Note: If you already have an existing product or service and you have not read Lesson 1: Identify Your Unique Value Proposition — kindly read it. The entirety of the lessons is found under Free DIY Internet Marketing Tutorial.
As much as we would like to target or attract everyone as customers or clients, it is ideal that we focus on a specific audience.
Because this will streamline our marketing efforts. In doing so, we can save our resources like time, money, and manpower. Thus channeling our resources to what matters most for our business. Knowing that resources can also be limited, identifying our target audience can be wise.
To explain further, identifying our target audience can make it easy for us to set an appealing tone in our marketing campaigns. This is because we are only focused on a very specific set or group of people, our target audience.
As daunting as it is to please your mother or your wife all the time, trying to please your mother and your wife at the same place, at the same time, all the time can be overwhelming.
Though that may sound ridiculous, hope you got the idea.
To avoid the dilemma, focus on a (very specific) target audience.
So how do we identify our target audience?
How to Identify Target Audience
At this point, I would like to use both target audience and target market interchangeably. A brief explanation is provided at the latter part of this lesson: Target Audience and Target Market: Are They Similar or Different?
As promised at the beginning of this tutorial, I’d like to make this as simple and as short as possible so we can meet our criteria. That is the APE criteria (Applicable, Practical, and Effective). As much as knowing the difference or the similarity between target market and target audience is important — I find it more of a marketing jargon at this point.
So let us proceed on how to identify our target audience (target market):
Create a Persona or Profile.
Some call it buyer persona or customer persona; some also call it buyer profile or customer profile. Again, we might be asking: is there a difference? Kindly check out this article to understand it better: The difference between a Buyer Persona and Buyer Profiles.
To rephrase what Carlos Zotomayor says, a persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer; while a profile represents the type of company that can best fit your product or services.
As 80% of businesses consider a persona and a profile to be similar, according to that article, then let us use them interchangeably.
Factors of the Demographics
To create a persona, let us go into the factors of the demographics:
- Age: It is said that different age groups respond differently to how a product or service is being marketed. Thus we need to identify the age group of our persona. Are they teenagers? Are they the middle-aged? Or are they what we consider as seniors?
- Gender: As much as the age is a factor, the gender as well is as important. For instance, there are some colors and patterns, which are more attractive for the female gender.
- Location: The spending habits of customers may also be influenced by their location. Customers living along the coastal area may have a different need and a different purchasing decision compared to customers living in the mountain area. Though proximity, climate, and culture can fall under location — we break them down to distinguish them.
- Proximity: It is also another factor to consider. A store owner should also know the proximity of the customers from the store. Customers who are from the outskirts may have a different purchasing frequency and purchasing interval, compared to customers who are living in the town itself.
- Culture: People begets culture. And the culture of a certain community, town, or locality varies. The culture of that group of people may influence the spending habit for a specific type of service or product living in that location.
- Income: The purchasing power of the customers or clients can dictate and influence our marketing strategies tremendously. Thus we need to know the income class. The income class of the customers is the influencing factor for their decisions in making a purchase. Is it for luxury or for a need?
How to Create a Persona
You can define them better by making surveys, getting interviews, checking your existing customers, or by observance and brainstorming.
The easiest to implement, which will require less resources, would be by observance and brainstorming. All you need is a bit of an analytical mind, then you can proceed.
Using the factors of demographics above, make your best conclusion on who your target audience should be taking also into consideration your unique value proposition (if you have done so in lesson 1). Use what you think is applicable to your business; you don’t have to use all of the factors. The aim is to be as precise as possible in knowing your target audience.
How to Apply the Target Audience
Though we will come back to this later in our lessons and applications when optimizing the website and creating marketing campaigns, identifying the target audience can help us on the following:
- Set a tone in our marketing campaigns specifically for the target audience;
- Gauge, analyze, and conclude if our product or service is apt to the demands of the target audience; and
- Alter or tweak the product or service to meet the demands of the target audience.
Target Audience and Target Market: Are They Similar or Different?
Kindly note that opinions may vary from different Internet marketers regarding if the target audience and the target market are similar or different. I should say that the difference usually lies whenever the decision maker of the purchase is not the same as the influencer — regardless of the end user.
For instance, the decision maker to buy an Xbox is coming from the parents, yet the end users are the children. It can also be that the influencer of the purchase are the children; yet the decision to buy comes from the parents.
In the example, the parents are the target market; while the children are the target audience.
Many times the target audience and target market can overlap. And the more they overlap, the lesser reason to distinguish between each other.
I find that the best resource for such a discussion can be found here: Target Audience vs. Target Market: How to Leverage Both for Referral Marketing Programs.
As mentioned in that article, the target market is primed to make a purchase and understand the value of the product; while the target audience, regardless of their purchasing intent, is classified as influencers for the target market to make a purchase.