Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
You put your heart and soul into building a product or a service. Once it is made, it is only natural for you to want to show it to the world.
But think it through, do you want to show it, or do you want to grab the attention of your potential consumers? I guess the latter.
In today's world, where already there are a gazillion brands, simply revealing or bringing the product into the light might not give you the desired customer base. It also might not be financially viable.
The chances of getting lost in the pool of limitless brands and advertisements are just too high.
So does that mean that one shouldn’t invest in advertising? Of course not.
Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
Steuart Henderson Britt
Here comes the power of marketing to a target audience
Target Marketing is the approach in which Marketers try to attract and sell their products and services to a target audience who are very likely to become customers in the future.
In Target Marketing, the marketing efforts are channeled towards a targeted set of customers. It requires more planning and research on the marketers’ end before implementing it than traditional marketing, but the results are visibly better.
- Targeted advertisements are, on average, almost twice as effective vs. non-targeted ads.
- Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
Target Audience can be segregated from a market based on needs, income, location, trends, age, lifestyle, hobbies, occupation, etc.
For example, Volkswagen India has introduced a new corporate sales program targeting young professionals. The entire Volkswagen product range will be available with benefits targeted at the corporate audience. This program aims to strengthen the brand’s proposition as an accessible premium brand in India.
But why is a car company targeting its products to corporate professionals?
Simple, Volkswagen targets a section of the trustworthy, verified, salaried professionals who are willing, interested, and capable of buying their products.
Why Should Brands Focus On Target Audiences?
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.
To sell a product or service, every marketer should focus on four primary goals:
The first Goal is to identify the target audience.
The second is to present to the audience what you have to offer uniquely and interestingly.
The third is to improve the engagement or traffic concerning the product/service.
The fourth and most important goal is to increase the conversion rate and ultimately build a more substantial loyal customer base.
The rule is simple. You get what you give.
The target audience can be of the following three types:
The customers that are already paying for your product/service.
The promoters that not only are your loyal customers but also influence others to buy what your selling.
The potential customers who might be interested in the product/service.
Let’s take the example of Walt Disney’s marketing strategy.
Disney aimed not only at children with his cartoons and movies but also adults who were still children at heart and could appreciate his films and learn from their stories. That has continued to be the driving force behind Disney – appeal to children and adults alike with family-friendly entertainment that both will enjoy.
It just cannot be stressed enough that defining Target Audience is vital for your marketing planning.
Even if you feel like your product is suitable for all segments and groups of people, marketing tactics and Ad campaigns will be different for different demographics.
And you as a marketer cannot leave any stones unturned!
6 Tips To Connect To Your Target Audience
1. Identify The Target Audience and Potential Opportunity
Understand why you are different and how you help, recognize your target market and give them something they might not even realize they are missing.
At the expense of sounding repetitive, I would like to say that understanding the brand is the most crucial step.
The process of identifying a target audience can vary according to the product or service that you are trying to sell.
However, a generic way is understanding the product better, what unique problem it solves, and the people who might experience a similar situation.
Often the answers to the most challenging questions lie in plain sight.
The target audience may vary according to Demographics, Geographical preferences, Psychographic, Socioeconomic factors, etc.
You’ll have to meet the unique needs, desires, and motivations of each segment.
The brand needs to be analyzed repeatedly both from a buyer’s perspective and a seller’s perspective.
A lot of learning and unlearning is needed to be done to tap potential opportunities.
You’ll need to keep an open mind about the discoveries you may find in this process and be able to step out from your point of view.
Once you know your target audience or multiple target audiences, you need to organize the data smartly and systematically.
This data will prove to be the most prized possession of a marketer.
2. Establish The Action Plan To Reach Your Target Audience
Creativity without strategy is called art, creativity with strategy is called advertising
Jef I. Richards
Once you’ve recognized your ideal audience, the next step is to develop the best strategies to get them.
The idea is to have an action plan or goal that is SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
It would help if you always tried to uncover the less obvious attributes of your target audience.
The basis of market segmentation involves dividing a market into well-defined groups of consumers with the same needs.
Once you have the Game Plan, the next question is how do you reach out to them?
If you want to understand how a lion hunts, don’t go to the zoo. Go to the jungle.
Jim Stengel was probably trying to say that if we visualize our consumer as a caged animal, who is not proactive, who has no control over what they are fed, we might just be making the biggest mistake. Today’s customer isn’t locked in a cage. They are constantly on the hunt looking for the right opportunity at the right place at the right time.
The scenario is, by all means, more challenging than ever before. Marketers will have to go out of their way to reach out to their target audience.
Thankfully (or not), in this era of digitization, it is not very hard to track the characteristics of your buying customer.
The social media presence of today’s generation is super strong, and your buyers already have provided you with plenty of information.
Each social media platform is distinct from another. Each has a different broad category of a user base, making it easier to throw targeted ads to your audience accordingly.
Depending on your buyer persona, you need to figure out the social media platform to find them and strategize your CONTACT PLAN.
3. Find The Relevant Marketing Channels
As a marketer, your main goal is to have a solid ROI for your time and money. Focusing on a relevant marketing channel(s) for your target audience is an incredible way of doing so.
And like everything else these days, there is a BIG list of Marketing Channels to choose from.
Here are a few categories of Digital Marketing Channels: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Referral Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Utility Marketing, Online Events, etc.
You can opt for multichannel marketing or omnichannel marketing, and it will all be dependent on your buyer persona.
With over 2.5 billion people on social media, Facebook, Google Adwords, and Pinterest are emerging as giant marketing channels.
The key is to choose the most relevant marketing channel for your brand.
Let’s take a unique example of a marketing channel for brands in Financial Services or Real Estate. The ideal buyer persona is most likely to be verified, young and salaried professionals probably working in some big corporates.
Apart from the apparent marketing channels, a very relevant marketing channel would be an Employee discount platform. It's a place where corporate professionals can access special employee pricing or employee discounts or gain rewards from their organizations.
The best bet would be associating with an employee engagement or employee benefits platform that is active and already has a solid user base.
You can also channelize your marketing efforts to your target audience through Retargeting.
Retargeting is the online ad placements and ad display based on the previous activity of the user.
According to statistics, a retargeted display will encourage 1,000 percent more people to search for a product.
4. Be Ultra Specific
Clarity trumps Persuasion.
You should always be crystal clear about what is exclusive about your brand and what is the unique problem that your product solves.
Once you know that, it should be the central focus of all your marketing tactics.
Finding niches in your target market can be a superpower in disguise!
The target market, in short, is the potential market within the available market. At the same time, niche marketing is a marketing strategy that combines the targeted audience with the problems they face and then acts as a solution provider for the targeted audience.
Niches might not even exist. You can create them with your creativity and understanding of the product.
Niche Marketing will help you connect with your audience better and form a stronger relationship with them.
You can offer specialized offerings to your specific target audience. Another great advantage of niche marketing is that the competition is significantly less, and it wouldn’t be tough to become a leading brand in a niche market.
Once you start understanding your niches and acting on them, it is pretty safe to say that there is a huge potential for reaching out to your buying customers.
5. Form An Emotional Connection With Your Target Audience
Striking an emotional chord with your customers through your brand has an enormous positive impact on its brand value.
Emotional Branding is no longer a suggestion but a requirement in 21st Century.
Emotional Branding is what separates your brand from the rest of the brands.
Most successful marketers aren’t trying to sell their products. They sell the idea and even sell a dream.
A brand should fulfill 3 major criteria: It should be unique, it should be helpful, and it should be people-focused.
When you start building the profile of your customers, you have to get inside of the head of your target audience/customer and understand their motivations.
Even if you know your target audience, you’ll be able to form a reliable connection with them when you make them feel valued in the form of special targeted offerings and discounts.
Also, some brands have successfully incorporated elements into their advertising strategies that show their contribution towards the betterment of the world or a particular section of society (such as environmentally friendly products or brands contributing to charitable works). These brands are doing well because people (especially millennials) are more likely to buy a product if the product makes them feel good about it.
61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and feel personally responsible to make a difference. –Huffington Post
6. Analyze Existing Reports and Statistics
The only way we grow is by learning from the past.
The most powerful way to identify your target audience lies right in your pocket in the form of past data.
Past Reports and statistics can contain valuable information regarding your customers. It can present you with entirely new insights into their behaviors.
It can reveal answers to your customer trends that are otherwise impossible to know.
Also, determining your target audience is just the first step. But only statistics can tell if that step is in the right direction.
As you must have realized, the determination of your target audience is based on a lot of factors and assumptions. Sometimes a different group of audience responds better to advertisements that were aimed at some other section. And this information can be obtained when you analyze your data and reports.
Making a marketing plan is not a one-time thing. It is not something that you can make once and relax.
To keep your brand active, you need to keep updating and improving your marketing tactics.
The pattern of results from the marketing channel(s) you are using for your brands can tell you essential stories.
The reviews and feedback from your customers always help revealing facts about your product. All you need to do is analyze, analyze and analyze.
The moral of the story is that statistics and data have great power. They eliminate the wrongdoings and help you identify the right ones. Results after every campaign you run will help to improve in the future. It will give the most trustworthy information about your marketing plans and how to optimize them for the best returns. It also eliminates the need for assumptions.
To conclude, a marketer needs to realize that you cannot please everyone with your product or service.
More importantly, it is better to acknowledge that you have a specific audience and channelize your marketing efforts to attract them.
Target marketing is a practical approach, and it requires a lot of brainstorming, planning, and creativity in the beginning, but the results are fantastic!!
To keep up with today’s consumers, you need to run the extra mile to reach out to them. Be it in the form of Social Media Marketing, marketing through target audience-oriented channels, or Retargeting, you need to keep updating your Game Plan.
Making a Marketing Strategy is not a one-time thing. It is ever-changing.
You should not be afraid to experiment with new marketing channels for your product.
Past data and statistics reveal important stories that can further optimize your marketing results.
If you can accurately target your potential customers, it can help your business in more ways than one and show effective results.
There is just one winning strategy:
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.