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Mass marketing days are long over, and developing relationships with brands is now a high priority for customers.

In fact, 81 percent of consumers said that they need to trust the brand to buy from them (Edelman, 2019).

When working with my clients, one of the first topics we touch on is their target audience. As marketers, I think it’s so important that we can set our clients apart. That’s why I am sharing with you the same process I walk my clients through to help them identify their target audience.

What is Target Audience?

Most likely, you have heard this term before, and if you haven’t heard it directly, you have listened to some variation of the word, whether it be ideal client, dream customer, etc.

These are all fancy ways of saying, “who will be buying your product?”

Your target audience is a group of people defined by specific demographics and behavior. Finding a target audience means discovering what kind of people are most likely to be interested in your service or product.

Seems simple right? Well, let me turn you on to a concept.

“Marketing to everyone, Pleases no one.”

Basically, what this simple phrase means is that if you are too worried about pleasing everyone, you will not be targeting who is really interested in your product and essentially leaving money on the table! Unless you have unlimited resources (which maybe you do), you will want to be using your budget, time, and tools to target the right people!

If you haven’t yet identified your target customer, grab a cup of coffee and a notebook. These three steps will help you identify your ideal customer.

Step 1: Identify Your Ideal Client

When thinking about your ideal client, the first steps will be taking some time to identify what type of person is interested in what you’re offering. Think about their demographics and psychographics.

Some questions you can start asking yourself are:

  1. Who has purchased from you in the past?
  2. Were they repeat customers?
  3. Would you want more customers like them?

Begin using that information to fill out this profile: 

Ideal Customer Profile

  • Name
  • Age
  • Description
  • Role (what kind of job do they have?)
  • Income
  • Personality 
  • Interests 
  • Pain Points (what do they struggle with?)
  • How does your product or service solve your customer’s pain point?
  • Product/Service they would be interested in?
  • What are their buying habits?

Step 2: Do the Research

This part is essential and will create a solid foundation for the next few steps, so don’t skip it! I recommend interviewing people who fit the above criteria.

Here is an example of people who you could interview:

  • Current clients/customers
  • Past Clients/customers
  • Friends/Family
  • Competitors
  • Social media audience

Make a list of your existing network and rate them all on a scale of 1-10. If they are 9 and above put them in the bucket of being “your ideal customer.” 

Schedule an interview with 3-5 of these people and ask them the following questions: 

  1. What do you value in people in general?
  2. What are the personal characteristics of the brands you purchase from?
  3. Brands: What are some of your brands?
  4. Hobbies: What are some of your hobbies and interests?
  5. What type of personality do they have (introverted or extroverted)?
  6. What do you dislike? There may be certain topics, interests, or events this particular audience dislikes. Knowing this can help you to avoid touching on these topics or can be a way to better relate to your audience.
  7. How much are you willing to spend on a product like yours?
  8. What defines ROI for them?
  9. What type of content do they already enjoy?

Step 3: Attract Your Ideal Client

Now that you’ve identified some surface-level details about your ideal customer, you can tailor your digital marketing content to speak to their needs. For example, your ideal client was Sally, 35, and you knew the following information during your research:

  • Wife and Mother with three children living in the Midwest
  • Works as Dental Hygienist
  • Making $45,000 per year
  • Enjoys shopping and buying from brands like Home Goods, Target, etc. 
  • Struggles with time management and finding time for herself
  • Your product is a family planner that helps Sally block out time for all of her kids activities and prioritize time for herself as well
  • It’s at a price point that makes sense for her income level

Knowing all of this information is critical. Obviously, we see that Sally needs your products. The critical piece is connecting it with her in such a way that speaks to her. Your messaging should address that you know she is a busy mother and that your planner will help her find time for herself at a reasonable price point!

With a little bit of thought and research, your marketing will become much more targeted and meaningful! Good luck!

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