Defining Your Audience

“Many organizations will take any customer, any time, and bend and writhe to accommodate money in whatever form it arrives. Other, happier organizations understand the benefit of optimizing for a certain kind of interaction, and they have the guts to decline the part of the market that doesn't want to use their tool/organization the way it was intended.” -- Seth Godin

We recently talked about answering the question “Why are we here?” We believe there’s great value in having an internal sense of purpose. But once you have defined that internally, it’s time to look outward. You can have great vision and passion, but if you aren’t reaching the right people, it will all go to waste.

With each new client, we always start with our Discovery Phase. This helps us learn exactly where you are coming from so that we can create a product that reflects your goals while speaking to your desired audience.  It’s in this sweet spot of coupling purpose and audience that your message will shine.

A clearly defined audience will not only drive the product and content you, as a brand, create for them, but it will help you more specifically target those people so that they are driven to pursue your company. This allows you to tailor your messaging to build a more meaningful connection between you and them. Product and marketing both hinge on this definition.

So, ask yourself, who are these people? Create demographic breakdowns of the types of people you are most trying to reach. Hone in on the age range, education levels or careers, location, and anything else that helps you pinpoint the type of person you are targeting. Maybe you have one very specific person in mind, or maybe it’s a couple of different types of people---either way, give yourself a tight focus. As long as you know who they are, you have a launching point.

From there, ask yourself what are my goals in reaching these people? What problem or situation in their life are you speaking to through your messages or products? Are you a coffee shop looking to attract trendy college students? Are you offering a cleaning product, career guidance or financial advising? Find the problem in their lives that you’re targeting and connect that with what you have to offer.

Sometimes you’ll know the answers to these questions simply by the nature of your brand’s vision or product. Other times you need to hit the streets and talk to actual people who meet your criteria and find out exactly what it is they need and want. Then, put it down on paper. Take the time to actually write out audience profiles so that you have a tangible statement to go back to, something through which to filter your goals and actions.

By connecting your target demographic with what you can offer them or want to do for them, you’ll find that you suddenly have a clearly defined path on which to reach those people.