Understanding Your Target Audience
Before you start selling or marketing your business, you must understand your target audience. If you do not clearly understand who they are, then you are going to waste time and money promoting your product to the wrong people. To understand your target audience, you must analyze their demographics, their behaviors, and their pain points. Here is our list of essential information to know about your target audience before you go to market:
1. Demographic Data
First and foremost, you need to understand who your audience is. If you are a B2C company, you need to know your consumers’ age, gender, income and household size among other demographic data. If you are a B2B company, you should be aware of your clients’ expense allocation, revenue, location, business type, number of employees and industry. Based on what you are selling and how your business operates, there may be other information that you also need to collect such as interests, hobbies, education and personality characteristics. To better understand your client, look at C3 Workplace’s Client Analysis Worksheet. Through our collaboration with C3 Workplace, they have shared this tool as a way to better understand clients. By understanding demographic data, you can find your audience.
2. Behavioral Data
Next, you need to understand your audience’s behavior including what they buy, how they buy and where they buy it. Depending on your industry, you may need to know your customers’ style, their favorite books, their hobbies, their health or the car they drive. On top of that, you need to know how they buy. Do they shop online or do they visit storefronts? Do they compare prices? Do they read about the company before buying? In understanding this information, you will know where and how to sell your products. A B2B company should understand the same types of behaviors of their clients, but instead of analyzing the individuals, understand the business and how it operates, how it purchases products, whether it outsources, and what kind of services they utilize.
3. Pain Points
Once you understand who your customer is and how they buy, you need to understand what their pain points are. Pain points are what drive your customer to look for your product or have an interest in your product. A pain point is the problem that your product or service aims to solve. According to Freud, there are three levels of pain: conscious, subconscious and unconscious. Depending on your target audience, their pain point may be in any of these three levels. If you sell Advil, most of your audience is on the conscious level because they feel pain and they want relief. But for most companies, your target audience is in the subconscious area. Your customers may not realize they need your product, which is why you use marketing to bring that pain from their subconscious level to a conscious level. Maybe you have been organizing and planning the company holiday party for a few years. Then, you discover an event planning company that can organize the catering, decorations and invitations thus saving you time and money. You didn’t realize this pain point until you saw the company’s advertisement. To market your products, you need to understand your target audience’s pain points before they do and show them that they exist.
4. Buying Funnel
Finally, you need to understand where each of your customers are in the buying funnel. The buying funnel is made up of three main parts: awareness, research and action. In the first stage, your customers become aware of their pain points. Then, they research. They ask their friends and search online to find out more about each choices’ offerings. Finally, they take some action, whether to purchase, join, sign up, ask for more information, etc. By understanding where your target audience is in the funnel, you can decide what they need to drive them to the final step: closing. As they travel through the funnel, the message needs to be consistent and it needs to be delivered in a way that matches where they are in the process.
Understanding your target audience is the first step in developing your marketing strategy. Once you clearly understand who your target audience is, you can develop campaigns and messaging that is personalized to your audience. With a clear understanding, your messaging strategy will speak their language and will deliver your message wherever your target audience may be.