When starting a new project, one of the first steps on your way to success is a well-defined plan. It sounds basic, doesn’t it? But you should not only think about the structure of your business, but also about the people who will buy what you offer.
This is complex, because if it already is difficult to know what we want, imagine how difficult it is to predict what the others want! But, even if thinking about it might be tedious, this phase is important if you do not want to put money into marketing actions that will have results like shooting into the air.
So instead of just opening your shop without ever thinking about your target audience, it is vital to do some research and figure out what your potential customers want and like. That way you can prevent spending money for marketing actions that never reach your customers.
Since you have started your project, you probably are in one of these two situations:
- Have you already invested in marketing and you did not think about getting to know your customers yet? Do not worry, you can still adjust your marketing actions.
- Or you maybe started your project but simply did not have the time to define your audience? It is not as time consuming as it may sound – so now is the best time to finally do it!
There are various benefits of defining a target audience:
- You learn more about how much money your customers have at their disposal and thus, how you should price your products.
- You are able to create targeted marketing messages, adapted to the tastes and interests of your customers.
Why is it important to find my target audience?
- …you can adapt your products to the needs of your customers.
- …you can target your prices to the age/type of customers and know how much they are willing to pay for your products.
- …you can create messages that address their tastes and interests. That way, you engage with them and with their environment.
- …you can cover their needs more specifically because you know them and you know what they need.
- …you can make sure that your customers are engaged and are choosing you before your competitors or, at least, that they think twice before choosing your competitors.
- …you can target your online and offline actions and defined effective CTAs that both benefit your customers and your business.
- …you know what channels work best to communicate with your customers and to motivate them to interact and/or to buy.
How I can define my target audience?
The key is to imagine one of your typical customers and think about what he or she may be like. If you already started your shop, you may already know some of your customers and have an idea of what makes them tick.
Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers and create a detailed profile of this imaginary persona.
Write down the following attributes for the persona:
- Marital status
- Work / profession
- Social background
- Personal values
- Daily activity
- Leisure activities during the week
- Weekend activities
- What worries your customer in his daily routine?
- Where does he live? Close to the sea? In a rural or urban area?
- Places he likes to go?
- What does he like to do with his friends and family?
- Preferred places to wind down?
- Does he prefer to be in the spotlight or go unnoticed?
- Where does he likes to travel?
- Is he culturally interested?
- What kind of music does he listen to?
- Is he a foodie?
- What devices does he use for online shopping?
- What are his hobbies?
- What does he dislike?
- What type of media does he read?
- Economically dependent or independent?
- What are his dreams and/or expectations?
- What are his needs?
- What connects him to your brand?
- Where and how does he purchase?
- How can your product be of help for him?
Given that you are selling through an online shop, we also need to add a few questions concerning his online behavior:
- Does he have an account on social networks? On which ones?
- Is he proactive or reactive on social media?
- What type of profiles does he follow?
- Does he have an influence or a significant reach with his posts?
- What content does he like? What content is disliked by him?
- If he has checked your profile, where has he come from? What has been his customer journey?
- Does he follow influencers?
- Does he interact because of an interest or a pleasure?
- What information does he normally share on the web?
- Does he follow any of your competitors?
How do I picture my target audience after having answered all of these questions?
1. Take all of the answers of the test and write a possible description of who your persona is. Below you can find a sample paragraph:
Sarah is imaginative, dreamy and a strong believer that love exists. But she has her feet firmly on the ground thanks to the adventures that she has lived. She also is full of doubts, as she sometimes doesn’t even know what shampoo she should use (even spending more than 15 minutes in the supermarket sniffing all the soaps). She does not usually betray her habits or traditions. She is adventurous but with limits. In fact, her adventure every morning is stealing a few more minutes from her alarm clock to continue dreaming. To avoid bad experiences, she behaves like a cold woman despite her overwhelming personality that suggests who she really is. She likes to feel beautiful and that’s the reason why she reads so many magazines and is always aware of trends, colours and new styles. In the end, she works in a world filled with sharks in which she can swim seamlessly because she knows that she is good as she is.
2. Once you’ve done that wording, think of someone real who fits to that description to better understand your target audience.
3. Prepare a data sheet with some pictures that can represent that target audience. You can look through magazines or search online for pictures of people who look like you imagine your customers.
4. And think of all the possible actions that you could develop to reach out to your customers and engage with them.
This way, you will not only picture the profile of your target audience but brainstorm about possible actions that will help you promote your brand among your potential customers.