The importance of target markets in marketing
Yes, we know that you thought you were done with homework, but here we are, well into adulthood, doing precisely that – more homework. In the world of marketing, or at least the successful kind, experts in the field love to rely on pure data in order to devise a strategy that will ultimately help the right people reach the right brands. Whether this data comes in the form of graphs, numbers, stats, or charts, it doesn’t really matter as long as it helps your business know who they're talking to and how they’ll successfully start a meaningful conversation with their audience. Enter: your homework on your target audience.
Herein lies the rub: target markets are fickle little creatures. They, much like their human members, change their needs, opinions, and preferences. That's why marketing is more of an art than an exact science, but most of all, it is meant to be an ongoing effort so that you can collect impactful information as it changes and fuel your marketing efforts with it. Here’s why you should look forward to your marketing homework.
Spotting that market gap
Knowing your target market is one piece of the puzzle, but using that knowledge to innovate is an entirely different issue. In fact, some brands can go their entire lifetime without bringing anything new to the table (or the kitchen cupboard, for that matter), but most novel companies need to update and upgrade their offers to stay interesting to their target audience.
This becomes tricky if your target market is, let’s say, almost half the population: women. There’s only so much you can do with selling feminine hygiene products. But then there are brands such as Thinx who have turned an ordinary pair of underwear into a period-friendly garment. While not every brand needs to invent the Tesla of knickers, you can and should fuel your innovation efforts by constantly learning more about your target market.
Getting in front of the right people
Would you ever waste your time selling dog food to a parrot owner? Hopefully not. However, pouring your marketing funds into haphazard ads and being everywhere is the equivalent of that very decision. Refining your brand visibility means increasing your chances of reaching the right people in the right places when they can truly benefit from your brand – and you need target market knowledge for that.
Knowing your target market means not only reaching the most qualified of leads that will hopefully transform into loyal customers, but also finding the right talent for your business. Agencies that offer disability employment services, for example, help people with disabilities find the right employer as well as companies in need of reinforcement. That narrows down their target markets to two very niche segments, employers who are looking to diversify their teams, and people with disabilities in need of a job.
Now, in addition to saving your brand reputation by not selling dog food to parrot owners, there’s yet another perk of purpose-driven marketing: smart budget allocation, also known as saving money. Every marketing project comes with a price tag. Even if it’s a free Facebook post that will end up inspiring dozens of comments and shares, you still need to pay a social media manager who will happily turn those comments and shares into a two-way street of proper engagement, and possibly even convert them into buyers.
If your target audience is not on Facebook, it would make sense to build your brand’s nest elsewhere and reinvest the cash into other marketing avenues. Whether your target audience spends their time on other social media platforms or they’re famous for shopping directly from e-commerce stores, you need to know where to pour and where to pull your budget.
Inspiring greater loyalty
Knowledge is the only asset you have that can turn an ordinary blog post into an inspiring piece to deliver greater engagement, which will in turn inspire more loyalty down the road. Do you know what your target audience values the most, which beliefs they share, their concerns and issues, and how you fit into that picture? Excellent! Use it to give your brand presence a unique vibe, so that you slowly convert one-time buyers into people who genuinely resonate with your brand values.
This knowledge lets you refine your communication with them, use different language, customise your offers, and ultimately fulfill your purpose as a brand while you retain a unique voice to distinguish yourself among your competitors.
Don’t let your brand stay in the shadows of the modern market, do your homework, and use it wisely. It will help you gain more visibility as well as customer love, so it truly pays to harness the right knowledge for your marketing escapades.