If you are a business owner or working towards being a business owner, one of the most important things for you to figure out is your target audience. Who are you marketing to? Even if your product or service is available to anyone and everyone, you should have a particular demographic in mind that is most likely to be your customer.
When thinking about your ideal customer, don’t just make a list of characteristics and qualities. Actually create a character in your mind. And then get to know that character, their age, their personality, their marital status, how they dress, what music they listen to, etc. Once you’ve come to an understanding of who that person is, you’ll be able to speak to them specifically, which will make your marketing tactics much more effective.
When identifying your target customer, there are some important questions to ask that will guide you through the process of knowing how to market your business.
How old are they?
Age has a tremendous effect on how people receive their information. Younger audiences will usually be more effected by ads on social media than ads on TV. Older audiences are more likely to respond to printed ads in a magazine or newspaper. Age will also determine what kind of message they respond to. You could probably get the attention of someone in their twenties with words and images about building a career, but that’s probably not going to appeal to someone over the age of 50. When creating layout designs for NOLA Boomers Magazine we understand the target is baby boomers who are enjoying retirement and wanting to make the best of their lives. So we use imagery that reflects that.
Where do they live?
Location can play a big role in understanding your audience. Not just their geographical city and state, but what kind of neighborhood do they live in? Are they in the city, the country, the suburbs? If you think about someone’s location as it relates to your business, it will help you understand their perspective a little better. If someone is in close proximity to you, does it make them more or less likely to be a customer? For a neighborhood coffee house, the people most likely to come in for a latte are the people who live or work in that neighborhood. But for a tourism company, the customers are generally from out of town. When shooting photography for Royal Carriages, we highlighted locations that might be mundane everyday sights for locals, but for first-time visitors they are exciting historic landmarks they can’t wait to see.
What is their income?
Understanding your customer’s income helps you know how much they are willing to spend. So when marketing your business, you want to present yourself as being in that price range. If your customer is making six figures, it might be a good idea to play up the opulence factor and give off a vibe that what you have is high-end and top-notch. But for some customers these qualities can seem intimidating and make your business look unapproachable. If this describes your target, you want them to feel safe give them the idea that they can make a sensible purchase with you. That’s exactly what we did when designing ads for Restoration Thrift. We created designs with a friendly, welcoming vibe that spoke to smart shoppers looking for a good deal.
What do they value?
This is one of the most important questions to ask about your customer. A person’s values dictate what imagery and verbiage trigger their emotions, whether that is excitement, compassion, fear, or any feeling that might persuade them to act. Marketing to someone with social values might mean creating a fear of missing out. Marketing towards someone who values their career could mean making them feel driven and motivated. When designing for NOLA Family Magazine we use imagery that appeals to parents who value their children’s well-being as well as the quality time they spend together as a family.
How big is my target?
As you begin to narrow down the characteristics of your target, it’s important to stop and have a reality check. Sometimes we get in such a niche that we find ourselves marketing to a very small percentage of the population. That’s when you may need to rethink your marketing. When we began working with our client, Atlas Handmade Beads, we ran into this challenge. The business sells Mardi Gras beads made out of recycled magazine paper to replace plastic beads, which can be harmful to the environment. So the initial plan was to market to the Mardi Gras Krewe riders that were concerned enough about the environment to spend more money on fewer throws. Unfortunately, that’s not a very big audience. So we rerouted the campaign to market towards New Orleanians who want to have unique, one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that expresses their love for New Orleans culture.
Overall having a grasp on your target audience’s lifestyle and personality gives you the upper hand. It’s important to learn how to see things through their eyes and think how they think. At 2nd Story, this is a process we are willing to help you go through. That’s why we offer a free consultation before beginning a project to discuss who we are marketing to and what message we want to send. Contact us to schedule you free initial consultation and let us help you reach the next level in marketing.