Speaking to the wrong audience is like speaking maths to a cow. Yes, get that.
We always ask our clients during consultation who are their target audiences. And the answers we often received are “anyone”, “whoever who’s interested” or even “everyone”.
When you target everyone as your “target audience”, that’s like throwing your baits into the vast ocean, trying your luck on some big fat tunas or salmons when honestly you’re just near the shore. And to be frank, that’s not even targeting. That’s probably a random shot.
What is a target audience?
Target audience is a group of potential consumers of your product or service, which could be filtered based on elements like demographics. Demographics may vary from age, income group, location, education and more.
1. Identifying your target audience, who are they?
Before knowing who your target audience is, let’s first find out how your product or service is a need to consumers. But, what is “need” in the marketing world?
A need can be the solution to your customer’s problem. And that solution would be your products or services! Apply problem-solution rule when searching for the suitable audience, you will soon realise it comes in handy and aids you in seeing the bigger picture.
Draft the problem, solution and target audience out like this example below:
David has a plant shop that sells indoor plants, his target audience would logically be plant lovers or stay home adults.
Problem: dull room, looking for something to brighten up the mood and environment
Solution: indoor plants
Target audience: plant lovers or stay home adults (people who might most likely need this solution)
Now you have a brief idea of the target audience, it’s time to further analyse it demographically. Depending on the business nature, you can include helpful information of your consumers such as age, location, sex, income group, education, interest and more.
For example, if you’re a digital marketing & advertising agency in Kuala Lumpur, here’s what it will look like:
Problem: low sales performance, low brand awareness
Solution: digital marketing & advertising initiatives
Age: 25-55 yrs old
Location: Kuala Lumpur (you can add more if you’re able to provide the service remotely)
Interest: business affairs, startups, entrepreneurship, branding
Job scope: entrepreneurs, business owners, marketers
2. Understanding your target audience, deeper!
Once you have identified your audience based on their demographics, it’s time to dive into the deeper level, the roots that influence their purchasing behavior. Yes, the psychological part! Remember, consumers may fulfill all of your demographic criteria, but his consumer behaviour might still affect how he perceives your ads.
Emotional appeal is often used by advertisers to trigger consumer’s emotions and prompting purchase. This strategy works if applied effectively. We humans are creatures bound to strong emotions. If you see a heartfelt ad, you will probably remember it for quite some time despite knowing that it is an ad. As humans, we learn to cope with feelings, we don’t “unfeel” it.
Purchasing behaviours could be impulsive, FOMO (the fear of missing out) or even on constant exposure to ads. For example, FOMO audiences are most likely to be the first to try out the “latest” or “trendy” stuff among their community. If you’re running a cafe and looking to expand your customer base, my advice would be crafting your ad with copywriting like “don’t miss out on this latest IG-worthy cafe!”
Moreover, here’s another great example on how consumer behavior could change the market. Hand sanitizers were not seen as an essential item before the COVID-19 pandemic. Then with no warning, people were seen panic buying due to fear.
Here’s a good article by CNN Business on how retailers market on holiday shopping by tapping into consumer’s emotions.
To reach your target audience is to first put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
3. Speak your audience’s language
One way to win your audience’s heart is to simply be one of them. Speak like you know the Monday struggles, the coffee cravings, the Friday excitements! It keeps your brand relevant with a strong brand persona.
ColourPop is a widely known cosmetic brand, producing high quality products at affordable prices. To add on the marketing efforts, ColourPop reaches its target audience on Twitter by being super-engaging, meme-sharing and responsive to its audience. Now, they have a million followers on Twitter.
4. Social listening, be interactive
Social listening is strongly-tied to the previous point. Communication works both ways. You can’t just count on speaking your audience’s language solely! By implementing social listening, brands may respond to customers accordingly to strengthen bonds.
Social listening is a skill to master for digital marketers. The objective is to find out the latest trends, your consumer’s concerns or contents that your audience possibly consumes.
Here is another viral local example. Plus, if you’re a Malaysian, you confirm can relate-lah.
Before the cinema reopens in Malaysia after the lockdown, Golden Screen Cinema (GSC) took to social media to remind customers on the SOPs to follow. The team came up with a local Malaysian phrase as their tagline “HELLO.CANNOT.”. The post blew up. Malaysians adored the quirkiness of #GSCAdmin with its active participation in replying Facebook users. Besides, GSC even came up with their own merchandise in the midst of their fame.
Talk about social listening!
Seek. Understand. Study. Respond.
By applying these 4 ways, you will definitely be able to reach your target audience better!
However, the marketing effort does not stop here. Meantime, evaluate on your website, is it user-friendly enough? Is your social media copies or designs creative and engaging?
Remember, the audience appreciates quality content. Perhaps it’s time to have a digital checkup on your brand’s presence too!