How to target your audience on a budget doesn’t need to be complicated. “Target Audience” has become one of those marketing terms that many use and few can consistently define. It has taken on multiple meanings, and businesspeople bandy it around like it was the panacea to all their business woes. So, what is a target audience?

“A target audience is a group of people that products, services, or marketing efforts are aimed toward, typically defined by traits like age, gender, income, interests, challenges, and goals. Targeting the right audiences can help you reduce costs and increase conversions.” — Semrush – What is a Target Audience? 

If only we could pinpoint our target audience—you know, demographics and stuff. Conversely, some marketers have made it so complicated that only those trained in esoteric analytics (such as the service they offer for a fee) can understand it. If you have the means to hire one of these gurus, go for it, but if not, let’s try a simplified approach.

How to Target Your Audience on a Budget

Define the Problems You Solve

Who do you help, and how do you help them? Too often, when companies look for their target audience, they focus on the features of their product or service. Forget about the features; how does your product benefit the client? What does it do for them? When you can answer that, you’ll know who needs your product.

“Market the solution, not the product. Most people search for solutions to their problems rather than products. If people can’t see how their problems could be solved by what you’re providing, you may be wasting your time and resources.” — Are You Selling the Benefits of Your Product?

Describe Your Perfect Customer

Once you know whose problems you solve, you can better an understand who they are. For example, a residential heating and air conditioning provider that offers 24-hour service solves the problem of a furnace dying at the stroke of midnight, in the middle of winter, on Sunday.

Obviously, homeowners are a target audience, but what else can we learn? What are the statistics for the life expectancy of HVAC equipment? According to this Frigidaire study, the average life of a furnace is 20 years, air conditioning 16 years, and a heat pump lasts on average 14 years. Homeowners with a 14 to 20-year-old home are a target audience.

“A great first step in figuring out who most wants to buy from you is to identify who is already using your products or services. Once you understand the defining characteristics of your existing customer base, you can go after more people like that.” — Hootsuite — What Is a Target Market (And How to Find Yours in 2023)

What’s Your Niche?

The answers to these four questions will help you define your target audiences.

  • What are you great at?
  • What sets you apart?
  • What’s your expertise?
  • What can you do better than anyone else?

This Isn’t Target Practice

Yes, this isn’t target practice, or better yet, it’s not fishing. You’re not just throwing a line in the water to see what bites, are you? Because if you are, that’s not a plan. That’s a hope. You need to understand your target audience, know what problems you solve, and who has those problems before a plan can be made. Once you know that, you’re on your way. Of course, the next step is reaching them, but that’s another post.

Are You In Sales Management? 

Are you leading people or managing projects? Do you set goals based on activities to continue, eliminate, or improve, or do you strictly look at the results? Do you believe one sales strategy fits all your clients and sales team? If so, you’re walking the streets I paved, and those streets lead to disappointment. The good news is if you recognize these behaviors in yourself, you can change. I did. I eventually became a highly effective sales manager, and so can you. This workbook is a good place to start. The New Sales Managers Workbook

If you enjoyed this post, you might also appreciate How to Recognize Your Competitive Advantage.

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