When you own a business, one of your top goals is to put your products and services in front of the people who would most likely use/need them. A car dealer would not create marketing for pre-teens, just like a candy company is not likely to build ads around the 35 and up demographic. Knowing who your target audience is and how to reach them is paramount in saving money on advertising and increasing overall revenue.
Determining Who You Are Trying to Reach
One of the initial challenges of any new advertising campaign is figuring out who the ideal demographic is. This will be easier for some products and services than for others. For example, a company that is selling housekeeping services would likely target working parents who don’t have time to clean regularly. Sounds simple enough. But who would an ice cream company target? How about a sneaker company or a professional masseuse?
While many business owners know how important it is to identify their target markets, most are unsure exactly how to go about it. To help, we’ve included a list of tips to keep in mind:
- Look at your current customers: Your present clientele could help you figure out who is interested in your products and services. Find out what they have in common and what draws them to your company. It is very likely that other people with these characteristics would also be interested in what you offer.
- Competitive analysis: So you haven’t been in business long enough to find commonalities among your customers? No problem. Just look at what your competitors are doing. Very few businesses have a monopoly on any market, which means that your company almost definitely has competition that you can learn from. Who do they target? What types of customers do they attract?
- Consider a wide range of demographic markers: When you’re trying to figure out who has a need for and who would most likely purchase your products. The more details you have, the better. Consider identifying factors like gender, age, income level, location, occupation, ethnicity, family status, lifestyle and education level.
- Analyze your data: Once you’ve honed in on your target demographic, be sure to review your findings. Is your demographic large enough? Can they afford your products or services? What will make your target audience take action? How easily can they be reached?
Reaching Your Target Audience
Once you’ve figured out who it is your target audience is, the next step is creating an advertising strategy that will reach them and resonate. Today’s fragmented market may make this more difficult than ever before. People don’t consume advertisements in the same ways they did before, which traditionally included print, radio and television. Social media, streaming options and digital marketing have added new wrinkles into the process.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Identify the best channels: Unless you have an unlimited marketing budget, it will likely be impossible for you to use every possible medium to reach your clients. Does your demographic spend a lot of time driving? Are they on social media often? Could they be reached with traditional print or broadcast advertising? This is a deeper level of demographic research that could require professional expertise.
- Focus on your clients’ needs: Your customers care less about your accolades or mission statement than they do about how you can help them. Your marketing should be 100 percent focused on what your products and services can do to make your customers’ lives easier, not about how great you are.
- Make your message stand out: Your customers are inundated with hundreds, perhaps thousands of advertisements on a weekly basis. Unfortunately for advertisers, this has led to people tuning out well over 90 percent of the marketing they see. How will your ad break through and be one of the ones that resonate? An ideal combination of colors, fonts, images and a strong yet simple message is needed.
“People tune out over 90 percent of the marketing they see.”
- Put yourself in their shoes: One problem many business owners have is that they are too close to their company. Though you may think your products and services are amazing, it does not mean that they will come across that way to your audience. Looking at your offerings from a different vantage point could uncover areas for improvement and inform your marketing approach.
- Measure everything: You will have no idea what is working or why it’s working if you don’t track and measure your results. Remaining diligent in this will help you reduce wasted money spent on advertising and focus on what is being successful.
Part Science, Part Art
Determining the exact marketing approach that will attract the most customers is an inexact science. While there is plenty of research you can conduct to give you an idea of what will be successful, a little trial and error is par for the course. Demographic research allows you to make reasonable assumptions about who your target audience is and how to reach them, but trying different things and measuring results is the only way to truly be successful.
This is why working with a team of professional advertisers is smart business. Rather than playing the guessing game, experienced marketers already know what’s effective and what isn’t. They will know how to reach your demographic and how to achieve the correct balance between advertising reach and frequency. Most importantly, they will know how to maximize your budget for the best results.
Mary Pomerantz Advertising is a New Jersey advertising agency with over 25 years of experience. We have shaped and coordinated dozens of advertising campaigns for businesses of all sizes throughout the nation. No matter what your marketing needs are, we have the experience and expertise you need on your side. Learn how we can help your advertising by contacting us at 732-214-9600.