Whether you already have a running business or are just bringing your business idea to life, we’re sure you want to sell as much as you can, as fast as you can. To do this, however, you first need to carefully define your target audience – ie. to whom you will sell most effectively, who are your potential customers.

Let’s make the following stipulation in advance: the answer “All” is not accepted. There is no way that the product or service you offer can be aimed at everyone at the same time, because “everyone” is too vague a category. Aiming at everyone means, in practice, aiming at no one in particular. So, let’s start step by step.

Know what you are selling

Before going down the road of sales, you must first know the product very well. Make an objective analysis – what are its main characteristics, what are its biggest advantages – the qualities on the basis of which you will sell it. Determine how the product will be useful to the user, which of his needs it satisfies, what will make his life easier and better.

Write. Yes, write down what you identify as benefits and important features. It is good to have everything systematized or even thrown in a file in front of you. Just be sure to write it down. That way, you’ll have the widest possible view and won’t miss any product advantage when you start profiling your potential customers. Once you’re done, answer the question of which group of people has the needs that your product satisfies. Who are the people who would actually benefit from what you have to offer? Don’t forget to write. When you see all the information gathered in front of you, it’s much easier to make sense of it and be consistent. Now it’s time to define the target audience.

What is a target audience?

A target audience is a group of potential users who are most likely to buy your product, selected according to certain criteria. It is to them that you should focus your marketing messages and efforts to achieve sales effectiveness.

Why do we need to define our target audience?

Knowing who to target your product to is important for a few main reasons:

  • To target your ads to users who would be most likely to become your customers;
  • To know how to deliver your marketing messages – what language to use, what style to follow, etc., what type of content would be effective;
  • To achieve maximum return on investment (ROI);
  • To know in which direction to develop your business and what would be the new products/services to introduce.

What are the criteria we target?

The criteria used to define the target audience are usually age, gender, location, language, interests, stage of life (teenager, student, family, parent, etc.) ability to pay.

Here is an example: single women aged 25-27 from Sofia or Plovdiv who speak Bulgarian, are interested in cosmetics with natural ingredients and have a high standard of living.

Specifying the language may seem unnecessary, but it is especially necessary if you want to reach an audience that speaks a language other than the country’s native language. For example, if your goal is to direct your product to Bulgarian men who work in Madrid or vice versa – to English-speaking guests of Sofia.

What are the established targeting criteria for?

Generally speaking – to make our marketing efforts effective. Thanks to these criteria, we compile the profile of the target group of users. Once we have identified the group from which we could gain the most customers, we direct our budget and work to attract them to our brand.

Age – age strongly influences consumer interests, needs and lifestyles. It makes no sense to advertise anti-wrinkle products to 18-year-old girls or try to woo a 35-year-old lady with products that look like teen idols. By determining the age category in which the users of the specific products/services fall, we manage the advertising budget in a much more targeted and efficient manner.

Gender – Gender is relevant to targeting for most businesses. It stands to reason that if you’re selling motor oil, you’ll have better results if you “target” the male audience. By no means are we saying that you won’t have female customers as well. However, if you invest BGN 500 in an ad for motor oil to a female or mixed audience, you are much less likely to get as good results as you would if you invested that same BGN in an ad only to men over the age of 25 . Again, age is a factor here. Usually, younger men either don’t have their own cars or their maintenance isn’t their responsibility.

Location – Location is important for two main reasons.

The first: it determines the time zone in which our potential customers fall. Thanks on it, we take into account at what time of the day the ads should be active, as well as in what time zone we will communicate with our audience. If your customers are located in Ottawa, Canada, it’s good to consider the 7-hour time difference. When you finish the working day, they are just entering the most intense part of the day. Accordingly, if you sell software with a support subscription included, you will need to hire staff to respond to inquiries and alerts (at least) within the Ottawa business day.

The second reason: if you do not correctly determine the location of your users, you will not reach the right people, ie. you will not achieve the desired results and suffer losses from lost profits. Let’s assume that you have developed an application for public transport in Plovdiv. You will certainly not get satisfaction from a campaign that targets users in Vidin, Vratsa and Montana. Your users just aren’t there. They are in Plovdiv.

Language – forget about the presumption that your users automatically speak/understand your native language. If you offer transfers to Sofia Airport, per se – in Bulgaria, but your ads are only in Bulgarian, it is highly likely that you will miss a large part of your potential customers – the foreigners in the capital. It is crucial to consider the “language” factor when working for a foreign market. A business that speaks the language of its users is successful.

Interests – interests give rise to our needs and wants as consumers. No matter how ingenious a product is, no matter how reasonable the price, attractive – its packaging, no matter how high its quality, the chance that someone who is not at all interested in it will buy it is nil.

Converted into an example, it sounds like this: Alexandra is 22 years old. She is interested in history, watches historical films, documentaries and sports channels, has been training hard in judo for 5 years. In this case, you understand for yourself that she is unlikely to buy fancy tango shoes, no matter how flexible the sole of the shoe is, how good the leather is, or how beautiful the model is. Alexandra simply has no need for them, since tango does not fall into her sphere of interests at all.

Life Stage – It is important to determine what stage of life the audience you would like to target your message to is at. The priorities, needs and “pains” of teenagers, of learners, of graduates who are now looking for work, of people between 25 and 40 years of age, of those who have already raised their children, and of pensioners will be completely different. The way of life they lead is different, their priorities are totally different, their material status – also varies significantly.

Solvency – it is good to consider the material status factor when determining your potential customers. The ability to pay has a large impact on the lifestyle consumers lead and the purchases they make.

Expecting to sell the latest model of car to young graduates is unlikely to be met. Far more effective would be a campaign among men between 40 and 45. However, here we add the additional details to the targeting – to be from big cities, to be interested in luxury car brands and luxury goods in general. However – don’t expect to sell a car with a one-off campaign. No matter how well-off the potential customer is, in order for him to become a real customer, he must go through the entire marketing funnel – to attract his attention, ignite his interest, prompt him to consider a purchase and get him to the moment of purchase itself. purchase.

Usually, the more expensive the product you offer, the harder it is for the customer to make a purchase. According to thinkwithgoogle.com, in order to buy a car, a customer may have over 900 digital interactions (keyword searches, browsing brand websites, photos, ads, etc.).

Why is it important to define our BUYER PERSONA?

Now that you have defined your targeting criteria and your target audience, define your buyer persona. In other words, what is the profile of the ideal user for your business.

Here’s an example: You offer an intensively hydrating organic certified face lotion with aloe and chamomile. Your buyer persona: Elena is 27 years old, lives in Sofia, is in a relationship, but not married. She takes great care of her appearance and her health. Every Saturday Elena runs in the park with her dog, and during the week she goes to the gym or group training. She pays particular attention to the products she buys. She prepares most of her food herself to be sure of the quality and ingredients. Shop local producers, farmers markets, organic stores. Elena informs herself online about trends in nutrition and cosmetics. She has an interest in research related to herbs and other natural products. Elena cares about her appearance and takes intensive care of her skin. Bet on natuhigh-end cosmetics. She uses decorative cosmetics, but her priority is mostly basic skin care – cleaning and hydration.

Why is it important to define our BUYER PERSONA?

Once we’ve mapped out a detailed profile of our ideal customer, we have in mind exactly who we’re targeting and can more precisely assess the factors that are necessary for a product to succeed. Placing the buyer persona in the marketing strategy, we direct our efforts to present the product to an audience of women similar to Elena’s profile. We have a focus and, following it, we get as close as possible to the real-life equivalent of Elena.

Where are your users?

Constantly research where the people who could become your customers are. Do not limit yourself to social networks, see if they are not in a thematic forum, if you will not find them at an event, exhibition, etc. Invest – both funds and efforts to be close to them and to increase your touch points.

In the event that there is a gathering of fans of cars of brand X, and you offer spare parts for the brand, by all means go to the gathering. There you will meet the customers who actually use the car and need its maintenance; you will get first-hand impressions and valuable feedback.

In the event that a tourist exchange is coming up, and you are the owner of a family hotel, contact the organizers to study the conditions for participation and advertising. If for one reason or another you refrain from participating, at least attend the event to meet potential customers, participate in the side program, learn from competitors and see what the trends are in the sector.

If you are thinking of producing a new line of children’s toys, send your colleagues to meet potential customers in parks and kindergartens – where parents take their children. Ask mothers and fathers what their criteria are when buying toys, research what their children’s preferences are, look around for yourself what the little ones play with and what catches their attention. Browse forums and groups about motherhood and parenting. The time you spend doing your research ahead of time will pay off.

Test it

Even if you have an established target group and working with it gives satisfactory results, test with small budgets how other groups react to your product. Then, of course, analyze the results.

Just because you have one group where sales are successful, doesn’t mean you won’t find another one, albeit a smaller one. Don’t set limits on yourself. We will continue the theme of the previous example – if you are selling books about raising and raising children, the most natural approach is to target a profile that corresponds to mothers. Yes, but if you “bet” only on them, you will miss out on dads who are also interested in raising healthy and well-behaved children. In addition, teachers/educators in nurseries and kindergartens, whose profile may differ from the profile of mothers, are also interested in the topic. So test it. Only then will you know what works and what doesn’t for your business.

Update your target audience

Ideally, your business will develop over the years and, thanks to the efforts of your team, will write its long history. Keep in mind that we live in a dynamic age and the target audience changes with time. The rapid development of technologies, access to an almost unlimited number of sources of information and the change in our way of life cause a change in the interests, problems and needs of users. In other words, periodically revise your target audience, don’t be afraid to test and change the potential customers you put as your focus.

If your business already exists

In case the business is already operating – take the opportunity to collect as much information as possible about your customers. If you have physical objects – take the time to talk to them, ask them about what product they are looking for, if you succeed, see how they react to the features and price of the product, what you can improve.

Gather information about your customers – be they real or potential, and on a non-verbal level. People’s appearance and behavior reveal a lot about how they react to a product, about their interests, material and even family status. Any such information would be helpful. Even from an overheard conversation, it’s possible to draw conclusions (but we certainly don’t recommend eavesdropping). If the store is self-service – pay attention to which stands and which products generate more interest and have greater success.

Ask the customers themselves

If your company operates entirely online, you can ask potential customers – those who make inquiries or contact you for more information, as well as those who have completed their purchase – to complete a short survey. Consider keep the definition brief and avoid asking more than a few questions. It is extremely important not to be annoying in your attempt to gather information.

Communicating with customers and the feedback they give you is invaluable to any business. It is the reviews that are a mirror of how well you have done your job. Along those lines – read customer reviews – whether they’re online or in a book of praise and complaints.

Facebook tools

If you have a Facebook page, you have a big advantage. As you’ve probably already seen, Facebook knows everything. The good thing is that he also shares it (to some extent) with business owners and their marketing teams.

The Insights menu offers a People option – select it and it will open detailed statistics on the percentage of male to female fans of your page. You will also find out what the age limit of the highest proportion of your users is. But that’s not all – you have the opportunity to see from which country how many followers you have, and also their distribution by city. Facebook also provides information about the languages ​​spoken by fans of your page.

Audience Insigths

Through the Business Manager profile on Facebook, you have another very rich tool for audience analysis – Audience Insights. It uses the data available to Facebook. Thanks to the tool, you can see statistics that interest you, of course, according to the parameters you submitted – for example, which age group of users in Varna is most interested in travel and entertainment, which gender has more interest in the topic (in percentage ), what is the level of education of these users, what is their family status, what pages have they liked on Facebook, from what device do they use the social network, etc. The good thing is that you have the option to extract statistics both for Facebook users in general and for those who are (not) connected to a certain page. Of course, you can search by various criteria – country, city, age, gender, interests, marital status, education, etc.

The Facebook pixel

Another option to collect information that will help your targeting is through the Facebook pixel. Some of you are familiar with it – it’s a Facebook tool for analyzing user activity on your site. Thanks to it, you can target your next ad campaign only to people who visited your winter clothing page, for example.

A clever and very useful point is that the Facebook pixel gives the option to reach users who have a similar profile to those who visited your site in the last 180 days, for example, or to those who visited the fantasy book section, if you are an online bookstore.

The pixel also has another very useful application – thanks to it, you can target a certain group for which you have information, but it is not so specific. In other words, the tool will be useful if you aim to reach women between 25 and 35 years of age who have searched for winter coats, added a coat to their virtual cart, but have not completed their order. You don’t know who these ladies are, but Facebook does. Thanks to it and the pixel, you can “show” them an ad for other winter items or for the winter coats that are already on sale.

Beware of GDPR

And one more thing – collect information about preferences, recommendations and age limit, but be very careful not to overstep GDPR rules. The EU Data Protection Regulation is very strict and you need to be vigilant not to break it. In the event that you would like to save the user’s phone number, e-mail address or even track his actions on your site – the user must have given his express informed consent to this, knowing for what purpose the information about him will be used. The user has the right at any time to request the information that you keep about him, as well as to request that it be deleted. You are obligated to comply.

Have online sales?

Discover new apps

If the product is already on the market, ask users about how they use it. For example, organize a game with a prize, the purpose of which is for customers to (re)tell how they use the product you bought. This way you will engage your audience and get ideas for possible new applications. You’ve just discovered an application that you didn’t think of – a great opportunity not only to expand your target audience, but also to enrich your marketing strategy.

Analyze the competition

The more you know about your competitors, the better. Research the market carefully by identifying who your direct competitors are and which businesses you only compete with in part of your business. Then try to get to know these companies as much as possible – what is the model in which they operate, who are the customers they target, how and where they advertise. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the prothe products/services they offer.

Read customer reviews, view photos that users have uploaded online. Reviews and photos are a very powerful tool that you should definitely take advantage of. Through them, you will easily find out what users like and what they don’t like, what a competitor is good at and what its weak point is.

Use what you learn

Analyze all the information you collect. Learn as many lessons as you can from businesses that are similar to yours, learn, get inspired and harness your power to be more successful.

It is extremely important not to copy the competition. This approach won’t work, not if you want to grow in the long term.

Find out which audience the competing company is targeting and, based on the analysis of your own products, consider whether it would be effective for you to “bet” on this segment of users. If the answer is yes, then keep in mind that you’ll need to offer something more to spark interest and engage consumers in your marketing funnel. In order for these customers to complete their purchase with you, be prepared to offer something more than the competitor – a longer warranty period, better terms, more flexibility, etc.

On the final stretch

When you are about to launch your advertising and sales campaign, make sure that there will be no stumbling blocks in front of consumers. Test how fast your site loads, whether you have enough stock of the products you will be selling, how fast a new load can arrive in case stock runs out. Specify clear conditions with the courier company, check whether your colleagues are sufficiently familiar with the product’s characteristics and whether they can present it to customers with ease and confidence. Test the phone for contacts, also make a few test orders.

Good luck!

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