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A deep understanding of your target audience is critical to sales success

“Who is my target audience?” – This is one question that merchants should ideally consider before they even open a retail operation. Admittedly, however, it can be hard to rest on a simple answer, particularly at the beginning. Even so, it remains a worthwhile exercise. You should, therefore, take time to think about your target audience in some depth. Explore the following aspects to help you define your target audience:

  • Trying to keep everyone happy will not work

You are unlikely to succeed simply by opening a shop, offering products and hoping to find sufficient customers among the mass of shoppers. A policy of specialization is much more likely to bring success – both in respect of your product range and also in terms of the group of people you aim to buy your goods. Focus your retail activities on a particular group of customers and tailor your offerings to their likely requirements.

  • Knowing the outlets frequented by your target audience

Whether in the sense of Google, Facebook and blogs, or trade fairs, farmers’ markets and the gym – knowing where your audience regularly spends time is invaluable. It can make deciding which marketing activities to use that much easier. For example, if your target audience is very active on Facebook, an investment in Facebook advertising might be the right approach to take. On the other hand, if your audience frequently searches for information using Google, you could achieve a great deal by ensuring your shop is placed higher in the Google rankings.

  • Focusing on relevant topics and channels

What is the most important way for your target audience to get information? Answering that question can save you a lot of time and money. Whether you opt for newsletters, social media posts or package inserts, these can all be effective marketing tools. They will only work, however, if they are the right tools for your particular audience. Remember the following rule: rather than trying to exploit every opportunity, concentrate instead on selected activities.

  • Speaking the same language

Humorous, serious, precise or playful – which tone of voice best suits your target audience? Take care to ensure that you use the chosen style of language consistently in your communications. After all, if visitors to your shop feel that you are not addressing them properly, they only have to click once to shop in another store instead.

  • Discovering what motivates your target audience

What are the main reasons why people visit your shop? Perhaps your audience specifically chooses your shop when searching for gifts? In that case, it could make sense to use part of each newsletter to showcase gift ideas comprising one or more products from your range. Your homepage can also be a good place to alert visitors to possible gift ideas in an eye-catching way.

  • Focus by using customer personas

Modern retailers have learned that creating theoretical “personas” can be extremely useful. Even if such personas are only fictional characters, thinking intensively about how to satisfy their needs will assist you in your day-to-day work. You should, therefore, concentrate on developing a maximum of three to five fictional characters. These will describe your primary target audiences and their most important requirements. On the basis of these, you can determine focused offerings and marketing tactics that would likely be particularly effective for addressing them.