Defining Target Audience for Effective Advertising: Who is Your Ideal Customer?

One of the biggest mistakes that budding personal branders make is trying to appeal to everyone. Think about the game of darts: You have to aim in order to hit the board.

Susan Chritton “Personal Branding For Dummies”

Before you start creating content for customers or working on the message to convey in your future advertising campaign, there’s a vital stage that you should go through for your efforts not to be wasted. You need to identify your target audience, or, in other words, people who are most likely to be interested in your offer.

Of course, it may be tempting to extend your reach as far as possible and “please” everyone. For a mass product like yogurt, this approach can be quite effective. But if you’re selling industry/location/gender/age/business specific products or services,  it can prove to be devastating for your business, as it may mean flushing your resources down the drain.

So, let’s get acquainted with your potential customers to better target all your marketing and advertising efforts. Here are the questions that can help you build a target customer profile.

1. Who they are?

Don’t take it literally – we’re not talking about names. What we’re interested in, is how old your potential consumers are, what is their social status, occupation (if it matters for your specific case).

If your business is region-specific, it is vital to clearly define the geographical range of your potential audience so that you don’t spend money on advertising your local flower delivery services to the people from the other state/town.

Where do you get all this info? By looking at the demographic data of your current customers and singling out the key trends.

What do you do if you’re just starting out and have no customer base? Well, logic can be quite helpful. For instance, if you’re selling hi-tech gadgets, your audience will more likely be working single men and women in their 20s, rather than retired seniors. You can also look at your competitors, and analyze the content they’re creating to understand who they’re aiming at.

2. What problems they are looking to solve or desires to satisfy with your help?

Here, you can look at the question from two standpoints:

  • what issue has brought your current customers to your door
  • what problems/inconveniences/motivations make people look for products like yours.

It may seem unlikely, but getting this data may be as simple as sending out a survey to your existing customers. You’ll be surprised at how many of them will readily respond.

3. What benefit of your product solves their problem?

It is no use telling consumers how great your product is or how much it can do. What they’re interested in is what it can do for them.

Even if you stick to this approach, it may come as a surprise to learn what feature your customers value most. Again, simply asking about it can totally do the trick.

4. Who do they trust?

This question may be industry-specific, concerning brands or companies. It can also reveal what impacts the customers’ decision-making process, like celebrity endorsements, friends’ recommendations, research data etc.

This info can be used to your advantage when creating content and ads.

Bottom line

Obviously, these steps are just a starting point of discovering your ideal customer. But as you fill in these gaps, more details can be worked on. Many businesses go as far as creating personalized buyer personas, giving them names, and adding as many details as possible (sometimes even an image). It is much easier for sales and marketing staff to refer back to “people” rather than generalized profiles. While this certainly takes efforts, they will reflect on your revenue and business growth in the long run.
P.S. When you find out who to address in your advertising, use TRACKLAM to place your out-of-home ads without leaving your computer and track their progress online. Sign up and give it a test drive now!