What is a target audience? In short, it’s the demographic of people that are most likely to purchase your product or service. A business’s target audience are going to be its most loyal customers, its biggest advocates and its best source for gathering feedback.

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The benefits of knowing your target audience


Identifying your target audience can offer some big benefits. Some of these include:

- More efficient marketing spend and more personalised engagement.

- Loyal brand advocates that spread positive word of mouth.

- A built-in base for testing new products and services.

- Recurring revenue and improved customer retention.

- Suggestions for new ways to improve the customer experience.


The challenges of focusing too highly on target audiences


Your target audience is who you’ll want to engage and cater to, but if you focus too narrowly on this core segment, you may miss out on larger opportunities. Your target audience will consist of the demographic that’s most likely to support your product – but there will always be potential customers that fall outside of these parameters.


Make sure that you’re not ignoring chances to expand your base by only addressing your existing target audience. And, if your business evolves, your target audience may evolve as well. To unlock the benefits of your customer base, make sure you’re constantly evaluating who that base is – and what they’re responding to.


What is a target audience? How to identify yours in 7 questions


  1. What are the demographics of your base? Examine the demographic make-up of your customer base. Some of the things you’ll want to identify include your audience’s age, gender, location, socioeconomic status and education. You can use a customer data platform in order to track your customers’ behaviour and analyse their demographics.

  2. What are they looking for and why? Once you’re familiar with the demographics of your customer base, you’ll need to figure out what they want – and how you can give it to them. CRM platforms can offer data-driven insights about your customer base, but you’ll also want to gather feedback from the sales and service reps who deal with them on a daily basis. 

  3. What digital channels do they shop on most? One of the most important things to know is what channels your customer base likes to shop on. Social media platforms all offer different experiences, so you’ll want to see where your base hangs out virtually so that you can build the right experience for the right channel.

  4. What do they talk about and value? Knowing what your customer base cares about is crucial for connecting with them. The demographic profile you created may provide a rough guide to their concerns, but also look at more granular data. Do they value price or quality more? How much do they care about ethical practises? How about convenience? How does your business fit into their lifestyle?

  5. What do they read and watch? Spending your marketing budget on channels and in places where your base doesn’t engage is wasteful. For maximum impact, you’ll want to meet them where they spend their time. Pay attention to what they watch, read and listen to. How is this content usually delivered? What’s the tone? What’s keeping them engaged and interested? What are they connecting to, and why?

  6. Who do they trust? The Connected Customer Report shows that 85% of customers say their purchasing decisions are swayed by how companies treat their employees, and nearly 70% expect companies to act with society’s best interests in mind. Knowing what your base cares about can help you deliver the right messaging for the right market at the right time.

  7. Who isn’t your target audience? Knowing your target audience can also help you identify who isn’t your audience. This can help reduce wasteful marketing spend, as you can avoid allocating resources to ‘empty’ campaigns. For instance, budget retailers who have a cost-conscious customer base will want to engage that base with different messaging – and in different places – than a luxury automaker would. 


You’ve found your target audience - now what?


Once you’ve identified your target audience, it’s time to address their needs and start building great long-term relationships. Some actions you may want to consider include:

  • Create personas. Creating personas will enable you to view your customer journey from the POV of your various audience segments. Is it optimised for your different audiences? Can you add more value at different touchpoints? Does it offer the right cross-selling and upselling opportunities?

  • Define your USP (unique selling proposition). Your unique selling proposition is your brand’s DNA. It’s what separates you from your competitors. Make sure your USP is being correctly positioned to address the needs of your customer base.

  • Conduct market research and analyse your competitors. Seeing how your competitors are positioning themselves can help you find your differentiator. What are they doing right when engaging your target audience? What could they be doing better? How can you stand out?

  • Leverage the power of social media to get the word out. Look at what kind of content your customers want, and then look at how social media can help you deliver it. Some channels are great fits for how-to blogs or quirky commercials. Others are perfect for mood boards or for spreading user-generated content. Still others are better for thought-leadership, such as podcasts or videos.

  • Hone your messaging. Kick off innovative marketing and advertising campaigns with a voice to match your target audience. Still not sure what they want? Try running A/B testing to measure engagement and fine-tune your messaging. Try out different delivery times, formats and channels to see what elicits the best response.

  • Make sure your customer service can meet the new expectations. Customer service expectations have changed, and every audience now expects timely and highly personalised service. Ensure that your customer service is keeping up with what your competitors are offering. Even better, make your service stand out.

  • Map the customer journey and make sure you’re offering an exceptional CX (customer experience). Is your target audience at the heart of your experience? Are there any bottlenecks to a smooth experience? Are you offering an omnichannel journey across touchpoints?

  • Create a customer loyalty programme that matches the needs of your target audience and turns customer loyalty into a differentiator. Creating long-term relationships helps lower churn rate, keeps customer acquisition costs down and increases customer lifetime value. Creating a loyalty programme that’s tailored to your customer base is a great way to win them over.


Turbocharge your tools for engaging with your target audience


It’s easier than ever to define, manage and engage with your target audience. A CDP (Customer Data Platform) empowers small businesses to deliver what the customer wants, when they want it. Omnichannel journeys are becoming the norm, letting customers engage with businesses easily and efficiently on the channel of their choice. And according to The Connected Customer Report, 70% of UK customers say that they’ll pay more for a great experience.


By focusing on your customers and giving them extraordinary experiences that keep them coming back again and again, you’ll be well on your way to knowing, engaging and satisfying your target audience. And the better you know that audience, the more efficient and cost-effective your marketing spend will be.

To see more about how your business can thrive in the experience economy, have a look at our guide, Thriving in the Experience Economy: How Exceptional Customer Journeys Drive Engagement.


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