How to Find your Target Audience

Four Steps to finding your target audience

Finding the target audience is one of the most important tasks marketers must complete in order to effectively market products and services. Unfortunately, some marketers do not take the time to find their target audience, or they targeted the wrong audience. This usually will result in failed marketing campaigns.

qSample, a research and data collection firm, compiled a comprehensive step-by-step guide that will help marketer find their target audience.

STEP ONE: Know Your Product

Why? If a marketer doesn’t understand the product, then how can they possibly sell that product? Knowing the product is the first step in finding the target audience.

Every marketer should ask themselves the following questions about their product or service:

1. What problem does my product solve?

2. What features does my product have?

3. Does it have more than one use?

4. How much does my product cost?

5. What type of person would find my product useful?

6. What are my products key selling points?

Once these questions have been answered, marketers will have a picture of their client or customer. 

STEP TWO: Determine the Need

If there is no need for a product or service, then there are no potential customers. If there are no potential customers, then there won’t be enough sales to make the business profitable. How does one determine if there is a need for the product?

Develop a few keywords or phrases that best describes the product. Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool to see how many people have searched for the product or service. Try to use broad keywords and narrow keywords as well as negative keywords. For example, if someone is selling a product line of cute kitten-wear, they should use keywords like “clothes for kittens,” “kitten clothes,” “kitten dresses,” and “kitten sweaters.” According to the keyword tool, there was an average of 880 monthly searches for “kitten clothes.” Apparently there is a small target audience looking for kitten clothes.

Another way to determine a need for a product or service is to ask current clients or customers about their experiences with the product or the service by creating a survey. Why did they choose this particular product. How did they use it? What did they use it for? How old was the customer? Were they married? Did they have children? Where did they live?

There are plenty of plenty of do-it-yourself market research technologies on the market. If you already have an idea about who you want to target, companies like qSample can provide access to online panels for research needs. Surveys can be used to determine psychographic information such as customers attitudes, their values, interests, behaviors, lifestyles, and so forth.

STEP THREE: Create a Profile

Whether it is a business or a consumer, determining who would most likely to buy a product or service is key. The following questions, marketers should be able to answer at this point:

How old is my client?

Where do they live?

What is their income?

How many employees do they have?

Are they married?

What’s their revenue?

The above is a sample of the types of questions marketers should be able to answer. Why? Knowing the demographic and psychographic information is an important step in finding where marketers can effectively rearch their target audience. What’s the point of a great marketing plan, if the target audience never hears it?

STEP FOUR: Fine Where your Target Audience likes to be

Data is king at this point. When marketers know who their audience is, they can then find the best ways of reaching that audience. The best way to accomplish is to use market research data. There’s plenty of free data about various groups of people. If a company is trying to market a video game for a specific console, then there is plenty of data from the Entertainment Software Association provides some market research. Sometimes “free” data isn’t enough. Companies like qSample and their online panels can provide extensive data about target audiences not found anywhere on the Internet. For instance, qSample’s surveyed their homeowners panel and found that the first major purchase for new homeowners was a sofa.  A furniture company with an effective marketing campaign would target new homeowners.

How should the furniture company go about finding new homeowners? The company’s marketer could look at websites and forums devoted to new homeowners and create a Pay-Per-Click advertising campaign. Perhaps the company has a large enough budget to buy TV commercials on the Home and Garden TV channel.

Creating effective marketing campaigns is difficult. The task becomes almost impossible, when marketers can’t effectively find their target audience. The four steps listed above, should help any marketer, from a novice to a seasoned professional, find their target audience.

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