Knowing your target customer has become more vital in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape. Gone are the days of generic marketing campaigns that cast a wide net in hopes of catching a few interested individuals.
Instead, businesses must concentrate on specific demographics, behaviors, and preferences to create targeted and personalized experiences. This article will discuss how to identify your target customer in 2023, so stay tuned.
What is a Target Customer?
A target customer is a distinct group who would use your product or service. They often have shared qualities, including pain points, interests, and demographics.
The size of a company’s target audience can vary widely depending on many factors, including the industry, product type, and price point.
Why does your target customer matter?
Many brands put off the task of determining a target customer in the early days of their business. Some marketers and small business owners wrongly assume that building a high-quality product will automatically attract their ideal customers.
Sitting back and waiting to be noticed will likely only attract customers who go out of their way to seek you out, causing you to miss out on valuable leads.
Instead, you’ll want to be proactive about identifying individuals who may be interested, whether they know it or not.
Not only will building a target customer allow you to understand your potential customers better, but you’ll also open up your business to more opportunities, including:
- Composing personalized, persuasive marketing messages
- Building custom landing pages for specific audience segments
- Publishing the right type of content on your company blog to engage users
- Determining when and where to reach your potential customers
- Driving targeted digital marketing campaigns with pre-defined, measurable goals
- Publishing content on your LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages to reflect user needs
- Specifying where your users fall in the customer journey
How to Identify Your Target Customer
1. Analyze Existing Customers and Conduct Client Interviews
Analyzing these people is a great start to determining your ideal target audience. Firstly, you should check out existing customer demographics – where they work, where they live, what age group they belong to, etc.
This analysis will help you spot useful patterns in repeat customers and see what differentiates them from one-time customers. Next, you should set up an interview with your customers.
Ask them why they chose your specific brand and what they like about your product. This will later help with positioning since you’ll better understand which benefits must be highlighted in your creative.
Also, remember to ask your customers where they typically spend their time and get advice. Do they follow social media influencers, read industry newsletters, or go through some exciting blogs? This information comes in handy later when prioritizing your marketing channels.
2. Review Industry Trends
Reviewing industry trends is similar to market research since it also helps you define whether there are any gaps that your product can fill. However, industry trends also reveal another side of things – popularity fluctuations.
Knowing how industry trends affect your competitors and customers will play a huge role in properly adjusting your marketing strategies. Some trends can be seasonal or recurring, while others could be short-lived and intense.
For instance, you might have a seasonal product that sells best around Halloween, so you’ll need to plan your marketing campaigns to target customers a few weeks before.
3. Conduct Market Research and See If Anyone’s Left Out
Conducting market research is one of the best ways to identify what’s currently out there and whether a group of people needs to be included. You’ll get a better picture of your competitors, how many of them are there, and who are the strongest ones.
But more importantly, you’ll notice market gaps that could be filled with your product. This allows you better to shape your minimum lovable product and USP (unique selling proposition) and determine your market position.
Are your competitors targeting digital marketers with several years of experience in the field? You can shift your focus toward those at the beginning of their careers.
Don’t forget to research the potential market threats as well – this can be any event that could negatively affect your offer.
4. Separate Benefits from Features and Clarify the Value of Your Offer
There’s a huge difference between benefits and features; surprisingly, many marketers ignore emphasizing them. They make the mistake of only listing the features of their products, not knowing that their customers won’t give it the light of day.
Product features describe what it does, but benefits describe how they can help customers and make their lives easier. Don’t have a list of your product’s features? Well, you should get a list and start brainstorming ASAP.
Once you begin listing the benefits of your product, you’ll notice that a lot of that information can also be tied to your target customer, revealing some primary data about them.
5. Examine Your Competitors
Once you know basic information about your target audience and why they’re engaging with your business, it’s time to “spy” on your competition and see who’s interacting with them.
Researching your competition and seeing what they’re up to can help you answer some fundamental questions:
- Do they have the same target customer as you do?
- Are they reaching specific groups you haven’t thought of?
- How are your competitors positioning themselves?
- Where are they advertising? (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, somewhere else?)
- What pain points are they attacking?
Analyze every last bit of information you have – from ads to messaging. Then, compare their strategy to yours and pinpoint the differences and similarities in your approaches.
Even if you can’t get a crystal clear picture of their target customer, you’ll get a general sense of what they’re doing and how it’s working.
6. Stay Objective and Avoid Making Assumptions
It’s easy to lose a bit of subjectivity while finding your target audience, and it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
Avoiding assumptions is difficult but can significantly damage your marketing campaign’s efficiency if you’re not careful.
Sometimes, people will unintentionally misinterpret information because it confirms some of their pre-existing beliefs (aka confirmation bias). Even in the modern business era, this happens all the time.
Another issue can be that companies conduct a bunch of research but don’t test their products accordingly. Testing is proof, and it should always follow research.
Millions of people could tell you they would use your product, but the only number that matters is the one that showcases how many bought it. Furthermore, some companies can make assumptions about their potential prospects that aren’t backed up by research.
7. Turn Your Data into Customer Personas
Building out customer personas is a way to easily digest all the market research and audience insights you uncovered. This can go down to creating a specific character or characters – such as Enterprise Ed or Small Business Sally – which personifies your target customer’s key traits and characteristics.
To create a persona, you’ll first need to collect the necessary data such as general demographics, customer personality, needs, motives, etc.
In most companies, marketers develop between 3 – 6 personas and personalize their content and messaging for each one.
Here are some of the most frequent steps companies take in developing a customer persona:
- Fill in basic demographic information – Age, income, location, gender… these are just some things you’ll need to know.
- What motivates them – This is the big “why” in marketing. What motivates your audience and gets them to convert?
- Identify the psychographics – This includes psychological attributes such as values, interests, hobbies, desires, lifestyle, behavior, etc.
When building a business, it is crucial to identify who your target customers are. That way, you can build a business that is attractive to them. This post will educate you on the next big trend driving the world and how to use it for business success.