If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you may believe that everyone should use your product or service. After all, it offers a better experience or has a superior feature, or just makes their lives better.
Unfortunately a target audience of “everyone on planet earth” makes it both difficult and expensive to market your product. Unless you have a Coca-Cola sized ad budget, a campaign that targets everyone, essentially targets no one.
What you want to do is determine which marketing spends will get you the highest conversion rates. A broad target audience will spread your budget too thin—some people may see your name once, but you won’t be able to generate the multiple impressions you need to convert them into paying customers.
Your ideal target audience is small enough that each prospective client will see your message multiple times and focused enough that each audience member will have a higher propensity than the population at large to see the value of your product or service. On the other hand, it needs to be large enough that it provides enough potential clients to make your business successful.
A better way to look at the problem is not who will benefit from your product, but who will benefit the most. This article will take you through the steps to help you determine the answer to this question so that you can maximize the value of your marketing dollars.
- Where do your customers live?
Most businesses have either a defined geographic region or a regional type (city, suburbs, rural) where they are more likely to be able to convert residents into customers.
If you have a retail store, how far are people willing to drive to get there? You’re going to want to set a narrow geographic range for your marketing and focus tightly around your immediate community.
If you have a service that can be offered online or over the phone, it can still be beneficial to think locally when you’re just starting out. People have a strong preference for local companies—given a limited budget, you may find that you have a stronger success rate within your own city or county than you do with potential customers across the country.
Finally, you may have an app that can be downloaded by anyone regardless of location. Is it more likely to be used by rural consumers or urban consumers? Are residents of certain cities more likely than others to see benefit from it than others? Depending on your budget, you still may want to focus on one or two areas that show more promise in order to maximize the impact of your marketing campaigns.
- What age group is most likely to benefit from your product or service?
This can be very narrow or very broad depending on what you sell. The target age range for a new toy can be 6-8 years while that of a new vehicle can be 35-55. It is important to note that this range is not exclusive. The toy company will not refuse to sell to the parents of a 4 year old and the car dealership will not turn away a 24 year old (as long as she can afford the payments). The question is: who is most likely to both see value in the product and be willing to spend their money on it?
In order to determine age range you should ask yourself some questions about your audience.
- Does your product require significant disposable income? If so you may want to focus on potential clients who are more established in their jobs and are able to spend money on non-essential items.
- Does your product require the use of new technology? In this case, you may want to skew your audience towards younger users who are less intimidated by new technology.
- Will certain age groups get a greater benefit from your product than others? A group that receives more benefit will be more likely to convert than any other group.
You should repeat this exercise for gender and race. The answers to these questions will help you determine not only where you will spend your money, but also who you will show on your website and in your ads. Studies have shown that people are more attracted to images of people who are similar to them. If your ideal customer is a 25-35 year old woman, then you want to show images of 25-35 year old women using your product. You want the viewer to think: “She’s just like me. I might benefit from using that product too.”
- How much money does your target audience make?
Household Income (HHI) correlates strongly with both age and geography. Residents of wealthier communities have more money than those of poorer communities. Similarly, workers in their 40s and 50s tend to make more than their counterparts in their 20s and 30s. However, income is such a critical component of target demographics that it’s worth considering in its own right.
Your product or service has a price tag associated with it. No doubt that price is very fair and reasonable considering the benefits that it provides, but it is nevertheless a cost to the consumer. How does that cost compare to your consumer’s overall wealth and, more specifically, to their disposable income? A five dollar latte may seem insignificant even to an entry level white collar worker, but to a manual laborer it could represent money that is better spent on food or rent.
Similarly, an app that helps workers to put money aside towards savings is useless both to the very wealthy who already have large amounts of money in savings and investments, and to the working poor who are barely living from paycheck to paycheck.
Identify the income level at which your price tag makes sense and the value of your product or service is the most compelling. Again, you can and will serve customers who do not fall within this range. The idea here is to determine what your ideal client looks like.
Going through this exercise will help you identify the group of potential clients who will benefit most from your product. Once you know who you want to target you can use this information to determine what the best ways are to reach your audience.
In our next post we’ll look at some examples of target demographics and identify some marketing campaigns for each to help you see exactly how you can use this technique to increase the efficacy of your marketing spends.
No matter who your potential client is, Wolfhaus Design can help you create and deliver a campaign that will speak directly to them about the value of your product or service. To learn more visit wolfhausdesign.com or get started with a free consultation.