How to Define Your Audience

Here at WIDSIX Written Word, we talk a lot (and I mean a lot) about how important it is to “know your audience.” But we promise this stuff’s important. In fact, it’s the very foundation of all highly successful marketing campaigns — provided you do it right. And we want to help you do it right. Therefore, this week’s blog is all about how to nail down who your audience is and what they want. Let’s jump into it!

Oftentimes when you ask someone, usually someone lacking marketing experience, who their audience is, they’ll respond something along the lines of: “Everyone!”

No. Stop. First big mistake.

Your audience is not everyone. Although, hey, maybe you truly believe that your state-of-the-art, LED-lit hoverboard with a built in speaker is something your 80 year old neighbor or the single, middle-aged mother of five down the street would be interested in. In which case, good luck to you, you brave soul. But if something just clicked in your mind and made you realize that perhaps your audience is a little more defined, then keep reading!

1. Evaluate your current customer base.

If you already have a decent-sized list of repeat customers, this process will be a lot easier for you. But don’t fret if you are just starting out and only have a small or nonexistent customer base, just skip to the next section to figure out how to analyze your competition to get ideas.

This step involves some sleuthing, and it will help if you have an Audience Segmentation tool. If you do not however, a simple Excel sheet will do. Consider things like: Age, gender, geographical location, socioeconomic background, marital/family status, occupation, etc. Put all of this information (or a random sample, depending on how large your current customer base is) into an Excel spreadsheet and try to see if you can narrow down any patterns or commonalities among individuals.

It’s also beneficial to note not only their demographic characteristics, but also their psychographics, such as: personality, patterns of behavior, attitudes, beliefs, interests/hobbies, lifestyle, etc.

2. Scope out your competition.

This entails doing pretty much the same thing as in the last step but using your competition. You probably won’t find the same kind of in-depth information that you will get from your own customer base, but you’d be surprised what you can learn simply by doing a little social media stalking.

3. Consider the benefits of your product.

Now that you’ve considered your customers, it’s time to consider your product. Take a pen and paper (or keyboard or phone) and start a list. First, write down your product. Then, in one sentence, elaborate on what it is that your product does. This should give you a good idea of what the primary benefit is. From there, make a comprehensive list of all of the other benefits and services that your brand or product provides.

4. Analyze the results and hone in on your target demographic.

Now that you have your list of benefits, you can compare this list to the data you collected on your and your competition’s customer base to get a clear picture of what kind of people are attracted to your brand. But remember, while you want to avoid going too broad, you also don’t want to put yourself into a box. Be smart about who you’re marketing too, but don’t let that blind you to other possibilities.