You’ve got a really sexy/nifty/fun/useful product. It’s not just you that thinks so. Or your mum. You’ve got great write-up from tech bloggers, the reviews are promising. Words like game-changer, disruption and innovation may have been uttered in your vicinity.
Yet why is no one buying it? The most amazing product in the world might not take-off for one simple reason: that the right people can’t find it. Part of the process of getting your product into the market-place is establishing your market.
Establishing your target audience will ensure that all marketing activity won’t be a wasted effort. So what’s involved? Below we look at 4 steps to enable you to identify your ideal target audience.
Step 1: Identify how you can help
Before you start thinking about any marketing activity you need to answer one very simple question:What problem does your product or service solve?
Go one step further and ask:
- What features does your product or service have?
- What are the benefits of your product?
- How does it solve a problem differently to your competitors?
For example if you offer a cloud-based automated payroll service, the problem that you solve for your prospective customer is that, ultimately you make their job easier and their admin quicker and save them money. You do this because:
- They keep all of their documentation in one place (which makes access super easy)
- You offer 24/7 system support
- You have very secure systems
- Your customer can do everything (invoice, payroll, quotes and expenses) on one dashboard
- It’s a very intuitive system to use
Your product may in fact solve a variety of problems for different people. The automated payroll may help a small business owner keep on top of their work, but it could also help a less senior admin worker in a larger office, or a HR manager or even a freelance accountant. All these people may have similar problems, but have different levels of influence in the decision-making process, which leads us to our second point.
Step 2: Create a buyer persona
A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal audience. There may be more than one of them, especially in the tech world, where there may be more than one person making a decision about a purchase.
To establish who these people are, have a look in your customer database to see if a pattern emerges. After that, sit the team down and start to profile your buyer personas. They can be very detailed and will include factors like:
- Where they live
- Level of education
- Major frustrations
- What social media sites they could be on
After you’ve workshopped who these personas may be, you then validate that information with follow-up interviews. There are heaps of fantastic templates that you can use to get started.
Step 3: Find your buyer persona’s natural digital habitat
Having a better understanding of who your ideal customers are, allows you to think about where they like to spend their time online and how will they find you. If we use the above automated payroll system example, then without knowing too much, you could assume that their target audience would be spending some time on LinkedIn.
The language that they use is also very important in how they search for your service. Would they be using Australian or US spelling? Is there specific industry jargon they’d use? Is it a mature or fairly immature market? The former are more likely to search for solutions, the latter will be typing in related problem searches that are less well-defined.
In order to verify this, use an analytics program to find out what people are using to search for your product. And don’t just limit it to your business, also have a look at how people are finding your competitors and even what phrases people are using in the industry.
Step 4: Constantly measure and evolve
Even if you feel that you’re 100% clear about who your target audience is, don’t get complacent. The market is always evolving and as technology advances we are finding more novel ways to communicate all the time. Today’s Instagram is tomorrow’s Snapchat. The person who was your ideal customer when you first started out may have completely changed or; your business may have evolved into exciting new markets and may have new ideal audiences.
We hope that this article has given you some great ideas on who your ideal audience might be. Have you a great business but you're struggling to stay on top of money going in and out of the business? Fear not! Download our cash flow template today.