You’ve created a company, you’ve figured out what you want to sell, and you are ready to start marketing and making money. Most startups will start throwing money into Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing, maybe even going for Mobile Marketing, the only thing is, are you sure that is the best way to reach the people that are most likely to buy your product/service?
While it can be a long process on your own, an important step to any marketing plan is defining your target audience. In some industries, this can be fairly simple while others can be a much more extensive process. If you sell clothing, it’s pretty easy to look at what your core audience would be. You sell women’s clothing that is considered business attire; you may determine to target women between the ages of 25-45. However, if you sell a variety of sports equipment, your target audience becomes larger but can still be narrowed down. Softball equipment, for example, while it is played by adults, the larger and potentially more profitable audience would be softball coaches or parents who have children who play softball. So while you want to get that equipment in the kids’ hands, it’s the adults that are still your market. Knowing that, you may find that your target audience is adults between the ages of 27-35 with children.
With the larger target audience such as the sports equipment example, you then look at creating multiple campaigns with the focus being on specific aspects, which in this example would be sports seasons. It does you no good to start putting out baseball ads when hockey season is starting. You can also drill down further to add a geographical radius to your target audience. If you’re a brick and mortar store that is concentrating on bringing people into your location and not to your website, then you could very easily further target your audience. Using the softball example from before, you could target adults between the ages of 27-35 with children that are within a 10 mile radius of your physical location.
Now you may be asking what all this data will be used for. Some advertising channels such as Google Adwords, Facebook Marketing, and Mobile Marketing, have access to specific demographics because users create profiles when using these services. Facebook is a great example because it is easy for them to know the location, age, and if someone is a parent, based on what they have placed in their profile. While the information may not be accurate on all profiles, the majority contain accurate information which helps that ad you are paying for get in front of the person who is most likely to have a real interest in what you have to offer. In addition, utilizing research from larger firms, you can also choose your marketing channels more effectively. If your target audience is males ages 50-75, there is a good chance that social media will not yield as high results as Mobile Marketing or Google Adwords. Those trends will of course change as time progresses so should be reevaluated from time to time.