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Do you know your audience? If you have a product, service, company of any kind, this is an important question to ask yourself. Knowing the answer to this question well can be a determining factor in your future success. Knowing your audience can help you make more-informed marketing decisions, gain meaningful feedback from people who represent your market and help you make changes to your company to fit their needs.
If you don’t know your audience, it’s time to either find out who it is or select one.
Identify Your Audience
If you’re a traditional brick and mortar type business, you may have some geographical restrictions to who your audience is. The coffeeshop in downtown Boise, Idaho probably doesn’t need to try and get in front of people in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Some questions you could ask yourself to help in this process could be the following:
- Who do we want to buy our products?
- Who do our products appeal to?
- Do people in [insert demographic] have a need for our services?
Try to Understand the Way Your Audience Thinks
Once you’ve identified who your market currently is or who you’d like it to be, you need to try and understand what motivates them to make consumer decisions. Car brands selling minivans often appeal to the safety of their vehicles because they know their target audience is primarily women. Women often are motivated by a desire to protect their children. Truck brands often appeal to men’s masculinity basically saying that real men drive a certain brand of truck. It’s a play to appeal to their pride but it often works. Sports cars often market to men and appeal to their pride saying that owning this particular vehicle is a thing of status and makes them look good to their peers.
Make Sure the Way You Present Resonates
A brand that does this super well is MissionShoe. They sell shoes for male LDS missionaries and they really have their target market pinned down well. The users of their shoes are Mormon males ages 18-24. However, what MissionShoe knows is that these young men are often not the ones to make the purchases, it’s their mothers. So their messaging is all about the quality of their shoes and how that is going to lead to the best results for the boys who wear them.
Let’s walk through a couple examples of companies and consider who their markets/audiences might be.
A Pest Control Company in Minneapolis. Their audience would be residents within their determined distance from their office headquarters around the Minneapolis Metro area. Their primary audience is probably homeowners. To own a home, you generally have to be a bit older and established. Spending money to target teenagers would be a waste of money. The company could possibly cater their messaging to appeal to women. They could talk about the benefits of having a pest-free home and yard. They could simply appeal to the desire to know there are less creepy, crawly things around the home.