Getting to Know Your Target Audience

April 11, 2019
Charlotte Dougall
Charlotte Dougall

Founder of Blether, helping small businesses do big things online.

Previously, we’ve discussed some of the ways to find customers for your business. Your customers are a vital part of your business, and having a solid understanding of who they are will serve you well in serving your customers. If you know who your ideal target customer is, you’ll have a better understanding of the best places to find them, how you to speak to them in an impactful way, what their motivations for purchasing are and - maybe most importantly - what they actually want.

But how do you do it? Here are some considerations to get you started.

Back to Basics

Who, what, where, how and why? These might seem like simple questions, but they prove useful in the early stages of discovering your target audience and understanding your ideal customer. Thinking about where they work, shop, live and spend their time can provide insight into the best channels of communication. Knowing what information sources they look to and trust will help you figure out who you want to align your brand with, and considering the way that they shop will highlight the ways in which you can get your business in front of potential customers at the perfect moment.

Wants and Needs

A huge part of getting to know your target audience comes down to understanding what their wants are, and how your business fits in with them. Knowing what your potential customers' needs are and the problems that they face puts you in the best possible position to solve them. Once you’ve figured out how your product or service matches with your customer’s needs, you can align your brand message accordingly and push the relevant features and benefits available.

Utilising Your Existing Customer Base

If you already have some customers, they can provide you with some hugely beneficial information that you can use to better understand your audience. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about how they discovered your business, what they think of your product and what the biggest benefit they’ve had from your business is. Look at their reviews, testimonials and feedback to determine what’s important to them and how you can align your business appropriately in turn. Be sure to encourage communication with your customers throughout your process, and even consider implementing feedback or customer research channels into your workflow.

Creating an Audience Profile

Designing an audience persona is an incredibly useful activity when it comes to getting to the heart of your ideal customer. Taking the time to produce an example of an ideal customer - including their name and their demographics - will help focus your mind and provides a simple way to communicate your target audience with other team members, too. You might want to get creative and make a mood board to help you visualise your customer, or you can simply list their characteristics and traits instead.

Consider the Competition

It may feel counterintuitive to be thinking about your competition when considering your own target customers, but it can be particularly useful for building your business. Nowadays, consumers typically look at numerous options before deciding what to purchase, and you have to be aware of what your competitors are offering if you want to distinguish your business from theirs. If you know what your customer is looking for, you’ll have a better understanding of the reasons they may choose to take their business somewhere else, and in turn, you’ll be better prepared to stop that happening.

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