11 Jul How to Uncover Your Audience Before You Spend Money Marketing
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You’ve been pounding the pavement developing an awesome product or service, networking, branding and figuring out all the details necessary to make your idea a success. After all those long hours, sweat and probably tears, you’re finally ready to bring it to the market, right? Wrong. (Sorry!)
It would be nice to take a product or service you know will shine, launch it and reap the rewards, but that just isn’t how the market works. You’ve seen it before – someone has a great idea, introduces it and… it’s a total flop. Where did they go wrong? It was such a brilliant concept! How could it have failed? Two words:Target. Market.
Why is it Important to Find Your Target Audience Before Marketing?
To some, defining your target market may seem like a limitation. After all, you want to reach as many people as possible with your marketing dollars. Just remember that finding a target market and therefore a target audience doesn’t mean excluding others; instead, it helps you focus where to spend your time and money. This translates to…
- An effective marketing strategy
- Increased sales
- Specific messaging that appeals to your audience
- No more wasted marketing campaigns
- Give your competitors a run for their money!
How to Use Data to Find Your Target Audience
Who is most likely to buy your product or service? No matter how unique or ingenious it is, there will always be a specific group of people that it will be especially appealing to. Some other questions you may want to ask yourself are: Who is my competition? Why should people buy my product or service instead?
We suggest taking a two-pronged approach to discovering your target audience using demographic and psychographic information.
- Demographic data: This segmentation refers to age, race, gender, marital status, income, education and occupation.
- Psychographic data: This segmentation refers to a market with similar interests, lifestyles, values, personality traits and attitudes.
Both types of data are critical for defining your target audience because demographic information gives you the who and psychographic data gives you the why. Considering these factors will help you identify potential customers and understand the motive behind their buying decision. Other Target Market Characteristics
Other Target Market Characteristics
Depending on your product or service, you may want to consider several other target market traits when determining your audience. They are geographic, behavioral and product-related.
- Geographic: Where are your customers physically located? Not only does this characteristic refer to city, state, region and country, it can also refer to rural, suburban and urban communities.
- Behavioral: This factor is based on brand loyalty and special occasions, for example, products or services someone would buy at a festival or around the holidays, like a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
- Product-related: Does your product or service enhance a product that your target audience may already own? For example, your target audience owns iPhones and you’ve developed a special case or accessory.
Just for fun, let’s pretend your product is doggy snow boots. First, let’s consider who would buy this product. It would appeal to pet owners of all ages. This product would mostly appeal to people located in regions with cold weather, so geographic data is important. Also, since doggy snow boots are a luxury item, they would appeal to people with a specific type lifestyle (i.e. psychographic segmentation).
Who is your competition? Probably big box stores, like PetSmart and Petco. How is your product better? Big box stores offer a degree of convenience that can be hard to compete with, so you need to build value in other ways… unless you have rock-bottom operating costs and can deliver a high-quality product that is also competitively priced. For most entrepreneurs and companies, this benefit comes later when increasing sales and production rates drive costs down. Until then, try to think of other ways you can compete. Maybe your doggy snow boots are super fashion-forward? Or, are they available for pets of all sizes?
It’s important to think about your product and marketing message from your prospective buyer’s point of view. The best way to appeal to a potential customer is to get inside their head so you can anticipate their concerns and show them right from the jump why you have something spectacular to offer.
Uncovering Your Target Audience
Now that you’ve created a list of market characteristics for your product or service, it’s time to put it all together. Identifying your target audience is all about data, right? You can combine the traits you’ve unearthed and develop a customer persona on your own, or you can employ a data-management platform like Oracle’s BlueKai, Lotame, Neustar or Salesforce. A DMP allows you to quickly and seamlessly create target audiences using the data you’ve collected and develop targeted marketing campaigns to effectively reach those groups.