There are many business strategies influenced by your target audience. And yet often businesses try to be all things to all people, especially when just getting started. And I admit, I’ve been there.
In the beginning, there is pressure to make money and grow the business. As the business grows, it becomes more apparent who the target audience is for your business and therefore, your target audience starts to define itself. And that is OK. But letting that self-defining audience have free reign over your strategies would be a mistake. You could end up with an audience you aren’t interested in working with – and your zest, your passion for your work, will suffer.
In this episode of The Pursuit of Purpose, I cover nine business strategies that benefit from a clear target audience definition – and as a result, your business will benefit too.
Nine business strategies
- Focus on potential – Knowing your target audience allows you to be open to the potential opportunities and adjacent audiences the individuals you serve may uncover.
- Reach the right audience with the right message – This goes without saying. When you are talking to the right people you will share the right message at the right time for them. (at least that is the goal).
- Identify an under-served market – when you are clear on your target audience, you may find the service you are working with is under-served in your expertise and lead you to additional opportunities, (connecting back to point #1).
- Cost-effective strategies – By knowing the segment of people you are wanting to reach helps identify the best option for speaking to them, and it is often more targeted as well. This does not mean it will be cheaper, but it will be more cost-effective. The example I shared in the podcast is broadcast media versus a target publication. The broadcast media is going to reach a broad swath of people – many of whom will not be your audience. You will pay less per person reached. With a targeted publication, you will reach a smaller group more aligned with your target audience. You will pay more per person but there will be less waste or excess spent on people who do not fit your desired audience.
- Prioritizing resources – As with any clearly defined goal or objective, this clarity allows for better prioritization.
- Attract and convert high-quality leads – By being more specific with who you want to attract, it is easier to adjust your strategies to appeal to those people. Whether that is your website text, your social media posts, or your LinkedIn profile page, speaking directly to your target audience is going to attract those people to you and invite them to take action, while at the same time, moving those who are NOT your audience to move along to a better option for them.
- Differentiate your brand from competitors – Your target audience is a part of what makes your business different from your competitors. It might be a simple distinction – you only work with women. Or it might be more complex – you help team leaders of fully remote teams create a cohesive and inclusive work environment. The first one is very broad; the second one is very specific.
- Improve your products and services – The knowledge you’ll learn from your target audience – your ideal customer – will help you improve what you do and how you serve those customers. But you need to listen and pay attention to what their cues are telling you. The power of observation is important and can be your most valuable means of continuous process improvement.
- Build deeper customer loyalty – when you KNOW your target audience, they feel like every interaction with you is designed just for them. And who isn’t going to be loyal to that??
- (BONUS!) Precision planning – The more detailed your target audience definition is, the more precise your planning for growth, product development, marketing, and other operational strategies can become. This knowledge allows you to predict and anticipate needs but also gives you an opportunity to reach out to your audience and ask questions.
When Bombas socks pitched on Shark Tank, they were clear on a couple of things: only socks and only online. They had clearly defined the lane they were in and as such, they had a clear definition of their target audience. One might think this clarity may have been for the benefit of the Sharks but it turns out their clarity was apparent long before striking the deal with Damon Johns. The article I’ve linked shares more background on the development of their company but as I said in the podcast, this is a great example of how clarity, consistency, and confidence in their target audience influenced each of the strategies I shared.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- How well do you really know your target audience with Suz Carpenter
- Recognizing your ideal target audience
- Who’s your target audience?
- Marketo Engagement Gap report
- The success story of start-up Bombas socks
If you need help defining your target audience and aren’t sure how to get started, give me a call.
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