We all want to match with that perfect someone.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a twenty-something trying to find your ideal partner, or a business trying to get more leads through the door.
Knowing who you’re best suited to is what you’re aiming for.
Unfortunately, there’s no app where you can swipe to find your perfect target audience. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
There are ways to figure out who your target audience is.
Hopefully, it goes without saying that you can use demographics, geographical location and interest & behavioural traits to form a target audience.
But what else can you use to find that perfect match? We’ve dug deeper and detailed few alternative ways to identify your ideal audience.
If you’re an established business with a history of customers, it’s a great place to start.
Working through your current client list can help you identify common traits. You can then use those traits to target new customers, just like your current ones.
If you’re a B2B business, you could start examining:
• Company size
• Sectors & business activity
• Main contact job roles
• Business values
Are there any commonalities between them that you can highlight?
For B2C, things start to get rather more interesting. Take your customer database, specifically the postcode and head over to StreetCheck.
StreetCheck is an amazing tool that collates data from numerous different sources. From census information, the Land Registry and more.
From this information, StreetCheck builds pretty accurate profiles of the people who live in a certain area.
Whether it’s the type of housing, gender makeup, marital status, or social grade. All this information, and more, can be gleaned.
This is fantastic for profile building as it can identify interesting trends that you might not have previously been aware of.
In fact, we conducted a profile building exercise for an ecommerce client recently.
They were marketing the same product under two different brands. A more ‘luxury’ hand-made brand, and a more generic brand.
Conducting this research produced an incredibly interesting result. Both brands had remarkably similar audiences demographically. Showing that social grade or income wasn’t an influencing factor in whether someone purchased from the ‘luxury’ brand or generic brand.
This, therefore, led to the main motivating factor being based on needs and wants. If they needed the product, they were more likely to go for the generic brand. If they wanted it, then luxury brand motivated them more.
Identify product strengths
An alternative way to identify a target audience is to spin the problem on its head.
Rather than trying to guess on who your target audience should be, start looking at your own product or service.
Ask yourself these questions:
• What does your product/service do?
• What problems does it solve?
• Who has these problems?
And that final question is key. Who has that problem that your product solves?
Try to list as many different types of people as possible. All of which could be having the problem that your product solves.
From here, you start to identify the ones that are best to target with your marketing.
Be warned though. It’s imperative to ensure your brand matches the expectations of the customer.
Take the ecommerce client discussed above. When the customer felt like they ‘needed’ the product, they were more inclined to purchase from the generic brand. When they felt they ‘wanted’ the product, the luxury brand suited them more.
This is because their expectations were different. The customers who needed the product were purchasing based on necessity. Whereas the luxury branded product was purchased based on desire. This is despite the product being the same.
Pains and gains
This method can follow on nicely from identifying product/service strengths. But, in this case, we’re turning the focus back onto the customer.
Pains and gains are vital elements to catalogue when developing target audiences.
In fact, in some cases, I would even argue they carry more weight than traditional profile categories such as age, marital status or gender.
This is because pains and gains focus on the motivational factors that influence a target audience.
We’re not lumping everyone into the same group because of their age or gender. But based on what motivates them.
So, what are pains and gains? The simplest way to explain pains and gains is to use the old drill analogy.
You know the one; “no one wants a drill; what they want is the hole”.
It’s the end result that we need to focus on.
Think about it:
Do people buy clothes because they want them, or because they want to change their appearance?
Do people buy mattresses because they want one, or because they want a comfortable nights sleep?
Do people buy cars because they want one, or because they want transportation and freedom it gives them?
Dig deeper. Focus on the end goal of what your customers want.
People typically don’t want your product or service, but what your product or service gives them.
You can get quite detailed in exploring audience pains and gains. Let’s look at the drill as an example.
What are the pains of a DIYer that’s out to buy a drill:
• I need a hole in my wall
• I want something that does it quick and easy
• I don’t want to pay a fortune
What are the potential gains that a drill could deliver:
• Suitable for different surfaces
• Easy to set up
• Works out-the-box
• Comes with the drill-bits you need
• Compact so takes up less space
Now. You might have spotted something here.
The pains and gains of your product or service can start to form the basis of your marketing messages. So not only are you getting a better idea of your target audience, but you’re able to start communicating to them directly with qualifying factors that are relevant to them.
Knowing your audience is vital for any form of marketing. It helps to identify who you’re talking to and how.
These three methods are designed to elevate your existing profiles. The traditional categories such as demographical, geographical, and behavioural still matter. But these additional methods help provide even more focus to your target audience profiles – strengthening your marketing and helping your brand communicate more deeply.