Why is your audience important?
Suppose you're a company that sells sporting equipment. Surely you're an expert on all things sports and, therefore, the equipment. Now suppose your customer is the parent of an athlete (sports are not in this child's genes) and is clearly not an expert on sporting equipment. Would they understand your website and marketing materials or would they run for the hills (aka a more comprehensive sporting equipment store)?
The worst thing to do as a business owner is to make assumptions about your target audience. Because you are an expert on your service and live it day-in and day-out, it makes it difficult to think outside of this reality. However, your target audience is guaranteed to be composed of nearly all non-experts. On the other hand, you can't assume that they know nothing either. So, how do you find the communication sweet-spot for your audience?
By analyzing your current audience, you can make decisions about reaching your target audience (those you may not be currently reaching, but want to). This involves an audience analysis, where you survey your audiences' demographic and psychographic through surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc. Another option is to use services like Quantcast, Alexa, or Google Trends to get reports about your website's visitors.
Here are some of the things you're looking for:
- geographic location
- socio-economic status
- education level
- family status
- ethnic background
Collecting and studying data from these analyses help you to throw those pesky assumptions about your audience out of the window and truly get to know them. Considering the data, are you reaching the audience you thought you were? Are there demographics that you'd still like to reach?
What happens next?
Now that you have your data and you've considered what it means, it's now time to take a step back. Look at your website and all of your marketing materials. Put yourself in the place of your target audience and note what changes you can make in order to reach them.
There is no clear answer as to how you can reach your target audience. Every business and every audience is different. What you can do is call in an expert, to help you asses your data and define your plan of action to reach that target audience. Dovetail is happy to help!