Part of growing a successful brand is defining your target audience. Knowing your target audience is a critical piece of your strategy. Without knowing who they are, Marketing properly is virtually impossible. Take messaging for example. Your messaging to an advanced target audience will sound very different than that of a millennial audience. The look and feel and even imagery used to influence them may be totally different. So how do you identify your ideal audience? Good question
First, examine your product. When examining your product or service, ask yourself questions like “who would find value with this? “Who will resonate with this idea most?” Or even “what is the most practical use for this and what type of audience would need it?”. Starting with some of these very basic questions will help.
Think about the problem that your product addresses or solves. In addition to assessing problems, you should also consider what aspirations, goals or dreams your product appeals to. Oftentimes, in doing that assessment, you will naturally find your ideal target audience. For example, if you provide a solution that helps gamers be more effective in winning online competitions, your audience would likely consist of gamers, with high online interactivity that are looking to do online competitions. These could mostly be gaming enthusiasts which might represent a younger target audience. Knowing the problem your brand solves will help you identify who it supports.
Market research is a great way to identify your ideal target audience. Through surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, and other feedback channels, you can get feedback as to whom your brand will best serve. Oftentimes, the naysayers are your best market research audience. They will give you the tried and true elements to consider to help you in bringing your product to market to the right audience.
Creating audience profiles and avatars is part of your audience identification process. Through research, you can identify your competitors. From there, you can create your avatar for your product. Consider your competitive advantage and think about things like their gender, income level, buying habits, geographic location, age and more. Research your competition as they have likely done alot of the work for you already. Understand who they might be marketing to and determine if it's appropriate for you to do the same.
Do you already have existing customers? Who are they? Mimicking your existing audience is a great way to create new customers. Remember, Birds of a feather flock together. It is likely that the people buying your products or services may already represent your ideal audience. Ask your existing customers why they use your product and what attracted them to it. Use that as intel to help you decide if others like them represent your ideal audience.
Start off going niche. Focus on a subset of what you deem as your audience. Do beta testing and use this subset or very specific group that represents your audience to test your product. This will give you the chance to evaluate if this audience is your tried and true.
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