Every successful project starts with defining its target audience. Yes, you heard that right! The product doesn’t come first, its customers do!
If you identify your clients wrong your whole strategy can fail, even if your goods are the best on the market. That’s because your sales campaign would revolve around the customers who don’t need your product in the first place. Of course, you should have in mind what you’re going to offer but it’s important to create a final proposal based on your average customer profile. In this way, you’ll know how to talk to your clients, what words and images to choose and how to highlight products’ values most properly.
A fitness trainer and a data analytic make their decisions differently so you’ll need a set of arguments to convince both of them your proposition is what they are looking for. Therefore your main message wouldn’t be just “Buy from us, we are the best” but “What we offer can solve your problem thanks to…”. This approach is way more personal: it shows that you know exactly what your clients miss in their lives and gives them a clear answer on how you can fulfill their needs and expectations.
Once you figure out who your target audience is, you don’t need to make a sale. You just have to emphasize the strengths of the product while customers will do the rest.
Almost all online entrepreneurs make the most common mistake of segmenting the audience into groups based on age, gender, and income. In this way, you are probably giving away a huge “piece of cake” involuntarily. Of course, age could be crucial in some cases, for example, if you sell cigarettes or alcohol. But more often this criteria just means we have to use different approaches.
Let’s imagine that you sell an online course on how to start making money on your Instagram page in 2 months. For instance, it could be an opportunity for women on maternity leave who want to earn some extra income by starting their small online business. Could they be your potential customers? Of course, they could! Could you divide them by the year they were born? We strongly do not recommend it because a woman could become a mother at a different age.
Instead, why don’t we think about what they all have in common, apart from giving birth recently? They are all stay-at-home moms who are afraid to lose their independence and their professional touch while taking care of the baby. So, our message could be: “You are on maternity leave and seeking opportunities for your growth? Thanks to our quick online tutorial you’ll be able to make extra money on your social media profile in 2 months!”.
This e-learning course could be a perfect match also for students who want to become influencers. So the product stays the same. We only have to change the text ad trying to make it compelling for this group of customers. Then we could come up with a personal message for part-time workers eager to increase their income and for many other types of customers.
In other words, we segment the audience by the problem they want to solve and by the motivation they have. If we had just one generic message for all the groups, our marketing campaign wouldn’t be as successful as when we used a more personal approach. Everybody wants to feel special and understood.
We suggest you always ask yourself these simple questions before defining your target audience:
This list of questions will allow you to see not only what your customers need but also will point out potential weaknesses of your product, compared to similar offers on the market.
Now that you know who you are selling to, it’s time to get a more in-depth profile of your audience. You could do it through a simple survey consisting of 10–15 questions aimed to understand better how your potential customers make their decisions, what doubts and expectations they have.
The easiest way to gather useful data is to search for people corresponding to your target audience profile among your personal contacts. For example, if you already know women on maternity leave or students you could ask them to participate in the survey.
Here are some examples of questions you may include in your list:
This simple questionnaire will help you to come up with powerful and memorable marketing messages targeted at different groups of potential customers.