The first step in creating any business is to define the target group. This is because it determines the company’s marketing tactics, from the type and form of content to choosing the right channel to reach your audience, resulting in the successful sale of your product.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- how to define your target group,
- how to create a target group for your company effectively,
- how to make your audience stay with you longer.
What is a target group?
Are target group, target audience, and target market synonyms? Before getting to the point, let’s make sure we all know what we are talking about. The term ‘target group’ refers to people with things in common. They often have similar ages, lifestyles, and ways of thinking. Such people find identical values in your company.
However, the term ‘target audience’ refers to a broader group of people that gathers all target groups into one. Those people are not identical, but all find value in your work that makes them want to use your offer.
‘Target market’ is the tactic you adopt to successfully respond to your target group or audience’s needs and wants.
Now that we’ve understood what a target group is, let’s get into the actionable tips for defining a target group.
Define the right target group
The first step in reaching your target group is identifying who they are. With the correct arguments, you can convince them to buy. Some entrepreneurs assume in advance who their customers are, but, in practice, it turns out that this doesn’t always reflect reality.
There are three types of mistakes you should not make when defining your target audience:
- The first one is building a product without first establishing the target group. Failure to determine for whom the product is created is due to ignorance of who might be interested in it. Entrepreneurs do not know how to communicate it skilfully and where to reach potential customers.
- The second mistake is building a product without first presenting the idea to the target group. This means there’s no testing phase and no possibility to improve the product based on feedback. As a result, nobody finds interest in the product.
- The third mistake: The target group analysis was not sufficiently established. Your message did not reach the right target group in the first place.
Do audience research
The importance of personas
So how do you find and define the right target group? Whether you’re running a small blog about your hobby or a vast company – you want to create an analysis of:
- users’ behavior on social media,
- competitors’ customers
- your existing customers.
This will help you create different personas representing your target groups.
“Sometimes we adopt a rather wishful than realistic approach to target groups. Working on personas helps to make our expectations more down-to-earth. When building a strategy for new clients, it is crucial to examine their actual problems and needs, as well as the way their solution addresses and solves those needs and problems,” says Zuzanna Szybisty, Managing Partner at Profeina, Enterie’s Polish partner agency.
Technology comes to the rescue
Once you have finished the pre-analysis, it is a good idea to list a few characteristics of each persona and make descriptions of them. If you don’t know your audience well and don’t want to use the help of a professional agency, the Persona app is a solution. It will ask you a series of supportive questions to help to determine what is essential.
After creating your personas, think about how you can make it easier for each model person to receive your content and make them want your service.
The most valuable insight
Demographics are one of the most critical metrics to understand when assessing your community (or your competition).
It helps to understand what makes your community unique, why it’s important to target them, and what you can do to connect with them. It will make you reflect on understanding your community’s current customers and how they use your product or service.
One of the basic but most valuable tools for tracking demographics is to plug a free Google Analytics tool into your website. This will give you an insight look into your audiences, such as:
- the place of residence,
- gender and age,
- shopping preferences.
Get inspired by your competitors and their audiences
Studying your competitors gives valuable information on tactics that work on their audiences. It helps to come up with conclusions you can apply to your business. And, possibly, give you new insights on how to get their customers to want your service.
You can find valuable information on your competitors by researching their social media, press releases and websites.
Is your target group already determined? Great! Now make your audience stay with you for longer
Explore the purchase behavior
Gathering information on buyers’ purchase behaviour is one of the most effective ways of gaining knowledge. Knowledge on how much they are willing to spend, what they buy, and when they buy.
This will provide information on when and how to promote your product or service.
The marketing strategy
Consumers continue to get more demanding in their expectations for product experiences and value. They’re also becoming more sensitive to brand messaging, forcing brands and retailers to rethink their customer communications strategy.
Creating customized content for various platforms is one way to reach consumers’ evolving expectations for product experiences.
Creating content optimized for social media, such as videos, photos, and other formats can help increase your brand’s messaging reach.
“One should consider whether social media is relevant, if so which platforms and in which language. Overall, it is vital when communicating with different markets that the messaging is factual, culturally sensitive, focused and succinct, relevant, and above all newsworthy,” comments Nathalie Visele, Director and Co-founder of Shamal Communications, Enterie’s partner in Dubai and the entire GCC region.
“Never forget that less is more – don’t ramble or overload information, otherwise key messages can be lost, and finally, remember you are writing to gain the editor’s interest, not direct to your target market. The old adage still rings true, marketing sells, PR tells – messaging should be credible not subjective.”
Creating content optimized for print, such as written content, press releases, and other forms, can help improve the relevance of your brand’s communications. Both types of content – for social media and traditional media – can help build your brand’s reputation as a thought leader in your industry. It will help you attract new customers and keep the present ones.
Not only the product
The approach, or how you communicate with your customers, is just as important as the product itself.
Different methods can work well in different cultures and will often depend on the part of the country where the potential customer is located. The best way to expand your reach internationally is to ask a PR agency as they know how to approach new customers, following the area’s culture.
“Although the main geographical targets tend to be Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, it is not unusual for our clients to target all six GCC countries, including Kuwait, Bahrain & Oman,” says Visele, and adds:
“In our region, for instance, the first consideration should be how the messaging needs to be presented to suit both Arabic and English-speaking audiences. Wherever possible, through research, try and adapt the messaging making it relevant to each specific market underscoring the relevance of the key messages and adding value for the local media outlets. Targeting the right media is also essential, depending on demographics, such as age, gender, culture, this helps to build a good relationship with individual journalists and influencers.”
Stay in touch with your audience
It’s also worth surveying and asking your audience straightforwardly about their opinions in all the stages of their engagement.
Suppose you have already built an engaged community on social media. In that case, the easiest way to get feedback will be through dedicated features, i.e. questions or polls on Meta apps like Facebook and Instagram.
If you are just starting your business, encourage people to leave a review in a dedicated area on your website or via e-mail.
Feedback is one of the best ways to learn more about your community. Studying people’s responses is necessary to get to know your existing customers.
Considering all these techniques when identifying the key information about your present and potential customers is essential. Such an approach will give you a more comprehensive perspective when verifying ideas and motives.
Defining your target group is not only a checkpoint to be ticked off when creating a business. It is crucial in determining whether or not your business will succeed. Knowing how to approach your target group will help create an involved and robust community around your brand.
Do you think your target group is not properly defined? Or maybe you’d like to redetermine it with the help of a professional PR agency in each market your brand is present in? Contact us and we’ll do our best to help you!
About the authors:
Joanna Broniewska – PR specialist, journalist, and cultural anthropologist. Associate at Enterie.
Sophie Peck – Contributor of our blog, researcher, and Public Relations Intern at Enterie.