5. Defining the target audience

In the previous chapter we have identified the potential customer’s need for our solution, mostly focusing on the ‘need’ part of that sentence. In this chapter, we shall focus on the first part ‘potential customer’. Who is this potential customer? To be able to reach them, we first need to be able to understand completely who it is that’s interested in our solution. Therefore we need to start with defining the target audience. To do so, I have set the following sub-components:

Who is the target audience?
Do they share similarities?
What are their drivers?
Why ‘your’ solution?

Who is the target audience?

So far we know that we have a solution and that there are people with a problem, and so we’re off to a great start. But what else do we know about our problem-having companions? Nothing. Hence, it is time for us to find out. Let’s start with the basics. What is the age range of our target audience? What is their gender? What are their characteristics? Do they have any hobbies? What do they like to do on the weekend? What websites do they like to visit? Are they into reading books or watching movies?
Try to answer all these questions and document them properly for your own business case. The answers to questions are valuable for usage in a later stage: reaching the target audience.

A target audience for our shoe company could be: Females within the age of 22-35 that are of a sporty nature. They like a challenge and have no intention of giving up before they’ve seen it through, they have a fighting spirit.

Do they share similarities?

Does our audience share certain characteristics? Or even better: Does our audience share a certain belief?

I suggest you create a survey for people who you believe are in your target audience. Send them all sorts of questions and in return give them a discount for your products (or ideally give them your products for *free*). This way you get the best available results from your exact target audience. We’ve previously discussed perceived value, well, how would you perceive the value of that specific feedback?

When we know which similarities are shared in our audience we can create a more personalized experience with better audience targeting. Which we will talk about in chapter 7.

*Nothing is ever completely free. Have you heard about Robert Cialdini before? He created the 7 factors of influence, one of those factors is reciprocity. I suggest you read more about it on his website.*

What are their drivers?

What motivates our audience to make decisions. In the last paragraph we briefly mentioned the word ‘belief’. Beliefs are the most important motivators/drivers we need to know and understand. Most people search for a brand who share their values and beliefs. For a company that does so they are willing to pay a higher amount compared to a company that doesn’t. 

Why ‘your’ solution?

Why should someone choose your solution instead of your competitor’s? One of the answers is presented in the mission and vision of your company, through which we went in chapter 3. Your target audience’s values and beliefs should be aligned with your company’s.

Is your solution in any way different than your competitors’ solution? Why is yours better? What are your Unique Selling Points (USPs)? Perhaps you deliver a better customer experience overall, or your price is simply more interesting.

Target audience defined

We have all the ingredients for defining our target audience, what motivates the audience and why they would choose your solution over the solution of a competitor. We now have a better understanding of our potential customer. What we need to do next, is to define how many of our potential customers there are in total. In other words, we have to define the market.

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