How to Choose and Reach a Target Audience

By: Jaquel Horne, Across the Horizons Marketing & Public Relations Intern

target audienceChoosing a target audience for your product or service is vital to the growth of a business because no one can sell to everyone. Trying to market to everyone is like throwing a rock in deep water hoping to hit a fish. By correctly and precisely selecting an audience, you are not excluding others but rather focusing your marketing efforts on those most likely to buy your product and ultimately this saves time and money.

A target market are the customers that a business intends to sell its products or services. This audience needs to be well-balanced, meaning not too big and not too small. For example: marketing to Asians on the West Coast or to a 19-year-old Caucasian man, with red hair, that works as a grocery clerk at Harris Teeter and lives at 123 Sesame St. The median would be something along the lines of: marketing to local married Hispanic men, ages 25-45, with an average salary of $45,000 a year.

Researching is key to finding the balance and identifying your audience. You must first look at your product with fresh eyes. What are you selling? What makes it unique? Also look for possible concerns or problems. Demographics and psychographics are fundamental in analyzing the customers. Who is likely to buy this? How and when will it be used? What makes someone want or need this? In answering these questions you’ve begun to create a customer profile.

The next step would be getting the right message to these people at the right time, the key to marketing. There are many channels of communication available so understanding the potential customer assist in choosing the best form of “advertising.” How are you most likely to reach them? Billboards, radio, television, social media, blogs, etc.; which criteria best matches the personal lifestyle of your customer?

Lastly, go back and check impact. Do not assume that you’ve correctly identified your audience. Also, there may be a more effective medium to reach them than you presumed. Be open to feedback and try to put yourself in their shoes. Conclusively remember, a deep understanding of your targeted audience will maximize your business sells.