Why you should know your target audience

by Kristof Maletzke, 01.06.17

“Who is my target audience?” This question is one that merchants should ideally consider before they even open their online shop. Admittedly, it can be hard to come up with the right answer, particularly to start with. Even so, it remains a worthwhile exercise. You should therefore make time initially to think about your target audience in some detail. In this article, we provide you with further relevant background information and suggest some ways in which you can get to know your target audience better.

Aspects involved in knowing your target audience

Trying to keep everyone happy will not work

You are unlikely to succeed simply by opening a shop, offering products and hoping to find sufficient customers among the mass of Internet users. A policy of specialisation is therefore much more likely to bring success – not just in respect of your product range but also in terms of the group of people you believe will want to buy your goods. By doing this, you can focus your retail activities on that particular group of customers and tailor your offering to their specific requirements.

Knowing the locations frequented by your target audience

Whether in the sense of Google, Facebook and blogs, or trade fairs, farmers’ markets and the gym – knowing where your audience regularly spends time is invaluable. It can make deciding which marketing activities to use that much easier. If, for example, your target audience is very active on Facebook, an investment in Facebook advertising might be the right approach to take. If, on the other hand, your audience frequently searches for information using Google, you could achieve a great deal by ensuring your shop is placed high in the Google rankings.

Focusing on relevant topics and channels

What is important to your target audience? Answering that question can save you a lot of time and money. Whether you opt for newsletters, social media posts or package inserts, these can all be effective marketing tools. They will only work, however, if they are the right tools for your particular audience. Remember the following rule: rather than trying to exploit every opportunity, concentrate instead on selected activities.

Speaking the same language

Humorous, serious, precise or playful – which tone of voice best suits your target audience? Take care to ensure that you use the chosen style of language consistently in your communications. After all, if visitors to your shop feel that you are not addressing them properly, they only have to click to shop in another store instead.

Discovering what motivates your target audience

What are the reasons why people visit your shop? Perhaps your audience specifically chooses your shop when searching for presents? In that case, it could make sense to use part of each newsletter to showcase gift ideas comprising one or more products from your range. The home page can also be a good place to alert visitors to possible gift ideas in an eye-catching way.

The appropriate time for analysing your target audience

Proper analysis of your target audience will take some time. By embarking on this task early, you can ensure that your shop is oriented to the needs of your prospective customers right from the outset. In this context, the category structure or the layout of your home page can play an important role.

Despite the time and effort associated with audience analysis, investing time and resources in the process is worthwhile. You will then find it much easier to plan campaigns or respond to customer requirements. Addressing customers in a targeted way can have an especially positive impact on your sales figures.

About the author

is Communications Manager at ePages.

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