Did you know that almost half of digital ads do not reach their intended target? According to a report by Digital Ad Ratings, 48% of online adverts in the UK, France, and Germany never reach the intended audience. A similar estimate by Proxima suggests that companies globally are losing $37 billion in marketing budgets for adverts that never reach the audience.
These stark statistics may make any small business owner anxious. Will your marketing efforts work? Can you minimize wastage and improve sales by finding and reaching your intended buyer? The short answer is yes. You can achieve marketing success by finding and targeting your specific sales audience.
Whether you offer tree service, a software solution, or electronic toys, your marketing efforts can bear more results by reaching your target audience. Let’s dive in to learn more about specific sales audiences and how to find and reach them.
What’s a Specific Sales Audience?
In the marketing world, you will hear personal, target audience, and target market terms. A specific sales or target audience is a particular group of customers that a company aims to reach through marketing efforts. For example, if you own a family roofing company, your target audience might be a set of potential customers you are targeting with email campaigns.
Often confused with specific sales audience is the target market. While some use these terms interchangeably in some contexts, they mean different things. A target market is a set of customers that a company intends to sell and reach with marketing efforts. In essence, the target audience is a part of the larger target market.
Let’s consider the previous example of a roofing company. If you provide a roofing service, your target market is homeowners, probably in their forties, who are either building a home or doing roofing replacements. If your small roofing business is located in Nashville, your target audience is homeowners in the Nashville area, not the U.S. As you have noticed in our example, your target audience is a part of the target market. In the example, we used the geographical location as a filter.
Another term easy to confuse is the buyer persona. Identifying the buyer’s persona has become a critical marketing strategy in ensuring marketing success. A buyer’s persona is a profile of your ideal customer. It includes personal characteristics, interests, purchasing power, and social media engagement.
Here is an example of a buyer’s persona using the roofing company example. Willy Miller, 42, Sales rep. He lives in Nashville. He has a degree in international commerce. He has two kids. Miller has a busy schedule. He is interested in sustainable living styles. He’s building a home for his family.
Understanding the difference between target market, audience and persona will help you focus your efforts and streamline marketing efforts to reach the focus audience.
Why Do You Need to Target Your Specific Sales Audience?
But why bother finding your specific sales audience? Can’t I make interesting ads and hope the audience likes my product? While marketing may be filled with irrelevant and often wasteful endeavors, targeting your focus audience has numerous benefits for your small business. Here are four good reasons to target your specific sales audience.
1. To Help You Define a Marketing Plan and Strategy
If you do plan on doing any marketing, you will have a marketing plan that elaborates on when and where your message reaches your target audience. The plan may not be sophisticated, but whether you call it a plan or strategy, you will likely use one. Having a marketing strategy without a target market in mind will be quite challenging.
Even if you have a target market in mind, your efforts will be less successful without a focused sales audience. Let’s say you are general contractors. You can curate your marketing content and delivery to reach your audience. You will target an audience that is more likely to look for general contractors and thus increase the possibility of sales.
2. To Help You Select the Right Media
Once you identify your target audience, you can identify common characteristics of the customers. For example, do they love watching TV? Are they on Twitter? Instagram? Are they more likely to respond to a billboard message? Once you know the right audience, you can select the right media for your marketing campaign.
Imagine this; you have the perfect gym wear for senior adults. You have the perfect marketing ad. You then proceed and hire a 1-year-old Tik-Tok influencer. If your target audience is senior adults, spending much time and resources on TikTok will likely undermine your marketing efforts.
3. Increase ROI and Reduce Wastage of Advertising Budget
As our opening statistics suggested, companies are losing billions in advertising budgets because of not targeting a specific audience. Of course, some products and services have broad applications; a wider-scale marketing effort might be worth it. Yet your target audience might be easier to define if you have a small business in a niche product such as countertops.
With a target audience in mind, you can focus your marketing efforts and reduce wastage. Further, since you are targeting an audience likelier to make a purchase, you are more likely to have a high ROI. The pennies you spend on marketing will come back in sales.
4. To Offer Personalized Interaction
As marketing preferences change, consumers prefer companies that customize their ads. Think of your favorite ad. Does it speak to your pain as an individual? Does it ‘get you? Or think of your regular emails. Which are you more likely to open- one with your name on it or one with ‘dear customer’?’
Consumers love it when you go out of the way to personalize interactions. Your message will appear too generic and almost robotic if you do not have a target audience. Yet when you define your target audience, you speak to their pains and interests in a way that ‘gets them.’
So, appreciate the reason for having a specific sales audience in mind. But how do you find them? Here are six helpful tips.
Analyze Your Current Customer Base
You cannot find your target audience if you do not understand their characteristics. Sometimes, based on your product or service, it may be evident what your focus audience looks like. For example, if you repair bikes, your target market is bike owners, and then you can niche down to your target audience. In other cases, it might not be so apparent.
One of the best places to start is your current customer base. So you have been doing foundation repair service for two years. Who are your regular customers? What’s their age? Gender? Purchasing power? Social class? Where are they located? Your current consumer base can give you a profile of your typical buyer.
If you are starting your small business, for example, offering air conditioning services, you probably do not have such data. You could engage on social media platforms like Reddit to learn more about your target audience. If you have a website, offer downloadable materials and observe who engages with your website the most.
Do Market Research
Market research is not an outdated idea for big companies. Regardless of the size of your company, your business will benefit from having data from market research. Market research will offer insights into what’s in the market and how clients respond to the products and services.
Market research will also help you craft an irresistible value proposition for your target audience. For example, market research in the B2B printing business may unearth the need for faster fabric printing. Your data will lead you to offer top notch fabrics fast and efficiently.
Market research may sound complicated and something only big companies do. But it doesn’t have to be complicated. Talk to prospective customers. Do polls on your Twitter account. Offer short surveys on your website. The point is to get information that will help you define and find your target market.
Use Digital Tools Such As Google Analytics
Doing physical market research might seem quite intense if you start. But what if you could do it online? If you have a website and a social media presence, that’s a good place to start. Google Analytics offers actionable data on who your target audience is and their pains. If your website offers answers to Google users, what are the questions visitors have?
Facebook Insights is also a good place to get data about your target audience. What kind of content do they engage with the most? What are your most liked photos and videos? Read comments and feedback to get a picture of your specific sales audience. Moreover, network with people who offer complementary services. For instance, you liaise with video producers. A connection direct to film printers means you get quality content faster and easier.
Even more effective in finding your specific audience is doing competitor analysis. Unless you are coming up with an innovative, novel business or service, other businesses are likely offering similar services. You can learn what other successful businesses have done to maintain a sales audience. What are your competitors aiming at?
For example, where do most plumbers in your area work if you offer a plumbing service? What are their typical clients? There’s nothing shameful or unethical about learning from your competitors. It improves the quality of service.
As a small business, try learning from bigger or successful medium businesses. Do not treat the data as the last determining factor. Instead, learn about what is working and what’s not working. Could there be a better way you could find your target audience?
Engage Your Current Audience
If you want to learn more about your target audience, what better way than to engage your current audience? You could send them an easy survey for them to fill out. You could have helpful interviews with a section of your specific sales audience.
If you have a small business, it’s probably possible to read through the comments and responses of your current audience. What are their interests? If you get a mention on LinkedIn, respond. Thank any Twitter follower who drops a mention on their page. If someone leaves a positive comment on Yelp, respond with gratitude.
Continuously Revise and Adapt
As a small business, for example, dumpster delivery, your marketing budget is probably lean. However, you can get along much better if you learn to take action on data and adapt if necessary. You may find that your initial target audience may not be what you had initially defined. The good thing is that you can revise your definition and adapt.
For example, if you initially believed that your target audience typically watches hours of YouTube and does not love reading, you can adapt by creating readable content. Be keen to change marketing strategies that are not reaching your target audience anymore.
How to Reach Your Audience
Now you know your specific sales audience, their interests, and their pains. You have found their typical age, gender, and geographical location. How will you reach them? Here are the four best platforms to reach your audience. Make sure to personalize your interactions and address their pain points.
- Social Media
- Email Campaigns
- Content Marketing
- Offline Marketing
Finding your specific sales audience may be the first step toward successful marketing efforts. Now you know why it’s important to find your target audience and how to find and reach them. As a small business, you can efficiently reach your target audience without spending on hefty advertising budgets that target everyone and deliver little. Your role is to implement these tips now.