Many business owners tend to make marketing decisions based on what they're familiar with, often opting for what's comfortable for them specifically. While following your instinct is valuable as a business owner, it falls short when implementing your marketing strategy. Focusing solely on your opinions doesn't account for the specific needs and wants of the company's audience.
Your customers are diverse and likely look for something different from what the business owner wants. To get the best results from your marketing efforts, you need to speak to your audience. That involves getting out of your comfort zone and exploring new opportunities. The best way to grow as a business is to be willing to adapt, particularly when it comes to tailoring marketing to your audience's needs.
It's important to empathize with your audience as you conduct target audience research. As you work toward defining your target consumer, there are a couple of crucial reasons why you should avoid focusing on your preferences.
You Need More Than a Focus Group of One
If you're basing your marketing decisions solely on yourself, you're catering to a focus group of one. Subsequently, you're missing opportunities to reach people your business can benefit from. It’s likely you share preferences with one segment of your audience, but consider the other audience segments likely to be interested in your offerings. Many people across a wide range of demographics and tastes could become loyal followers of your brand if you know how to connect with them.
If you want your brand to resonate with audiences and reach them you need to conduct more in-depth audience research to target them. Researching your audience can put you way ahead of competitors in your industry as you gain a deeper understanding of your target market. If you're focusing on yourself as the sole representation of your audience, your marketing campaigns will only suffer from that tunnel vision.
You Aren't Your Target Audience
Just because you might want to watch specific programs or listen to podcasts, doesn't mean that your audience consumes these types of media as often. Some potentially valuable audiences may not even watch TV or have time to listen to podcasts, making it essential to reach them via video ads on streaming services, email marketing, or other channels. Your first instinct might be to ignore certain channels that you perceive as unpopular or barely on your radar, but you should find out where your audiences spend time. Once you learn that, you can reach them whether it’s social media or through direct mail.
You may find that one of your most significant audience segments spends a lot of time on Facebook and uses email nearly every day. Even if you don't use these platforms as often or ever yourself, learning about how they work and developing marketing campaigns for each can bring you a lot of revenue. You can even connect the two campaigns, or start a branding campaign on Facebook featuring video ads that show up in people's feeds.
These ads may direct Facebook users to your website, which prompts them to opt-in to your email campaign. From there, audiences are likely to encounter additional ads on Facebook, keeping you top-of-mind. As your email campaigns provide further information and carry them down the sales funnel. Using these tools can cover every aspect of the buyer's journey, from prospect to customer.
If you want to learn even more about reaching your target audience, you can also take a look at what competitors are implementing in their strategies. What platforms do they use? What language and messaging are they including in their ads and content to speak to the same audiences? You can then adapt what they're doing for your purposes.
As you dig more in-depth with audience research, you may also find out what specific pain points your audience is experiencing that competitors aren't addressing. That way you can take advantage of platforms competitors are ignoring, helping you corner a specific market.
Look Outside Yourself to Reach Your Audience Through Marketing
While you have your preferences for particular platforms and viewing habits, you need to look at your business from your audience's different perspectives to figure out how to reach them. Taking the time to research every aspect of your audience helps you get the most from your budget.
Audience research shows you where your audiences are and how they interact with businesses like yours, letting you take advantage of the platforms your customers use at the best times. Taking it further to develop targeted integrated marketing campaigns helps you create bigger impressions with your audience. Subsequently, you'll be able to attract more high-quality leads and convert them into loyal customers.