One of the biggest mistakes that digital marketers make is trying to appeal to everyone. You can’t sell your product or service to “everyone”, it will otherwise hurt your marketing efforts. So, before choosing a content strategy that suits your business objective, developing a clear understanding of your target audience is the most important thing for you.

What Is Target Market and Target Audience

Target Market and Target Audience are two different things that you need to understand. A target market comprises everyone interested in your products or services. In contrast, the group of people within the target market divided into segments based on demographics, geography, and other qualities defines the target audience.

For instance, let’s assume your company sells sporting goods. Here, your target market is anyone who might be interested in sporting goods. Part of your audience might consist of teenagers who play sports; another group could consist of professional athletes. Yet, another group might comprise middle-aged people who want to stay fit. Each of these groups or segments falls under your target market and represents your target audience.

Related: Must Apply These Strategies For Competition Analysis

Steps to identify your target market

1. Narrow Down Your focus

As you define your target audience, don’t be afraid to get highly specific. Narrow down your focus by asking a question, “Who is most likely to buy your product or service?”. As you answer this question, consider the demographics, geography, and behavioral traits of the buyers.

The most commonly used data to define the target audience of a company are:

i) Age
ii) Gender
iii) Education background
iv) Purchasing power
v) Social class
vi) Location
vii) Consumption habits

For example, a defined target audience would look like: Men, 20-30 years old, living in India, monthly income of Rs. 1 lac – Rs. 2.5 lac, and passionate about sports bikes.

As a digital marketer, if you start doing digital marketing without knowing your right target audience, you could end up marketing your product/service to a broader audience or maybe to the wrong audience.

Let’s clear this concept with one more example – Suppose you are going to run a digital marketing campaign for a business that sells kids’ clothes. So your target audience might be, Parents.

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Or you have a client who sells scooty. Your audience will be girls who are older than 18.

Narrowing your focus helps you find customers who would be really interested in your product or service.

Now let’s go over “personas”…

Steps to identify your target market - ScillBee

2. Create a Buyer Persona

Buyer persona depicts profiles of buyers that would be your ideal customers. Basically, personas are fictional characters with characteristics of your real customers. They’re developed based on the behavior of the target audience research. It specifies who your ideal customers are, what their days are like, the challenges they face, and how they make decisions.

A buyer persona involves much more in-depth and more detailed research than the target audience since it includes:

i) Personal characteristics
ii) Purchasing power
iii) Lifestyle
iv) Interests
v) Engagement in social networks
vi) Professional information

For example, let’s look at the buyer persona of a health monitoring device manufacturer. Anjali, 25, Dietician, lives in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She has a blog about health and fitness tips and always participates in health events and meetings.

She likes to cook meals for her family and go to the gym daily after work. As a digital influencer, she cares a lot about what people see on her social network profiles.

You see that creating a buyer persona gives more specific knowledge about the target audience. It helps you develop a focused digital marketing strategy for your business.

If I had to differentiate personas from the target audience. In that case, I’d say that the target audience considers the whole, in a more general way, while the buyer persona has a more specific form.

3. Check out your competitor

“Good digital marketers copy, great digital marketers steal.” A slightly modified version of a famous quote of Picasso would suit our intention.

You should never copy the competition. That’s a recipe for disaster. However, if you keep an eye on your direct competitors, they can help further refine your target audience. By checking out their engagement with the audience on social media pages, content on homepages, landing pages, squeeze pages, and product descriptions, you can squeeze out your target audience. Not only you can figure out what they are doing but also what they are not doing so you can give your target audience something they want.

Gone are the days of wide saying “cast your net wide, to get as much as possible”. There is no point in trying to reach everyone to increase your chances of sales and profit.

So always remember that identifying the target audience for digital marketing is the basic Mantra that will save the cost and efforts of marketing and increase your profit margins in the long run.