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What Is The Target Audience (TA) And How To Define It: Examples And Methods

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Hello! In this article, we will talk about how to determine the target audience of your product or service.

Today you will learn:

  • What is CA;
  • Why is it so important for any business to determine the target audience;
  • How to write a portrait of your client.

What is the target audience

Target audience (TA) is a specific group of people for whom a particular product or service is designed.

The people included in the target audience are united by a certain need, problem or need, which the proposed product intends to solve. To more accurately determine the needs of the group, it is divided into segments by gender, age, financial status, field of activity, and so on.

Not everyone can be a client of a company or a buyer of a product. Each product has its own target audience with unique characteristics.

Example. The target audience of a women's fitness club can be formulated as "girls aged 18-30 with a small income, who want to spend a minimum of time on training (living near the club), attending classes in the evening after school or work and on weekends."

Target audience should be:

  • Interested in the product. Auto parts are not needed for those who do not have a car.
  • Able to purchase it. A fashion boutique is out of place near a hostel.
  • Susceptible to marketing pressure. Sometimes adherents of one brand cannot be lured to the side of another even by the most effective marketing techniques .

Why define the target audience

A clear definition of the target audience of the product is a logical and therefore common requirement of all marketers. Before you start creating advertising , you need to describe as accurately as possible a portrait of those who should be interested in it.

The narrower the circle of potential customers, the more effective it will be to work with such a target audience in the future.

The importance of target audience is often underestimated, however, it is the starting point of any marketing strategy . Even fishermen choose their tackle and bait depending on the fish they want to catch. So it is in the service and trade sectors - the work strategy depends on the portrait of a potential client.

Knowing your target audience allows you to:

  • Increase loyalty - customers will come back and recommend the product (service) to their friends.
  • Find new customers faster and cheaper. Advertising costs are significantly reduced when the marketer knows where and when to look for buyers.
  • Form proposals that meet the needs of the audience.

Methods for determining the target audience

The definition of the target audience begins with a simple question: β€œWho needs my product (service)?” The answer to this problem will give only the first impetus in the search for your potential client . Further, the question is concretized, clear features are added to the portrait of the buyer.

Approximate questions in the preparation of the target audience may be as follows:

  • How old are my potential clients;
  • What gender are they?
  • What are their financial capabilities;
  • What are they interested in;
  • What are their problems;
  • What do they dream about?
  • What is their style of thinking and communication.

The target customer is identified after a thorough analysis of the market and its segment in which the product is presented.

At first, you have to be guided by the questions β€œwho and why should buy my product?”, But the greatest accuracy can be achieved by studying your existing customers (or customers of direct competitors). To do this, marketers conduct various audience research, observation and surveys of regular consumers.

In English-speaking countries, the popular theory of target audience segmentation is called 5W, according to the first letters of the questions:

  • What? (What?). What product or service the customer is purchasing.
  • Who? (Who?). What are the characteristics of the consumer, his gender, age, and so on.
  • Why? (Why?). What is his motive. It can be a favorable price, convenient packaging, uniqueness of the product.
  • When? (When?). When is the purchase made and how often.
  • Where? (Where?). The client makes a purchase in a store near the house, in a large hypermarket or via the Internet.

There are a lot of methods for determining the target audience. Most often, polls, questionnaires, interviews, and the collection of statistics on the Internet are used. Experienced marketers sooner or later develop their own algorithms.

Preparatory stage - determination of the purpose of the study

The first stage in determining the target audience is preparatory. To more confidently start identifying a client, you need to figure out which direction to go.

The first step on the way is the goal of finding the target audience:

  • Definition of the target audience for the existing offer (dependence on the product);
  • The choice of target audience for the introduction of a new product or for expanding activities (dependence on the market).

In the first case, the classical scheme operates. There is a product, there are buyers. It is necessary to make a portrait of existing customers in order not to lose them and attract new customers with the same characteristics and needs.

In this case, the order of work will be as follows:

  • Comparative competitive analysis of goods.
  • Research of loyal consumers (survey to identify the motivation to buy).
  • Segmentation of regular and potential customers.
  • Drawing up a marketing plan.

In the second option, it is only necessary to create a business , change or expand it through new proposals. The definition of target audience depends on the market.

Example. An already existing toy store plans to expand its scope of work. To do this, the marketer needs to identify all possible target audiences and choose the most profitable of them: with the largest check, lowest costs, and high frequency of demand. For example, our toy store may have come to the conclusion that it is worth adding teaching aids and workbooks for early childhood development to its assortment, including wholesale for kindergartens and creative sections.

The procedure for determining the target audience depending on the market:

  • Complete segmentation and market analysis.
  • Identification of the most profitable segments.
  • Drawing up a detailed portrait of representatives of the selected segment.
  • Formation of a further plan of work with the audience.

To identify the needs and other characteristics of existing customers, they can be offered questionnaires or participation in a survey.

Such interviews must include the following questions:

  • Gender, age, social and financial status, profession.
  • How often are purchases made?
  • Reasons for choosing this particular product.
  • Where did the customer learn about the product or service?
  • Overall rating of the product.

The second stage is the division of customers into consumers and businesses. Not every product has an end consumer - an individual. You can also sell and provide services to other businesses.

In this regard, TA will have to be sought in different areas:

  • B2B or business to business . The most stable segment. Correctly identifying the target audience of a consumer-business is easier, it is less subject to fluctuations in the future. All information about such clients is in the public domain, which means there is no need for time-consuming searches.
  • B2C or consumer business , where the end customer is an individual whose interests and needs are not so stable. Fluctuations in the consumer audience can be caused by changes in politics, fashion, innovation. Seasonality and competition also strongly influence demand.
    The last third stage of the preparatory stage answers the question: what task needs to be solved? Which of the business parameters needs to be worked out?

  • What to sell? It is necessary to identify the needs of the formed target audience and create a profitable offer based on them;

  • Where? It is necessary to determine the advertising and promotion channels that will be most effective for the desired target audience;

  • When? The expression β€œeverything has its time” is relevant for business as well. Advertising for schoolchildren is useless to run on TV during the daytime school hours. Skis are best offered in winter, and sunscreen in summer. Promotions for alcoholic drinks in the restaurant are more in demand on Friday and Saturday evenings.

We found out how to tune in to the study of the target audience, how to identify the tasks that need to be solved. Next, let's proceed directly to the methods of audience segmentation.

Drawing up a client profile

All potential or existing customers should be divided into groups and described in detail. Only after all the portraits are outlined, you can decide which of them is better to work with, whom to focus on.

For example, a computer games store might have the following customers:

  • Fanatics who devote all their free time to computer games, buying up all the new items and rare editions;
  • Schoolchildren and students who do not have their own income, choosing inexpensive but popular games for donated or accumulated money;
  • Parents of teenagers who are not versed in the industry, buying games as a gift for their children, focusing on reviews and advertising;
  • And so on, there can be a lot of potential target audience.

A complete description of the target audience should contain:

  • Socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age, social status);
  • Geographical position;
  • Psychographic data (for example, the desire to stand out, establish yourself or surround yourself with comfort);
  • Hobbies, hobbies and leisure activities;
  • Problems and needs.

Some marketers recommend, for clarity, to reinforce the verbal description with a photograph of a typical representative of the target audience. Such visualization reduces the distance between the seller and the buyer.

What to do after determining the target audience

The target audience is defined and narrowed as much as possible. It's time to work on the proposals.

Search for places of interaction with the target audience.

In order to identify the "habitat" of your customers, you must:

  • Describe a typical buyer's day . If necessary, you can make separate plans for weekdays and weekends, holidays. Based on the plan, it becomes clear when the client has free time for impulsive purchases, when he is most susceptible to advertising, when his demand for a particular product is aggravated.
  • Schedule the client's actions when the need arises . For example, the washing machine broke down. A potential client turns on the computer, goes to the Internet and types in the search engine "urgent repair of washing machines in Moscow." In order to β€œcatch the bait” of this potential client, a repair company needs a quality website .
  • Try to anticipate what the customer was doing before the need arose . This is not always possible, but it is very necessary for the timely offer of their services. For example, before a young mother goes to the store for diapers, she will be in the maternity hospital and in the antenatal clinic, which means that you can start offering goods from there.

Read also:
The target audience of the site - what is it, how to find out and attract the target audience .

Proposal formation.

Talk to potential customers in their language. For example, young people are more accustomed to slang, and older people subconsciously reject any neologisms. Men think more concretely, they prefer facts, women tend to react emotionally.

To make a proposal, you must first determine:

  • Needs, "pains", problems of a potential client.
  • The fears of the client, on the basis of which objections are born.
  • Primary and secondary selection criteria.
  • Emotions involved.

For example, let's say we want to run an ad for jewelry sold online. The TA of the product is girls aged 18-30 who follow fashion trends and choose exclusively branded and expensive goods.

They strive to look spectacular, make an impression not only in life, but also in social networks (they actively use Instagram) - we will conduct the main advertising campaign on the Internet.

The choice is based on the popularity and prestige of the brand. The main fear is to acquire a fake or cheap stuff - in the offer we focus on celebrities, certificates and participation in international fashion exhibitions. We put the emphasis on admiration, fame, delight.

Common Mistakes

In order to avoid annoying mistakes, you need to know about them and avoid these rakes.

When determining the target audience, beginners often make the following mistakes:

  • Too wide TA . You can't please everyone, you can't sell to everyone. Women from 20 to 50 years old is too wide for the working target audience. It is a mistake to believe that by limiting the target audience, the seller will lose some of the potential buyers. Random purchases in our time are increasingly receding into the background, so it is not very advisable to rely on them. A large gathering of random people will never give a seller as many buyers as a specialized fair that brings together only interested citizens.
  • One-time selection of target audience . Depending on the area of ​​business, its customers can be a relatively stable group or, conversely, changeable. In any case, studies of the target audience and its needs are recommended to be carried out once every 1-2 years. People themselves change, fashion changes, new competitors appear - and the portrait of a buyer of the same product can change from year to year.

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