After determining that you have a good idea and there is a market for your new business, the next step is defining your target audience. You can’t be all things to all people, so determining who you want to attract and how you will engage your target customer is critical. By focusing on a defined target market, you have the ability to focus your messaging and marketing budget to best engage the market that is most likely to purchase from you.

  1. Analyze the features and benefits of your product/service

First, come up with a list of all of the features of your product or service. Examples of features include elements such as: elegantly designed, simple to use, produced in bright colours, promise to return customer calls within 4 hours, etc. Next to each feature, identify the benefit it delivers to a customer. For example; a simple to operate tablet enables a fast learning curve and ensures the user optimizes its capabilities.


  1. For whom are you solving a problem

Once the features and benefits of your new product or service are defined, you have the makings of a competitive advantage. Your competitive advantage as a new product or service is the ability to solve a problem:

  1. That isn’t currently being solved for
  2. In a way that is differentiated from your competition and appealing to a defined target audience

Who would most appreciate the benefits that your product or service features deliver? Start thinking about what this person ‘looks like’.


  1. Demographics of your Target Audience

In defining your target audience, think about the demographics of the person that would find value in the benefits your product or service delivers. Audience demographics include:

  • Age
  • Geographic region
  • Education
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Marital or Family status
  • Ethnic or Cultural background


  1. Psychographics of your Target Audience

Target market psychographics are in many ways more important than the demographics of your audience, as these are the attitudes and beliefs that shape similarities in purchase behaviour within a group. Audience psychographics include:

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Belief systems
  • Hobbies
  • Lifestyle


  1. Understand where your target audience seeks information and how they want to be engaged

To effectively access and optimize returns with your target market, you need to understand where and how they want to be engaged. Seek to understand what media channels they turn to and the style and tone of messaging that will most appeal to your target. Mechanisms to gather this learning include:

  • Gathering insights from research firms such as Nielsen and Gallup who frequently publish general research
  • Conducting internet searches on the media habits of your target consumer
  • Conducting primary research using your own polls/surveys
  • Testing various messages on the same channel and with the same target audience to determine which messages resonate best

There is no perfect formula for defining and engaging your target consumer. You will always need to test and refine the channels and messages you leverage, but the more you know and understand your target audience, the more effective your marketing dollars will be. Next Monday TACK10 will address how to optimize available advertising channels.