When running a small business, targeting your audience in a meaningful way can be tricky. For one, you only have so many resources at your disposal. For that reason, you don’t want any time or money to go wasted, so the question is then clear: who is your audience? Defining your audience isn’t simply stating who knows about your business, or who have heard of your business. Rather, the goal of defining an audience is segmenting your target market to maximize your return on investment. This process, known as market segmentation, helps ensure specific products or services are presented to the people most likely to engage with them. Let’s talk about how to achieve market segmentation and clearly define your audience.
Most segmented markets are directed towards a single intended audience. Diapers, for example, are often advertised and marketed towards parents, and more specifically, mothers. How does one arrive at this market segmentation? Well, any product being sold serves a need or purpose. You should know immediately what this purpose or need is. From that need, determine who needs or desires what the product offers. This likely includes socioeconomic demographics, gender, age, and other descriptors. It also includes behaviors, i.e., mothers are more likely to be buying diapers because, statistically, more women stay home to raise a child than men. The collection of demographics and descriptors for a product's audience then becomes a market.
One thing to watch out for is making your intended audience too narrow. Every great segmented market needs to be large enough to contribute significant sales, as well as have access to your business. Once you have a segmented market defined, it’s time to craft content for their specific needs. By doing so, you increase your chances of converting marketing efforts into sales.
The goal with a segmented market is to target that audience with marketing tools focused on their needs or desires. This means crafting campaigns, advertisements, and other marketing tools specifically for their eyes. An online newsletter is a wonderful example. Let’s say you send out a newsletter every week showcasing sales, new products, and information regarding your business. Forming a group of all members of a targeted market and then crafting a special newsletter geared towards their needs is proven to be more likely to result in sales. Why? Because the content is specifically geared towards them. It’s more successful in targeting audiences with what they want to see then try to cater one single campaign to an entire audience, all of whom have different needs and wants.
Keep in mind, every individual is a collection of various needs and wants. Market segmentation is still a way of generalizing a group, if only in a smaller number. To avoid generalizing too much, be sure to learn as much as you can about your audience before grouping them together. That’s why socioeconomic demographics matter just as much as age, occupation, and education, among other influences.
It’s important to practice market segmentation to maximize sales and build a deeper understanding of your audience. To get started, be sure to look into who engages with your content, who your potential customers are, and how they interact with your marketing efforts.