According to the SBA (Small Businesses Association), an average of 627,000 new businesses open each year, and only 51% of these businesses i.e 319,770 make it to their 5th year of doing business. Many factors are responsible for this poor success rate in startups but one common issue is the problem of creating the right solution for the wrong target audience.
Reports have shown over time that many entrepreneurs create solutions based on their perception of what the market needs, and not from factual evidence from activities like surveys, market research, etc. This singular foundational mistake has led and will continue to lead, to the death of many great businesses and startup ideas/solutions.
Before delving in proper to outline the steps necessary for creating solutions that address the need of your target audience, let us first define who your target audience is.
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Your target audience refers to the specific group of individuals who most likely are experiencing the pain points which your solution is addressing. They are usually categorized by behavioural and demographic attributes, such as age, gender, income, education, or localization.
Since these individuals most likely need your solutions, they are the group of people who should steadily see your marketing promotions and ad campaigns.
Steps to Finding Your Target Audience
There are various ways to identify and profile your ideal target audience. These steps range from market research to analysing the data you receive from consumer engagements, evaluating current buyers and purchase trends, and optimizing new information as they are revealed. Some of these key steps include;
- Conduct market research
To optimally serve and address the need of any market, you need a strong understanding of that market, and what better way to get this other than market research?
Market research is done both online and offline, in the end, it should identify the ideal location (local, national, or international) of your customers, their demographics (age, gender, occupation, income level, marital status), psychographics (values, hobbies, lifestyle, personality, attitude, behaviour), the industries they operate in (medical, accounting, lighting, non-profit), the market trends, economic shifts, etc. All these will broaden your understanding of your ideal customers and how best to address them.
2. Create Personas
Personas are fictional characters, which you create based on your research to represent the different user types that need your solution. Profiling your target audience based on persona will help in better identifying their unique needs, their interactions with your solution, and how best to channel your message to them to capture their interest to create a conversion.
3. Define Who Your Target Audience Isn’t
Defining who your target audience isn’t is just as important as identifying who they are. This step will help you focus your brand messaging to target only people who need your solution. For example, you sell knitted sweaters for female teens, your target audience isn’t all females, but female teens in cold and temperate regions where a product like yours is needed.
4. Analyse the Competition
A good way to identify your ideal target audience is to analyse your competition. Analyse those buying from them already, what demography do they fall in, what are their needs, are you meeting those needs better than the competition or are you even addressing it at all. Having this analysis will better help you to position either your solution to better meet the needs of your target audience, or change your messaging.
5. Analyse Your Customer Base
If your solution is already out in the market and you have customers paying for them, interview these individuals, give them surveys, analyse their responses and feedbacks to better know and understand them so that you can reach and address more people like them.
All of these simple actions if properly carried out, can help you efficiently identify your ideal target audience, increase sales, and can save your startup/business from being counted among the statistics for failed or failing startups.