How Well Do You Know Your Audience?

Olin Hyde
March 23, 2018

Knowing your audience is key; not only is it expensive trying to market to everyone, but it’s inefficient, too. A lot of businesses have narrowed down their target audience, but have they narrowed it down enough? Consider your own audience—how well do you know them?

You may think your marketing is targeted, but when it comes down to it, you might be surprised at just how little you know about who your audience is, what they want, and just how much you’re missing out on due to slightly-off-the-mark marketing efforts.

Take a look at these seven steps to determine your target audience. Are you doing all you can to effectively target the right audience for your brand?

  1. Know what problems your product or services solve. This sounds obvious, but knowing what problems your products or services solve is key if you want to target people who need and want what you have to offer. This is especially important if you have a broad industry; for example, if you sell wholesale clothing to retailers and you’re not super specific in your marketing personas, you could be getting a lot of traffic from general consumers who you can’t sell to or even retailers whose needs aren’t a match for your stock.
  2. Determine your niche. It may sound counterintuitive to “narrow down” your customer pool (don’t you want to sell to anyone?), but in reality, we live in a world that’s all about niches. Determining your niche can help you narrow down your target audience and cater to them more effectively. If you are a butcher and cure meats, for example, you want to do more than just market to people who aren’t vegetarian. You’ll probably drive a lot more traffic to your store with a focus specifically on launching a bacon-of-the-month subscription for those die-hard bacon fans than you would with a run-of-the-mill “we sell a variety of cuts” kind of strategy.
  3. Look at your existing customer base. Analyzing who is already purchasing from you and loving your products means you are getting a head start on knowing your audience more intimately. Say you’re a doctor and your office offers free prostate screenings, but when your receptionist started recording the data of who scheduled the appointment, you discovered most of the callers are women—the wives of your patients. Although your patients are male, you may want to market to females and encourage them to get their loved ones in for a checkup. You may be surprised what you learn through a careful analysis of who is already interacting with your business.
  4. Take a good look at your competitors. While you shouldn’t be copying your competitor and don’t want to be targeting the exact same audience, it’s worthwhile to examine how your competitors are narrowing their focus and approaching their marketing efforts to refine your own strategy. Pay attention to what’s working for them and consider how it might be applied to your business or audience.
  5. Determine how old your ideal customer is. Age is a big factor when it comes to narrowing down your audience. Although many age groups share similarities, there is a big difference even between girls in high school and girls in college or men in their 40s versus men nearing retirement. They might use the same color of lipstick or root for the same sports teams, but they have entirely different motivations.
  6. Determine where your ideal customer lives. Location is another big factor when it comes to getting to know your audience. If you’re running a local business, you’ll obviously want to target people within a certain radius of your store. If you’re selling products online and ship nationally or internationally, though, it gets trickier.

Say you sell basic lawn care products online — do you want to focus your marketing efforts on places where grass grows easily and customers tend to do at least general maintenance on their yards, or would you rather appeal to a dry climate that struggles to maintain a lush lawn and needs way more supplies to stay green? Either could potentially work, but you don’t want to be all over the map (literally) trying to market to everyone, everywhere.

7 Consider your ideal customer’s personality. Factors such as gender, personality, hobbies, and interests will all play into getting to know your audience well. Males and females tend to be very different, often with vastly different interests and areas of expertise. Everyone’s personality is different, and that influences purchasing decisions. It’s important not only to know your ideal customer from a marketing and business standpoint but also on a personal level. The better you know them, the more likely it is you’ll be able to make a genuine connection.

Our Intelligent Campaigns and 360 platforms are powered by AI and use predictive analytics to help you build stronger B2B audience targeting. We enable you to create smart personas that help you narrow down your ideal audience and lock in ways to engage with them. Our platforms help you get to know your target demographics and build meaningful connections not only for more effective marketing but also for establishing long-term relationships with customers.

How well do you think you know your audience? What area(s) do you need to improve most?

Further Reading

Olin Hyde
December 7, 2016