How to: find your target audience
The most essential component of any business is the consumer. Without them, a business could not survive. The importance of finding a target audience and creating brand loyalty triumphs over most marketing or publicity tactics.
In order to find your target audience, you must research the demographics, interests and purchasing intentions of the consumer. This is done through a series of approaches designed to make your brand stand out from the crowd. The better you know and understand your target audience, the more connected they will be to your product or service.
Build a Community
A community can be a group of people who share the same interests, location, ideologies or experiences. Jennifer DeAngelis, founder and CEO of 1987 Active, credits much of her clothing brand’s success on using the city of Boston as inspiration for her products. “When people can connect with a brand and trust in its products, they become returning customers,” DeAngelis explained. “The first customers I ever had found my brand because Boston was an integral part of its aesthetic. Whether they were tourists or natives, they held onto 1987 Active because it connected with their love of Boston.”
Yet, community goes beyond the tangible. If your business is struggling to find a target audience, it is important to know your product inside and out. Is it all-natural? Does it incorporate a set of values or morals? Is it trendy or timeless? There are groups that will specifically choose to buy from a business based on their perceived connectedness to them. It is essential to find who that audience is for yourself.
Understanding the Buyer + Their Motivations
An important factor in the decision of whether or not a buyer purchases a product or service is their motivation to do so. A purchase can be out of necessity or out of desire.
Kennedy Meehan, the founder of The Azure Agency, said, “if your brand specializes in a desired product, it is crucial that you show your customers why they should buy your product instead of someone else’s.” This may come in the form of customer reviews, relatable and engaging content and analyzing competitors. “If you know the worth of your product and communicate that to your customers, they will see the value in supporting your business,” Meehan explained.
For a product that is described as a necessity (e.g. food, gasoline, clothing), purchase motivation may look a little different. In these purchasing decisions, many factors that come into play that go beyond the controls of advertising or PR tactics. It may be more difficult to stand out against competitors for a product or service that several other companies are offering. In these instances, brand loyalty is more important than expanding your audience. Customers who know a necessary product is reliable will continue to purchase it for as long as they need it.
Analytics are some of the most straightforward methods to determine an audience. Who exactly is looking at your website? Who is in the market for this product and why? Are your marketing and advertising strategies reaching the right audience?
Analytics help brands break down the demographics of their audience. If you are consistently trying to advertise a product or service to a specific age group, when in reality analytics determine a different age group engages with your product the most, you are not reaching the right audience. These demographics may include race, sexuality, location, age, economic status and more.
Bethany is originally from Connecticut but moved to San Diego to pursue a degree in Public Relations at San Diego State University. She is in her senior year of college and hopes to go on to have a career in fashion PR after graduation..