Some small business owners initially struggle with decoding and marketing to their target audience. Here’s a secret: we’ve naturally learned this method since childhood. Think about it. You studied your parents’ mannerisms and personalities at an early age–helping your mom with the dishes boosts her mood, and Monday night football occupied your dad for a few hours. When done on the same night, it was the perfect time to ask them for keys to the car (come on folks, we all mastered this technique as teenagers). Your parents were your first target audience: you knew how to appeal to them and developed a strategy. So, what’s the difference between then and now? That exhilaration you had when driving your parents’ car is the same feeling you get when your business thrives. You just have to figure out who to market to, what to use, and how to use it. 

 

Who is benefiting from your business?

Your primary target audience is who will pay you for your services. Think about what you offer and the type of individuals who will most likely consider it an investment for their personal gain. Next, do a little research to create a thorough description of these potential clients–name, age, gender, job, hobbies, etc. For example, you sell homemade, organic beauty products. Here is a description of a potential client:

target audience woman reading Marie, 36, female, dental hygienist, wife, mother of 2, enjoys reading, shops at Whole Foods

This mother of two has a busy schedule balancing work and kids, and most likely spends half of the day with her lower face covered performing dental work. Marie prefers buying homemade cosmetics, but might be not be interested in products that can smudge, such as lipstick.

 

What motivates your target audience?

Let’s continue using the example of selling homemade cosmetics. The average woman invests in beauty products to enhance her appearance (as grandma used to say, “When you look good, you feel good”). Consider how you can use non-smudegable products to convince Marie she’ll look great and feel energized for her family after a long, busy day.

 

Who influences your target audience?

Most of us have that one celebrity “twin” with whom we can relate. As a 36-year old, Marie may not spend a lot of time on social media, but instead occasionally reads magazines and health blogs on her ipad. She comes across a casual photo of Jessica Alba, an actress who is also an overly busy mother of two in her mid-30s (the perfect celebrity twin!) and wonders how her skin looks young and vibrant.

 

Identify solutions to the specific needs of your target audience

As a small business owner, it’s your job to figure out how your products suit the needs of your potential customers. According to Forbes, you should ask yourself, “What’s their most pressing issue, problem, or desire?” Put yourself in their shoes. Marie wants to feel energized for her family, have healthy-looking skin, and prefers products that won’t smudge or smear and contributes to a healthy lifestyle. So, after careful analysis, your solution of the perfect product for Marie is. . . your homemade, honey-lemon facial scrub. As a citrus-based cleanser, its anti-oxidant, energy-boosting properties are easy to market to women like Marie.

Not every product or service you offer will appeal to individuals in the same manner. Understanding your target audience is an important factor in marketing your business and brand. Once you’ve got that down, Emerge can assist you in the marketing area. Check out our services to learn how we help identify your brand as well as our small business startup packages.