For marketers like us who work with clients across the country, the phrase “target audience” can be commonly heard when discussing advertising strategy. But for someone without a strong marketing background, the subtleties involved in creating an effective strategy can be easy to miss. Here are some great questions to consider, starting with the very beginning:
A target audience is the group of people you want to hear, see, and interact with your messaging with the aim of turning them into loyal customers. Marketing plans have many goals, but the ultimate goal for your business is positive impact to the bottom line.
Getting your message to the right people at the right time in the right way represents the best chance for you to increase your bottom line. Companies can waste tens of thousands of dollars if they have a well-crafted message, but send it to the wrong people who aren’t most likely to buy their products or services!
There’s rarely a bad time, but we aim to put you in the best position possible.
We look at it from the customer’s point of view. As we illustrated in our three-part series on the Consumer Decision Journey, first there should be a need for what you’re offering. Then, ensuring your company and its products are on their shortlist of possible candidates to meet their need is the time a great ad can have its most immediate impact.
However, many needs aren’t the same. Someone needing a new car, for example, doesn’t happen nearly as often as a person who just ran out of milk and needs to pick up another gallon. That’s why it’s on us to fully understand when, where, and why a person buys from you. A car purchase involves, for the typical person, plenty of online research and looking at many different makes/models before a purchase is made. A gallon of milk? Not so much!
For items and services bought by an average person every few months or years, the strategy is much different than if the item/service is a near-weekly occurrence.
The short answer, as you may have guessed, is that it depends.
A major advertising shift the past few years has continued to develop the digital marketing spectrum, especially since a majority of people look something up online before deciding what to do.
Google AdWords and social media advertising that can target specific words or find people who have already visited your website in different ways, but at precise timing to best put your ad in front of a person. For example, if someone searched for “best pizza in Augusta, Ga.” it’d be a great time to have your ad show up #1 in the results!
That’s because the intent of the person is clear: They are ready to buy pizza!
But other times, it’s not as obvious. If someone searches for “Honda Accord Aiken SC” then they’re probably looking for dealerships that offer Honda Accords. This doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy right now, but they’re researching and considering their next steps. Putting yourself at the top of their to-learn list is vital here, and many advertising mediums – like television, radio, a freshly-designed website, and more – can all have positive impacts on these moments.
Are there similarities in what your customers are interested in? For example, say you own a pizza parlor. You see a lot of college students in the Aiken area come into your store, talking about a variety of topics.
It may be a great idea to show your ads on websites and on Youtube videos with content targeted to college students, to reach some of the students who don’t currently eat at your parlor!
Or, let’s say instead your location gives you a diverse mix of customers from all backgrounds and walks of life. But one thing you notice is when you’ve participated in community outreach events that showcase your city (in this example, Aiken), you see a surge in business for about a week.
You can capitalize on the pride in your city through event sponsorships and television/radio ads related to what many people in the area listen to, allowing you to reach more of an audience that is more likely to come in and buy pizza.
There are many different ways to approach your target audience, and that’s why for each client – even if they’re in the same city – has a different target audience. Curious about what your audience looks like, or have additional questions about what’s available to reach them? Contact us today!