I never get tired of telling people the story about visiting a potential client and asking him who his audience was. His answer was “Everyone!”
I probably don’t need to tell you that his answer wasn’t right. Not ever. I can’t think of one instance where any business appeals to “Everyone.” There is always some segment of the market for your product or service that is more likely to buy than another. Some specific demographic really, really loves you.
Every piece of marketing communication – advertising, news releases, social media posts, blogs – has a specific and very definable audience, and until you identify that audience, it is very difficult to connect with it efficiently. To professionals, that’s a no-brainer. But to the thousands of small businessmen, like my friend mentioned above, it’s a first step that never even occurs to them. They just want to communicate about their products and services to anyone and everyone who might buy, and often waste thousands of marketing dollars and a lot of precious time thinking that they are doing just that. And no one can afford to waste money or time.
You don’t need a marketing analyst to figure this out, despite what consultants like me tell you. Stop and think, “Who was my last customer? How was that customer like/unlike others?” Go through your list of customers and find the similarities – they will be there if you look. Gender, age, married/single/other, geographic location, income, kids/no kids, pets, homeowner, business owner, kind of business… you get the idea. Then write down a profile of these characteristics, and you have found your best audience. It sometimes even helps to find a photo in a magazine or online of a person to represent your customer. Every time you begin a communication, look at that picture and ask what that person will respond to.
It’s so much easier to narrow your marketing focus and your marketing dollars and time if you know exactly to whom your product will have the most appeal and direct those scarce dollars and precious minutes toward him or her.