By Jessica Alex
In order to effectively speak to your audience, you have to understand who your target market and audience is, and what their pain points are.
First start by pinpointing who your target market is. Your target market is typically who would be consuming your product or service (the end consumer). From there you are going to build your target audience based on the campaign you are running, or what platform you are using. (That’s right, you can segment your target market for promotions and marketing initiatives by creating various target audiences).
Your target audience can end up being the same as your target market, but sometimes your target audience isn’t just the consumer of your product, it’s your customer. Customers (purchasers of your product) are not always consumers of your product. Think of brands who target the parents who would be purchasing on behalf of their child. Or brands that target women to buy products for their significant other.
Your target audience may also become more defined than your target market based on certain psychographic or geographic details. For instance, think of brands whose advertisements look different depending on what part of the world they are targeting.
It’s important to research your targets, and you can start by looking at existing research that is often readily available online. You can find out about your target’s buying power, what social media platforms they use, how they like to gather information, what are their interests, where they like to hang out, etc. These details are important because you a) want to know where your audience is, b) you want to try to gauge whether or not your product or service is really what they need and c) you want to be able to relate to them as much as possible.
You can also look at your social media insights or website analytics — do they line up with your target market’s demographics?
Tip💡: Try surveying or interviewing your existing customers to, for instance, learn more about what their interests, needs and demographics are. Does this line up with the research you’ve done so far? Do adjustments need to be made? Also look into what was their reason for purchasing from you, and where they heard about your product or service? Would they purchase from you again? Would they recommend you to others, and why?
Here’s a sample market research survey template from Survey Monkey that can be tailored to your research needs.
Once you have narrowed down the details of your target market and audience, it’s time to create a persona.
Let’s say your business is a meal-preparation service based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Being eco-conscious and eco-friendly is at the heart of what you do. You make food using locally, and seasonally-based ingredients. You also source more environmentally-friendly containers for your clients. Typically you drop off the food to the client once a week and they have enough food to last them for the week. Lunch prep is on the menu as well, which helps your client stay healthy while saving money.
So for example, your target market could be:
Greater Toronto Area located
Professional; $100,000 annual salary
Married, Household income $170,000
Note: I have left out ethnicity or race for this demonstration.
Now let’s say you have a target audience that is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Environmental issues are very important to them. Being health-conscious is also important to them. Time is something that they often are short on.
Creating a buyer persona entails creating a character (or characters) based on your target audience(s). It is common practice to name this detailed character, and when you write and create your content, it is as though you are talking directly to this persona.
A buyer persona could be for example:
Janet, a thirty-year old who lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She works “9 to 5” as a senior consultant for a large organization. Janet lives in a condo with her husband Michael, and both of them have a demanding job, that typically has them working late hours past 5pm. By the time she comes home, she is exhausted and is unable to cook and neither is Michael. She found herself turning to takeout menus, but she is looking for more healthy meal options with less of a carbon footprint.
Buyer persona 2:
Erica is twenty-seven years old and lives and works in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She never knows what to pack for lunch, which means resorting to store-bought lunch kits that are packed with preservatives, or easily spending 20 dollars a day on lunch. That works out to be $100 a week and although her job as a senior developer provides her with a $95,000 annual salary, she is still paying off student loans and would prefer to find ways to get more ‘bang for her buck’, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle that will allow her to keep up with her high-demanding job.
You are a locally-based business at the moment so going too far outside of Toronto doesn’t make sense for your company. However, you do have a segment of your target market that is based in the suburbs of Toronto, but happen to work within the city. They typically have long commutes and don’t really want to be cooking at 6:30 or 7pm when they get home.
Buyer persona 3:
Angela is thirty-five years old and lives in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. She works in downtown Toronto and takes the GoTrain to and from work, which usually is an hour commute both ways. She gave birth to her first child over a year ago, and is just getting back to work. Beyond being tired after work and having a baby to care for, she also has been trying to lose weight. She prefers not to turn to fast-food at this time, and is hoping for a healthy and quick alternative to enjoy once she gets home.
Note: You can get more in-depth with your personas by touching on more behavioural, psychographic and sociographic details, and develop and adjust your personas over time.
So as this business owner, when you are speaking to your audience(s), you are aware that you are speaking to busy people, who need to capture the information succinctly. You also want to convey as often as possible the benefits of hiring your service, such as:
They save time
They save money
They leave less of a carbon footprint
They can lead a healthier lifestyle
Remember that you are in the business of solving problems, and making the lives of your customer and consumer easier in some shape or form. By having a well-defined target market, audience and buyer persona you will have a more clear understanding of who your ideal client is, and you can then speak their language and convey the benefits that purchasing your product or service will bring to them, in a more effective and strategic way.
Ready to captivate your audience with your content? Book a free clarity call with me to get started.