Importance of Determining Your Target Audience

When establishing a business, entrepreneurs often believe that the whole world will want the product or service that their organization is selling. They’re reluctant to narrow their focus on any one group of people, worrying that this process might “limit” their options and sales potential. However, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

No matter how entrepreneurs might want to spin it, the harsh truth is that not everyone is your target customer. Inevitably, not everyone will be interested in the product or service your business is selling, and any thinking to the contrary isn’t just delusional. It could actually be damaging. Failure to hone in on and correctly target your target demographic won’t help you to keep your options open; it will just hurt your business by spreading your marketing resources too thin.

“In marketing, if you have no target it's not like the motivational speech of ‘Shoot for the moon if you miss, you'll land among the stars,’” warned Michael Kaleikini in Entrepreneur. “It just doesn't work that way in business. You'll be shooting into the black expanses of space--where no one exists. If you try to blanket everyone with one marketing message you'll lose over half of your audience simply because it doesn't apply to them.”

If you’ve still got any lingering doubt in your mind that not everyone is your target customer, we’re here to break it down even further for you. Here are three key reasons why you absolutely need to determine your target audience if you want your business to thrive.

Targeting Will Improve Your Brand Visibility

When a business decides just to randomly throw out marketing messages to the world, chances are a good chunk of the people receiving those messages aren’t actually interested in the product or service the business is selling, and subsequently, the message that the business is trying to get across likely isn’t resonating with them. When you leave things to chance like this, your brand visibility will inevitably tank because even though you might be spreading your message wide, most people are just ignoring what you have to say.

By contrast, determining your target market and orienting your marketing efforts toward this target market is actually an excellent way to boost brand visibility overall. When people feel the message you are sending to them is somehow relevant, they are more likely to remember what it is you are telling them. The more your message resonates, the greater the positive effect on your brand visibility.

Targeting Will Allow You to More Easily Move Targets Through the Sales Funnel

Once you have a clear idea of who it is that you are after, you will have a clearer idea of how to move them through the sales funnel. The key here is to get a granular knowledge of your different target customer profiles and work to understand what motivates them, as well as their specific wants and needs. You need to go beyond just identifying who your target customers are – you really need to delve into the gritty details of what it is they need and want so you can tailor your own marketing activities accordingly and find ways to entice them.

“At a high level, target audiences can be quickly defined. For example, the target audience for accounting software could be people who want to organize their finances to operate their businesses more efficiently. This offers a good starting point to create messaging to drive marketing and sales. In most cases, however, there has to be a more granular approach to target audiences,” Mark Evans explained in Forbes. “Why? The reality is a product can appeal to a variety of buyers who may have different needs and goals. It means a one-size-fits-all marketing and sales approach may not work because it’s not focused enough. By clearly identifying target audiences, it becomes easier to capture someone’s attention because their needs and goals are front and center.”

Targeting Will Improve Your ROI

The bottom line is that effectively targeting will significantly improve your ROI, helping you to stretch your marketing dollars further. After all, it is far more efficient to mail out advertisements to people who meet specific criteria that indicate they may have a need for your product or service as opposed to sending out a blanket mailing to everyone in your zip code. Not only will you save time and money on mailing, but the people who are most likely to make a purchase are the ones actually receiving the mailing, which boosts your shot at landing a sale.

“Targeting a specific market does not mean that you are excluding people who do not fit your criteria. Rather, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing dollars and brand message on a specific market that is more likely to buy from you than other markets. This is a much more affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach potential clients and generate business,” Mandy Porta explained in Inc. “With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your company.”

Ultimately, it is important to consider identifying your target audience as a means by which to improve ROI and enhance the profitability of your market, as opposed to something that might limit your business possibilities. Targeting should always be seen as a way to enhance your commercial success, not limit it.

What You Should Know about Determining Targets

Now that you know why targeting is important, the next step is to actually do it. The first step is to take a good hard look at your current customers. Who is buying from you? What do these customers have in common? Which types of customers tend to make the most purchases and bring in the most business? It’s likely that people who have characteristics in common with these customers may also have a need for your products and services. As you develop the profile of a target customer, make sure you are considering both demographic and psychographic traits. You may even want to take a look at who your competitors are targeting so as to ensure there is not a complete overlap in your targets.

In conclusion, the more time you spend in clearly defining your target market, the more successful your marketing efforts will be. Honing in on your target customers will pay dividends in the long-term and ultimately help you grow your business. If you want to lay the foundation for long-term success, start honing in on your target audience now and work to understand your target customers. 

If you need assistance determining your target audience, contact 10twelve.