who browse websites have very short attention spans, quickly moving off elsewhere if a website experience doesn’t match their expectations or meet their needs.

So it doesn’t matter how much you invest in a campaign – if you are driving traffic to your website, but when people get there it is hard to find what they want, the quality of the information doesn’t match their expectations, or your messaging doesn’t resonate, they will go somewhere else. This can be hard to swallow, but it’s important to understand what your customers expect to see, and need to find, and keep reminding yourself that your customer and their needs come first.

Understanding your target audience allows you to create more effective marketing by:

1. Tailoring your messaging

Today’s consumers are demanding, and if you want to appeal to them you must speak directly to their needs, challenges, and aspirations. By showing that you understand where they are, and demonstrating how your product or service can solve their problems or support their aspirations, you can engage them more effectively and increase the likelihood of conversion. Many consumers these days are also focussed on values and authenticity, and want to be able to make an emotional connection with a brand. What is about your product or service that is going to promote trust, excitement, or make your customers feel good about something?

2. Understanding the competition

Knowing your target audience also helps you differentiate yourself from competitors. By understanding how you differ from (as well as how you are similar to) key competitors you can target particular aspects of what your audience values. It enables you to be clear about what sets you apart, and which space you occupy in your market. This allows you to position your business as the preferred choice among your target audience.

3. Precise Targeting

Knowing your audience enables you to target your marketing efforts more precisely. One of the elements of creating customer avatars is to identify which channels and platforms your customers use. (Data also helps here, of course).

Are those people avid TikTok users, do they follow influencers on Instagram? Or are they more likely to be looking at particular business publications?

By identifying the right channels and platforms you can focus your resources on those areas. Data even allows us to narrow our focus down to the days of the week and times of day you are most likely to catch them using these channels.

For example, if you are targeting specific social accounts, research when your audience is more likely to be online or reading publications. When you understand your target audience you can choose the most effective communication channels to reach them.

Whether it’s social media platforms, email marketing, content marketing, or traditional advertising channels, knowing your audience helps you select the channels that will have the greatest impact and engagement with your target market.

Overall, understanding your target audience is essential for effective marketing. It not only helps you to bring to life and understand your target market, but also create tailored messages, target your efforts accurately, develop products and services that resonate with your audience, differentiate yourself from competitors, and choose the right communication channels.

By investing time and effort into understanding your audience, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.

Want to know more?

At The Marketing Associates, we specialise in strategic freelance marketing support for professional service practices. Providing excellent quality advice on your marketing strategy to develop and grow your business on a retained basis.

If you would like to discuss your business’s marketing requirements and could use an outsourced marketing consultant, please contact Tabitha Beasley at The Marketing Associates: tabitha@themarketingassociates.co.uk or call 01233 720379