How to match your brand with a compatible audience.
February is often known for being a month dedicated to and all about love. It is no surprise that it is always in February that we start seeing a surplus of ads for online dating apps. These online dating apps are a $3.1 billion dollar industry with over 400 million active users that each have one simple goal: to “match” with their soulmate. In an industry that big, it is no surprise that these apps are very sophisticated machines using complex algorithms to create a “match” between two people who are compatible using personal data and demographics.
Turns out, matchmakers and marketers are not that different. Marketing to a target audience or more simply put, matching your brand with a group of consumers who are more likely to be interested or need your product/service is a love story as old as time.
Good marketers do a lot of matchmaking. They match problems with solutions, wants with needs and features with benefits. Most importantly, they match the right message to the right audience for the right product. Matching a brand’s messaging with an audience that is willing (maybe even excited) to listen is not magic or chance. It comes from a commitment to learn and understand exactly who your customers are, what they care about and what they need. The success of any marketing campaign begins with consumers feeling a connection to your brand. By defining your target audience, you can then connect with them in a relatable way and unearth buyer motivations and behaviors. With this powerful information, it will be easier to decide where to advertise and how to best explain how your products will fit into their lives.
In a world filled with advertising noise, courting the right customers can make all the difference. So, what happens if your brand is not a match for the audience you are reaching? The most feared word in all of love…rejection. But, wait. Don’t be heartbroken just yet. It is not that your product is wrong, it is that your audience is wrong for your product. You are not effectively reaching the consumers who need what you have to offer. This common marketing issue will leave you more than just heartbroken. It is a waste of time, money and valuable resources, too. Wouldn’t it be easier to market to consumers you know will say “yes!”? We think so.
Stop looking for love in all the wrong places. Let’s explore how to find your target audience.
Soulmate Search: How to Define Your Target Audience.
You know that a target audience is a group of people who are perfectly matched and compatible for your brand. So how do you find your brand’s soulmates? Here are a few simple tips that will help you successfully find an audience that will fall head over heels in love with your product or service.
1. Old Love: Who are your current customers and what do they love about your brand?
One of the best ways to determine your target audience is to look at who already buys your product or service. Your current customers are the people who are using your product or service which means the positioning of your offering, the solution you presented, your marketing, or a combination of these worked. You matched! What is the best thing about an old love? You already know everything about them. Ask yourself: How old are they? Where do they live? What is important to them? What are their job titles? What are their interests? Use your CRM software or order information to assemble and categorize valuable demographic information.
For what you don’t know, ASK! Don’t be afraid to ask your current customers through email or social polling. Even a quick interview with a loyal, repeat customer might reveal some very powerful insight into who your target audience should be.
2. The Mathematics of Marketing: The powerful analytics and insights you didn’t know you had.
Every good marketer knows that good data is the foundation of success. What if you don’t have a large existing customer base yet or CRM software or the ability to collect your current customers’ information that we just mentioned? Fear not. If your brand has a website or social media accounts, you may have more information about your target audience than you may think.
The consumers who are visiting your website and following or engaging with your brand on social media may or may not be current customers, but they are interested in at least learning more about your brand. That makes their information and demographics very valuable in defining a target audience. This valuable information is offered up for free inside your page’s analytics tab on most popular social platforms. Moreover, keep an eye on who is engaging most with your social posts and explore their profiles for helpful insights and information.
Google Analytics is another great tool for obtaining demographic details about your audience and their interests. With Google Analytics, you will be able to see website insights broken into different sections, like age, gender, and location. Who is reading your content and engaging with your videos? These analytics will provide another great snapshot into who your target audience may be and how your content fits into their lives.
3. The Ex: The benefit of knowing what you don’t want. Who your target audience is not.
In the quest to find your target audience, it is also important to know who your target audience is not. We have talked a lot about who your current customers are and their role in providing valuable insight into who your target audience should be. But knowing and defining who your products are not for can be just as valuable. For example, you should not try to sell a hamburger to a vegan.
But what if your product could be used by everyone? We know it is hard to say “no” to a certain segment and you may feel as if you are excluding a group of consumers who may be interested in your brand. However, it has been proven time and time again: If you try to reach everyone, you will reach no one. Being honest with yourself on who is truly not your customer will keep you from devoting ad dollars to segments that will not yield returns.
4. Soulmates: Creating Customer Personas
Customer personas are detailed, fictional characters that symbolize certain buyers within your target audience. They are your brand’s soulmates, and they humanize what you already know about your target audience. You may have several buyer personas with each one describing in detail what drives them to buy your product or service. Creating personas is a great way to drill down into the specific segments that make up your target audience. These fictional characters
allow you to determine the general demographics, personalities, needs and challenges of your target consumers. For example, the persona of “Fred the First-Time Swimmer” will speak to different needs than “Pro Swimmer Paul.”
5. Love is a battlefield: Why you should love your competition.
Most think of competitors as enemies and overanalyzing and comparing yourself to the competition can oftentimes be harmful, especially in business. However, when it comes to defining your target audience, there may just be a lot to love about what you can learn from your competitors. Who are they selling to? Who are their loyal customers or brand ambassadors? There is no need to copy or try to replicate their target audience. In fact, it may be best to do the exact opposite. After all, you have loyal customers of your own, who did not choose to purchase from your competitors. Analyze what makes your competitors’ customers unique and what sets them apart from your customers. Lean in and embrace what it was that made your customers fall out of love with your competition.
6. Lots of fish in the sea: The hard work of defining (and refining) your target audience is never done.
Like most things in marketing, defining your target audience is not “set it and forget it.” The journey of defining your target audience is never complete and always evolving, especially with new product offerings or campaigns. Different products and different services may have different consumers even if they are all under the same brand. That means it may take a different campaign to reach them and, you got it, a different target audience. Always plan to check in regularly, evaluate success and make changes when necessary so your brand is not missing opportunities.
Stupid Cupid: Not interested in playing marketing matchmaker? Let us help.
We all know relationships are a lot of work. Having a clear picture of your target audience is key, but it is not the final step. This information will define every marketing plan and strategy you execute. In order to make your marketing most effective, you now need to create messaging and campaigns that are relatable to your target audience and will create a connection. Understanding them is one thing, now you must prove you have their back and can deliver a product that meets their needs and eliminates their frustrations.
If you are looking for a partner to help your brand find their target audience “match” or to help you take the next steps in creating a plan to effectively reach your audience, we invite you to learn more about our process and/or review some of our case studies. We would love to help!