Defining a target audience is the foundation of a brand’s marketing strategy. Solidifying a brand’s target consumer profile will aid in the development of all pieces within a marketing plan including brand positioning, messaging, pricing, product packaging, and selling. A target audience should be narrowed enough to focus on a core consumer, and as the marketing plan unfolds, the demographics can always be broadened if need be. Initially however a brand must think deeply about who they can effectively pitch and what problem they can solve for that core audience. If the audience is too broad the marketing plan will get diluted and not provide adequate results.
In establishing specific customer attributes, factors such as age range, gender, income levels of the household/or person, education level, marital status, sexual orientation, and geography are studied. There are also psychographic elements to consider like the core consumer’s lifestyle, values, stage of life, hobbies, or belief system. These factors will aid in how to sell the product or service through in a manner that is relatable to the audience.
This consumer profile is also critical when finding media placement options that will be used frequently by the core consumer. Advertisers want to place ads where their consumers are searching for product info or doing research. Utilizing digital entities vs. traditional methods will give a little more insight with the provision of back end analytics that are widely reported on in the digital realm. These analytics give valuable insight to campaign success stories.
After defining a customer profile, a marketer needs to address what problem the brand will solve for this core audience. How will the messaging be most effective in speaking to this core consumer?
Here are a handful of questions to consider in building this portion of a marketing strategy:
- What pricing structure will the brand fall into?
- Who is the competition?
- How will the brand be distributed?
- What marketing channels will be utilized?
- How will promotional elements be handled?
Consideration of limiting initial launch markets should be kept in mind, as to keep a controlled campaign environment that can be easily aligned with results. Marketers need to take the time to analyze the campaign as it rolls out, optimize when possible during flight, and then properly evaluate the full campaign results. Proper campaign evaluation gives a brand the opportunity to go into fresh markets with the knowledge of what has worked with this consumer profile and what has not. As profit margins grow more markets can be considered.
This all may sound very basic and simple, but it’s easy to go off track with a marketing strategy and develop something that may appear like it speaks to the world, but really speaks to nobody, effectively. We live in a media landscape that has plenty of options to deliver a fine-tuned message to a highly targeted consumer. A good media agency will assist their clients on these matters and keep them focused on the process and the prize. All of which begins with establishing these factors and sticking to them.