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When a new business, big or small, starts trying to figure out what kind of customers they want to have, they often think of trying to have something (a product or service) for everyone. While that is a pleasant thought, you can’t have something for everyone because everyone isn’t your customer. Your business is going to have to find its own unique niche in the world.

As a business, you are going to need to clearly define a target audience. With that at your disposal, it will be much easier to determine how and where to market your business and creative ideas

For the purpose of this blog, a target audience is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message.

But how do we determine that particular audience?

Defining Your Target Audience

Many marketing firms have different strategies when it comes to defining a target audience. After looking at multiple strategies, along with our own, I wanted to provide a few steps to point you and your business in the right direction:

  • Identify the problems and needs of your customers: You have to look at everything from your customers’ point of view. Put yourself in their shoes and think of how you would want the message to relay to yourself. What is it that your customer needs or wants? Be specific.
  • Profile your customers: Take a look at your current customers. What are some factors they have in common? Look for similarities, regardless of how odd or obvious they could be. Factors can include age, race, religion, gender, where they live, how many people in the household, what their work title is, how much they make, etc. The smallest details can help.
  • Check out the competition: It doesn’t hurt to check out what rival businesses are up to. Look at their websites or social media feeds to see who they’re targeting and who they’re not. Maybe you can fill the gap those businesses aren’t reaching?

It would be kind of silly if you started a business, and you didn’t know anything about who you were potentially selling to. Let’s say you’ve started your own sports apparel brand in Maine. You’re trying to get a promotion going for an off-month, so you decide to start selling bathing suits at discounted price.

That’s a great idea. But here’s the thing, your company is only known locally, and the off-month you decided to start the promotion in is November. The people in your area aren’t buying bathing suits because the weather has turned to the chillier side. Swimwear is definitely cheaper during the winter, but November is a little too far off from the following summer.

Therefore, you didn’t really study your audience or your customers. If you were trying to maximize profit, you would have sold something of need, or at least learned what your customer’s needs are. Like a beanie. Everyone likes a good beanie in the winter.