How Well Do You Know Your Audience?
Updated: Sep 17
Who is it that you’re helping with your business? It’s a simple question, isn’t it? What if I told you that over the years, I’ve lost count of how many businesses I’ve helped who initially couldn’t answer the simple question above?
I get it. As a business owner, it’s really easy to get excited about trying to find customers you can help and growing your business. You’re aiming for the right things.
However, the worst thing you can do is guesswork. I’ve been there myself. You can get caught in the trap of thinking how you think about and see your product or service is how your ideal customer thinks. But you’re not your ideal customer. I don’t want you to make this costly mistake like I did!
The sweet spot of marketing is providing the right thing to the right person at the right time. This is marketing. It’s all about timing. Something you can only get right if you understand your market.
Think of all the casualties on the high street in the UK. The past couple of decades have been brutal to bricks and mortar retailers in the UK.
Lots of reasons get wheeled out and there’s some truth to them. Internet retailers undercut bricks and mortar retailers, there’s the rents for high street locations to think about, that’s a huge overhead. But let’s look at a company like Marks and Spencer. They’ve been slashing their high street presence for years now. Look at the fashion side of their business. It’s very “blah” and I don’t think anyone at Marks and Spencer’s head office could tell you who they’re targeting for clothing.
Contrast this with other clothing outlets who are thriving. Uniqlo and Superdry. They have clear and well defined target markets. And neither of them tries to target each other’s customers. But they both have incredibly loyal customer bases. Uniqlo appeals to a young customer base who love minimalist clothing that is affordable.
Superdry on the other hand targets a higher end young customer base with larger disposable income. The price points are different. They don’t try to slash prices to attract Uniqlo’s customers. Uniqlo does not lower its prices to poach customers from Superdry.
It’s a powerful position to be in, but it can only be done once you understand that you can’t be all things to all people and that you should figure out who you want to target, or who you think will respond to your offering the strongest. Once you have this starting point it can guide how you develop and improve your products. That level of focus is hard for a potential customer to resist!
However, getting to know your audience isn’t necessarily the easiest job, it requires you to get out of your comfort zone, pull your sleeves up and get stuck in. You want to get deeper than basic demographic data. You want to get to the core of their needs and desires. Because when you get to the core of why people behave and what they really really want in life, you can talk to them in a way they’ll respond to. There’s a lot of noise out there in the marketplace. But if you can cut through that noise and get their attention? You can start to build trust with them. This comes from talking to your customer, not at them. When you’ve done the work to understand them, you can speak to their wants and desires. They’ll respond to that. The best way to do this is to get out there and speak to your ideal customers or your existing customers, if they are in fact your ideal customer. If you don’t have any customers yet then put a call out on social media, find a friend or a family member or a friend of a friend that fits your ideal customer persona. If you do have customers, find your biggest advocates. Then organise some phone calls. It’s good to get a diverse group of people who fit the demographic you’re targeting so you’re not getting stuck with just one point of view. Do surveys or questionnaires and see if the information matches up with your initial findings. My other tips are to go on review sites such as Amazon or TripAdvisor where you’ill find some insightful information, and comments such as: “I loved this book, it really taught me x, y, z” or “I’m so grateful for this book it opened my eyes to x.” The key is to find a book or product that is in the same niche as you.
An example of this would be, if you’re a business coach who sells online courses and has a membership for entrepreneurs, you might find books such as The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard. One of his Amazon reviews reads: “This book has motivated me to take a deep and honest inventory of who I am and what choices I need to make to create a better life for myself and all those I love and serve.” I would take this quote and think that the audience are looking for the deeper meaning to what they do to make better choices and therefore create a better life for themselves. So you might direct your courses to help people find that deeper meaning, to do an inventory of their lives and choices and to help people define what it means to live a “better” life. And you’d focus your messaging on these needs and desires. You adapt your messaging to say something along the lines of: “Are you looking to make better choices in your life and businesses so that you can have a deeper impact on the world? If so, my course can help you define your purpose and meaning, and create manageable goals to get you there.” Another great thing is to use questions in your messaging just like the example of the quote I just gave. It works wonders for engaging your audience and pulling them into your message! Or another idea is to join Facebook Groups where your ideal customers hang out. If you find the right kinds of Facebook Groups where the community is active, you will find this is where people are their most open and honest about what they’re looking for, or what their opinions are on specific topics. Finally, one last thing! Download my free ‘Getting to Know Your Audience’ workbook for a step by step process on how to find good reviews and what to look for, what questions to ask in your interviews to make sure you’re getting to the gritty answers you’re looking for.