Your target audience: They’re the ones who need, want, and eventually purchase your product or service. If you’re in the process of defining your business—or even if you’re looking to redefine your current company—identifying your target audience is a great place to start.
In fact, defining your target audience is one of the most important aspects of your company’s digital marketing strategy. Read on to learn more about the importance of having a target audience, as well as 15 questions that will help you identify it.
Why Define Your Target Audience?
Business is not just about creating a valuable product or service, putting it on the market, and seeing how well it sticks. These three things are useless if the right people know nothing about your company. Defining your target audience can help you broaden the scope of your business strategies, narrow things down, and focus on the right parts of your company.
It sounds simple, but defining your target audience is probably the most difficult and overlooked aspect of digital marketing strategy. Why? Companies tend to focus most on developing their actual product or service. But in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter what you’re selling—more so, it matters who you’re selling to.
If your target audience is clearly defined and you know it well, they’ll most likely buy your product or service because they’ll see the value of what you’re offering. If you’ve done your research, your product is something your audience will want, something they’re willing to pay for, and something that will help solve their problems. Plus, as you help solve their problems, you’re building a business relationship—and that’s what successful business is all about.
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How Can You Define Your Target Audience?
Most businesses, especially small businesses, can’t afford to target every single consumer on the planet—and often, it’s not wise to do so. Targeting a niche market is a smart way to identify exactly the type of people who will want to buy your product.
If you’re looking to define your target audience, take a look at this list of target market questions to help you nail it down.
- When you came up with your idea for your business, product, or service, who did you think it would help? Answering this question will help you get back to your roots of why you created your business or product in the first place.
- Does this audience currently purchase products similar to yours, or from businesses similar to yours? Current purchasing patterns can give you an idea of how your target audience will engage with your product or company.
- Why specifically did you choose to create your business, product, or service? Some motivations can be as simple as seeing a need and bridging the gap. Other motivations can be as complex as having a personal connection with a product or service, or even with the audience to which your company appeals.
- What problems are you attempting to solve with your business, product, or service? Every target audience has a problem, and every product, business, or service seeks to remedy that problem. Identifying the problem can help determine the messaging of your digital marketing strategy.
- What are your target audience’s demographics? (Age, gender, income level, education level, marital status, occupation, etc.) These core elements are fairly basic, but determine the most important aspects of your strategy.
- Where does your target audience live? This is similar to identifying target demographics, but can be relevant if you have a brick-and-mortar store or a product or service especially valuable to people in a specific geographic area.
- How do you currently determine who buys your product or service? Your current determinations might be sufficient, but there could be some room for improvement or further development.
- What specific things do your buyers have in common? Every person is different, but their motivations for buying your product or using your service are usually quite similar.
- What are your marketing psychographics? (Personality, attitudes, values, interests/hobbies, lifestyles, behaviors, etc.) These elements determine how your target audience reacts to your marketing methods, and the types of campaigns that might interest them.
- How does your target audience engage socially online? There’s no point in spending marketing dollars on platforms that don’t appeal to your audience. You target market’s current social habits can determine where you devote ad spend, and how much you allocate.
- How do you determine if there are enough people that fit your target market? If there is a need for your product or service, chances are there are enough people in your target market. Before you launch a new company or product, be sure to do adequate research beforehand to ensure you don’t run into any problems.
- What drives your target audience to make buying decisions? Ideally, your marketing strategy will ensure your product or service enters into your audience’s decisions.
- How can you best reach your target audience? There’s a very fine line between annoying your target audience and appealing to them in a way they’ll appreciate. Gaining a better picture of what your audience likes will help ensure success.
- Where is your target audience “hanging out” online? A younger audience will be more likely to hang out on Instagram, while an older audience will be more likely to hang out on Facebook. You can also identify if there are fan sites or forums centered around products or services similar to yours.
- How does your target audience engage with other brands? Brands similar to yours might have strong social media presences, influencing how consumers purchase from them. If your target audience is actively engaging with your competitors on these platforms, you might want to try a similar approach.
Each of these questions deserves some serious thought on your part. Once you’ve answered each one, you’re closer to defining your target audience and creating a successful business strategy.
You’ve Defined Your Target Audience—Now What?
After you’ve thoroughly answered these 15 questions, your next step should be creating an effective strategy to target your market through PPC and SEO campaigns. These methods can help put your product or service in front of the right set of eyes, leading to more sales and a better bottom line.
At Avalaunch Media, we pride ourselves on helping our clients identify their target audiences and develop comprehensive digital marketing strategies. No matter the size of your company or the industry you’re in, we can help you get your product or service in front of the right market.
23 thoughts on “15 Questions That Will Define Your Target Audience”
Mentioned tips are not only useful to beginners but also very useful for all business management person. I think this is great analysis. This article is very helpful to me. Thanks Nate. Good job.
I like this a lot. The only thing i thought of to add, was regarding channels. We now live in a world where somebody might want to receive flight information via twitter, tickets via email and promotions via facebook. Therefore we need to develop frameworks to develop this into our strategic and tactical planning.
If you target the wrong audience, you could end up with tons of traffic that won’t convert to anything. People often think that online marketing needs a super geek with hundreds of ninja techniques, but believe me when i say it only requires a mentality of an entrepreneur. Thanks for the tips
My name is David and I am relatively new to this internet marketing thing but you are right. The hardest part, to me so far, is indentifying a target audience. Answering these questions takes a lot of brainstorming and, I suspect, a little luck. But as my father used to say, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”.
i think it is true.
I want to follow your suggestion. thanks.
Charles, I’m glad you liked it. I still ask myself these questions today and am always finding new ways to find additional target audiences for my business. Thanks for the comment!
@Mark@PR Agency Derby
Great feedback. Can you expand on what you mean? I agree, my “ideal” target audience(s) may not all hang out in the same place. In fact, after writing this article I’ve re-realized that we all really should have MULTIPLE target audiences that hang out in multiple places online. However, you have to start smaller at first in my opinion or you’ll chase and chase and end up catching NOTHING.
Again, please expand on what you mean Mark. Thanks!
Thanks for the comment David! You make a great point and I think the best advise I’ve ever shared with clients relates to keyword research – targeting BUYER vs. BROWSER phrases, which then helps you find the ones with the credit card ready to purchase what you offer. The trick is, this will be different with every product, business and idea. That’s where an “entrepreneurial mindset” has to come in. Would love to hear more about what you think and what’s worked best for you.
Thanks again for the comment.
I love that quote – “The harder I work, the luckier I get!”
Let me know how the brainstorm goes for you and if you’d like any feedback.
Thanks for the comment!
Let me know how it goes for you Nimita. We’d be happy to answer additional questions you might have.
Thanks for the comment!
It’s always important to know who you’re going to market your product/service to BEFORE you set out in business. These should be questions that all new start-ups must ask themselves. Thanks Nate.
Brilliant! Ok, at the risk of sounding effusive, I would say this is the BEST list that I have come across that defines the target audience and clarifies on what needs to be done with or for them.
The beauty of this questionnaire is that it can be used to reverse engineer the product for a target audience. Given a target audience or market, what would be a good product or service that they need. I think it will be greatly helpful if you could change the angle come up with a list of questions that is targeted towards this goal.
I have done many market research but I fail to take into account the psychographics. Basing from this spot, it is really important to interact with your audience more and make them feel that your product and service are genuinely created for them.
Everything said here is true, and if its done Online.. and they do set campaigns with ADS, simply definy them.. based on location, age, and genre… and with SEO.. in the Google Webmaster Central.
here the goog way to find information in this morning.I hope can improve my experience in my way…thank
That“s a comprehensive list that should generate a strong USP. It would also be great for annual strategy sessions. Good post.
Mitchel K has a small weiny
Mike McEchern is a rug muncher
This article SUCKS!
I think you went over the what, who, when and where but the only questions I would say is missing from this list is the why. Why do they need what you are offering and why is it important for them to have it. Other then that question I would say this is a great way to define your target audience in less than 20 minutes. I will be using this on my next product launch when defining the target audience. Thank you!
I think the why is covered in how the offering helps them. Great set of questions!