Who should you target anyway? — 5 simple steps to define your audience

One of the keys for success, especially with new products and services, is properly defining your target audience before going to the market.

It is extremely important first to know who you are going to target and then to design your marketing strategies for that group in order to optimise the return. This is also something that should not be immutable with time you may realise that the people you had been targeting before are no longer the right ones and you should never be afraid to change.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the cost of positioning yourself wrong and targeting the wrong users when launching a new product can be very high and indeed unaffordable for startups and small businesses, so extra care should be taken in choosing the right market segment.

The infographic below and the detailed steps aim to simplify the process of choosing the right market.

1. Study your product in detail

Usually, when creating a new product or service there is a need to write product documentation to guide the process. This documentation is very useful and should be revisited periodically by the whole team and improved if need be to generate a better understanding of the product and, consequently, who to target.

The better you know the product, the marketplace and the continuously changing environment, the less exposed you will be to potential changes in the market. If a specific group is moving away from your product you can easily anticipate it and even quickly change the people you are targeting.

2. Compare yourself with the competition

A little bit of research may help you understand what your competition did when going to the market and who was their target to start with, for example.

When launching a similar product later than your competitors you have outstanding advantages: the possibility to review case studies, understand the mistakes made by your competitors and ensure that you do not make the same ones.

Social media reviews are great examples of easy ways to see the kind of people who enjoyed similar products to yours and their habits and preferences.

3. Define a hypothetical profile of your audience

Write down what you think you know about your audience, talk to your team to gather their opinions and make a list based on that information, with multiple parameters such as gender, hobbies, interests, and preferences, in order to create the first user profile based on these assumptions.

Very often there are different customer groups you should try and target. It is very important to adapt the way you communicate with these groups because different potential customers value different things.

4. Study your audience

Ask yourself how your product or service is going to improve your customers’ lives? This should always be the main focus when creating value propositions because ultimately different products and services are always created to satisfy needs.

5. Verify by interviewing

To make sure that you are targeting the right audience, run a set of interviews with random members of the group you intend to target.

Ask impartial questions to verify whether the users have a specific need that you might fulfil such as “What are the features you would like in a platform to help you advertise online?” instead of asking “Would you use this specific product?”.

These are a few simple steps that will make you more confident about your target audience when you go to the market. Do not skip steps, make sure you review your information, and verify it by interacting with the group you have chosen so as to make sure that you will be able to follow the right course.

Always keep in mind that disappointments and adjustments are invariably less expensive when detected as early as possible.

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