Your business model is developed, your products are refined, and your next event is in the works. Now, it’s time to sell! Marketing tends to scare the shit out of almost every entrepreneur, because we all know, regardless of how great your business or product is- you have to sell the right story to the right audience.
When it comes to marketing strategies, for your event or even for a product or service, you’ll hear the words “target audience” over and over again. But who are they and how can you reach them? Here’s a breakdown of how to reach your target audience for your event and pull in your ideal customer.
Why You Need a Target Audience
Every problem needs a solution. So in order for your business or products to be successful, you have to consider what issue it’s solving. Your first thought might be to think “Great! Whoever has this issue is my potential customer”.
Yes. And no. While there is some truth to that line of thinking, it also needs fine-tuning. The real key to successful marketing is targeting. If you assume that just anyone and everyone is your customer, you’ll just be wasting valuable time and money. Think target, not shot in the dark.
Sometimes I receive a mass marketing email that didn’t find its way into spam. While reading it, it’s clear the marketer knows nothing about me or what I like. Strategies with seemingly no personalization or thought get dragged and dropped straight into the recycle bin.
Identify Your Target Audience
Before you can reach your prospects, you have to be able to identify them. Trying to sell your products or services to the wrong customer is equivalent to putting your shoes on the wrong way. In a pinch, you could probably squeeze your feet in and make it work but it will never feel right. Selling to your target audience, however, will be like slipping on your tried-and-true pair of running shoes – comfortable and easy. So, how do you find your perfect fit?
There are a few ways to identify your target audience. The first is paying attention to your current customers. Who are they? What do they have in common? This can be broken down into demographics:
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
One common and fatal mistake that entrepreneurs make is forgetting how important demographics are to their business. Every marketing strategy you implement (price, packaging, location) will directly target a demographic and you need to make sure you’re reaching your customers. If your business is new, check out your competition. You can easily pick out these same statistics to help you build your own strategy. Other statistics of equal importance to identifying your target audience are psychographics. These are the target audience’s behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyle. These will come into play when we discuss outreach.
Where Can You Find Your Target Audience?
Now that you can identify who they are and why you need them, you can now discover where to find them.
How often do you get a marketing text from your phone service provider? Not as often as you used to, and that’s because they discovered this method was pissing it’s customers off. People would immediately respond STOP to end late night texts. Clearly, someone in marketing assumed all of their customers would respond well to a text.
Using the appropriate channel is essential to reaching your target audience. Using Facebook ads, a blog, email marketing, or direct mail will be dependent on the demographic study you’ve done. Discover where your audience consumes the most media, and you’re in.
The greatest aspect of using social media to connect with your audience is the space for conversation. So much of marketing used to be one-way, much like being talked AT instead of talked to. Now, customers can talk back. And you should listen! Who better to tell you what they like and don’t like, than customers themselves?
Conversion rates, analytics, blah blah blah… I know, it all starts to become white noise and mixed numbers. But these ones are actually important and can tell you a whole lot about what you’re doing right or wrong. Here is a basic spreadsheet that helps dial in on where your customer is coming from. There are quite a few ways to measure your leads but they all tell the same story- where your customer came from. One day you’ll realize whatever system you’ve chosen and discover 3,000 hits from Instagram and only 7 from Yelp and booyah! You’ll know exactly where your customer pool is, now it’s time to swim in it.
Follow Your Target Audience
Now that you’ve got them, never let them go! Your audience will evolve the same way technology and style does. Go where they go and always stay ahead of the trend. Better yet- create the trend and watch them follow you!
Hire a Professional
You need not be all parts of your business but be in every part. If marketing is not your greatest skill, hire a professional team of marketers. They will use tried and true techniques to target and reach your audience. The best marketers seek to understand your visions and concepts before developing a strategy.
Reaching your target audience will be the pivotal “aha!” moment for your business. Following these methods will be the perfect start to being able to speak directly to the customer you want to reach.