Defining your target audience can be an overwhelming process. You don’t want to exclude anyone or miss out on customers because you aren’t advertising to them, but if you try to target everyone, you’re really targeting no one. We don’t want to advertise to the wrong audience, but how do you know who the right audience is? Targetting based on gender, age, and location isn’t going to cut it. Think of your target audience as one defined person before you see them as an entire group. Now let's define who that person is!
You’ve probably got this part down already. Who are your customers? What’s their gender, age, occupation, and socioeconomic status? These questions help you determine the basic image of your target audience and where they fall on multiple scales. There’s a plethora of demographic questions you can use to define your target market in its earliest steps. Even if you think that it might not matter whether or not your consumer is married, the more you know, the better. Your target audience has to dive deeper than demographics, which is where psychographics come in.
Psychographics take into account the attitudes and feelings of your consumer base. What are they passionate about? What do they concern themselves with? Are they a social justice warrior, or are they politically apathetic? You need to be specific with these questions to better understand what tribe your consumer belongs to. This is the point in the process in which you can understand why your consumers are purchasing your product or service. Is it a need, or a want? Does it make their life easier, or is it out of pure leisure? If you can understand why your consumers are purchasing your product and how they feel about it, you will know how to advertise to them in a way that appeals to their need for your product.
Once you have the demographics and the psychographics, consider your consumer’s behavior. How do they spend their free time? Are they more benefit-driven or convenience-driven? Do they go out of their way to purchase items that are important to them, or drive to the nearest store? Combine these questions with the demographics and psychographics to create a hypothetical persona. Give that person a name, lifestyle, social class. Describe this person as much as you can, the more you can define this person, the more you are defining your target audience. Once you've ironed out this target persona you can begin to think of your target audience as a group of people as opposed to just one person.
Now that you're in the mind of your target audience you can determine what kind of advertisements they like, where they would most likely see your advertisements, and what kind of strategy you should use to attract their attention. AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is a useful acronym you can use to answer these questions. How do you grab their attention, peak their interest, create a desire, and finally, incite action? With a ready-to-go target audience, these questions will be a breeze. Just ask those questions to your hypothetical target consumer, and they’ll give you the answers you’ve been looking for!