Targeting – the Lost Art in Marketing

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The Odds of Hitting Your Target Go Up Dramatically When You Actually Aim At It.

Businesses spend too much money on marketing before they clearly define the target and goal of their marketing. If you want to avoid the cash BBQ that is usually the result of unfocused marketing read on and discover how targeting can dramatically improve the effectiveness of your marketing dollars.

What is a Target Market Persona and Why they are important to Business Owners? 

Resources can be easily wasted, the concentration of using resources effectively is a key principle in a successful business. Diluted dollars spread thin achieve little beyond draining your coffers. Every dollar you spend on marketing should be purposeful and focused on the achievement of a specific aim. Targeting is a key component of this strategy.

Everyone in business understands that they are the seller who provides a product or service to their buyer. Depending on the nature of your business, who you are as a person, or how you operate/cater your business will result in a buyer that looks, acts, speaks, and shops differently but is uniquely the same to you and your business. We often meet clients who are struggling to find more of their 80/20 clients. This is the small pie of their clients that provide the majority of their revenue and are often their favourite to work with. If you fall into this category, this article is for you. 

Target market personas is a very standard term in marketing; This is understanding and taking the time to break down who your clients are as people, what they do, how they buy, and ultimately, how they find you. Marketers consistently stress the importance of speaking to your audience in a voice that resonates with them to create a genuine, personal connection between your client and your business. However, to successfully speak to your target audience, you need to know who they are.

Target market personas are the best tool available to you as a business owner to get you on the path to effectively speaking to your audience and converting them into clients faster and cheaper than the way you have been doing it in the past.

What is a Target Market Persona?

Typically, this is an internal document that outlines the fictionalized profile of your target customer. This document is created and used by marketing, sales, and product teams as a reference to ensure their messages and activities are tailored to the people your business wants to reach.

When building out your target market personas, you can have as little as one persona or multiple, depending on the nature and goals of your business. Also dependent on the nature of your business is the information included in these personas.

Typically, you would include attributes such as the channels (social media platforms) they frequent, their motivations, pain points, and demographic information like age, gender, and location.

Why Create Target Market Personas?

They act as a guide to understanding the voice of your customers and can then be used to shape everything from campaign creative to new service offerings.

Having very clearly defined personas can make it easier for your marketing efforts to scale with your business. Having this reference document allows each department of your business to have a clear vision of the type of client you’re looking to attract and retain. 

Once you have your persona(s) identified, you can then begin crafting your content to resonate with that person or group of people. When done correctly, this information will make decision-making quick and easy, and you will attract more of the right kind of people. It will also allow you to delegate tasks without worrying about the content “missing the mark” or straying from your vision.

For example, when writing content for social platforms, you and your staff (or a third-party marketing agency) won’t have to question whether you should write in a casual tone using colloquialisms or in a more polished and professional manner; your target market persona will already answer that for you. (Avoiding meaningless headaches, more conversions, and faster turnaround, huge win, right?)

How to Create Proper Target Market Personas

Trying to create this reference guide for your target audience can feel overwhelming. An effective target market persona needs to include a ton of information, but the good news is that you already have access to all of it.

Steps to Creating Your Target Market Persona(s):

1. Evaluate Your Existing Audience

This is the best place to start because these are the people that are already engaging with your brand, either through social media or as current clients.

To be most effective, ensure you pull data from online sources, like your Instagram, Facebook & Google My Business account metrics, and offline sources, like your current client base.

Take the time to see who your most engaged audience members are by looking at your metrics for more than just follower and like counts. Look at who these people are either through the audience metrics page, which will show you your audience’s general age, location, and gender or through good old-fashioned profile stalking. 

What does your customer post about? What kind of content do they engage with? What other accounts are they following? These are all questions that can help you build out a more all-encompassing view of your client, not just how they interact with your business.

2. Identify Their Pain Points & Goals

To speak to your audience about how your product or service alleviates their pain points and aligns with their goals, you need to understand them first.

Uncovering the social, emotional, and logical reasons people behave the way they do can help you align your brand message to their values. Again, this is where some good old-fashioned profile stalking comes in handy.

You can also analyze large competitors’ audiences to find what their customers are looking for or feel are missing from your competitor’s offerings. 

You can find information on prominent companies very quickly, which can help find broad customer pain points or goals, but analyzing your direct competitors can be more challenging. Start with their Google Reviews; this is where their clients will be the most honest about their likes and dislikes.

Also, monitor your own Google Reviews for any negative or constructive feedback that you can use to understand your audience better.

3. Talk to YOUR people

This is often the most overlooked step, especially in companies that run using a top-down approach.

Talk to your team– the people who interact with your clients regularly. Ask them who their current favourite client is and why. Ask them who their least favourite client is and why. Talk about who they would like to see walk through your doors one day. 

Arguably, this is the most crucial step in the whole process. Talking to the people who are the face and voice of your brand and getting honest, tangible feedback can help you align your digital strategy and voice with the actual customer experience your company provides.

Talk to your clients; Ask your long-term clients what they love about your brand. Ask them what made them stick around through the growth of your company. Ask them why they would recommend your product or service to a friend.

Don’t be afraid to communicate with your clients and make it known that their input is valued. Your long-term clients likely have a relationship with you and your team that allows them to be honest and upfront with you.

4. Compile This Information into Personas

Get creative when creating your Target Market Personas document!

This isn’t some boring corporate document that will be skimmed once and never thought of again. You want this document to really represent the story of your target persona. 

Include all of your demographic information (age, gender, location, education, etc.) and your channel or platform information but tell the story of a real person.

Name your persona and include a picture – this seems silly, but it helps you imagine this as an actual potential client. This is also less for you and more for those who execute the marketing strategy for your business. The person doing your marketing will often not know your clients intimately at all. Going as far as naming the persona and attaching a photo will make it easier for people who are removed from the transaction to attract more of your preferred client.

List their goals, their biggest pitfalls, or pain points. Go deep into their values, even if you don’t see a direct correlation between them and your offering. You can even include brands they already align with to get a complete picture of them as a consumer.

If you already have a customer you absolutely love and wish every customer was like, use them as your blueprint! 

Creating target market personas is a process, but it’s worth it if you’re sick of attracting clients that don’t quite align with your brand. It will also save you and your team so much time, money, and energy during decision-making processes in both marketing and other broad business decisions. 

We recommend performing this task, whether your marketing is done in-house or by a third-party agency.

When we build out brands for our clients, we always include this step in our process. Ensuring everyone is on the same page makes the agency-business relationship smooth and provides our clients with content that truly resonates with their audience.

If you want to learn more about this process or see some examples of a target market persona, feel free to email me directly. I’d be happy to send some examples over!

Thanks for reading! 

Camille@thirdeyeinsights.ca

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