Not Knowing Your Target Audience – The Fundamental Flaw

You cannot be everything for everyone and you cannot expect ‘anyone’ to be interested. The root cause of poor marketing ROI.

Who is your target audience? And why? Can you describe them?

If you don’t have specific answers to these questions, then you are in big trouble. 

Time and again, I am given inappropriately sketchy ideas of the target audience. I had a CEO tell me we target anyone interested! A euphemism for we don’t know and we target anyone.

And that’s even bigger trouble.

You cannot be everything for everyone and you cannot spray your money around expecting ‘anyone’ to be interested. This easy route is the root cause of poor marketing ROI. 

 Even Walmart’s, Amazon, and Flipkarts of the world have defined target audience/s. Even though they have huge marketing budgets they still like to optimize their spending and get bang for the buck.

 Having said that look at Amazon. And in just in case you think they spend indiscriminately from the word go…… got it wrong!

Between 1994 to 1998, Amazon sold only books (even Flipkart started this way) online. At that time, it was a niche audience (so well-defined and focused). Over the last 22 years or so, Amazon has expanded its business to many areas and in a sense gives the impression that they are everything to everyone!

You are not Amazon or Flipkart. So stay hyper-focused, start niche!

  •  A well-defined target audience is the core of the marketing plan. Many marketing professionals tend to gloss over it or give vague descriptions of the target audience, or they think they know their audience. Not focusing on this element can crash your marketing plan. Why have a clearly defined target audience?

When you clearly define your target audience, you identify them well. You are focused on reaching out to them …only. When you reach out in a focused manner, then people connect better. You will also give them exactly what they want/ need. If the effort is weak and sprayed, the result is also weak.

  • When you know your audience, you know their problems. 

When you understand your target audience, then you also know the problems they face and provide a solution from their perspective. Remember your brand is a problem solver!

  • When you know their problems, you know how to market your brand/ solutions. 

When you know their problems you can convert these problems into opportunities by positioning your brand as a solution by highlighting the features and benefits, and how it will help them

  • When you know your audience, you know how to reach out to them. 

When you understand your audience you can talk in a language that they find appealing. The crux is creating a bond with them. Once you create a bond and an emotional connection, it is half the battle won!

  • When you know your audience, you can improve/ create better products/services. 

With a deeper understanding of your audience, you can improve your marketing and offer better products and services. It will also give you opportunities to create new products and services.

As you can see, when you define your target audience, you create brand recognition and loyalty, deeply resonate with prospects, and improve your offerings, while creating better marketing campaigns

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