Driving down the streets of Munich, I looked ahead to see three vehicles in a row. It immediately had me thinking - what makes one car stand out from the rest when every car has a purpose?

Simple. The car that stands out is the one that is best suited to you as an individual. Not the person sitting beside you. But you.
How to define your target audience

Which brings me back to marketing basics. Having a well-defined target market is more important than ever before in 2012. Why? Because no-one can predict what the future may hold. The economy is volatile. Facebook listed at an exorbitant share price, only to be worth significantly less a week later. And who knows where technology is heading and how that will influence our buying decisions. I for one would never have predicted that a company like Instagram would be worth a billion dollars, but obviously someone else did. The future is uncertain to say the least, so every advantage a small business can muster, is one that we should exploit as buddying entrepreneurs and leaders of the future.

As a small business, being able to identify and clearly target a niche audience will allow you to compete head-to-head with your larger counterparts.

I can't begin to tell you how many first-meetings I have had with small business owners, whereby they have told me that 'everyone' is their target audience. That is complete bollocks! Seriously, how do you think you are going to be successful if you are trying to be everything to everyone. Do you really think that the most successful companies in the world have a target audience of 'everyone'? I don't think so. In fact, I know they don't. They work to their niche. Sure, this may be a very large audience, but without a doubt they know who their customers is, what they like and what they dislike. How much time they spend on Facebook, Twitter, mobile phones, shopping, at work etc.

By clearly defining your target audience, it is easier and more cost effective to market your business. You are able to more easily identify where and how to market your company; brand, product and/or service.

Here are some great tips to consider:

1. Define your target audience: By better understanding who your customers are, what characteristics they have and what is common amongst the majority - you will be able to better define your target audience.

2. Competition is key: Who are your competitors? Complete a comprehensive analysis of your top 3 competitors; what they look like, how they market their business, who their customers are, why customers choose them over your company, what service/product ranges do they offer etc.

3. Do a demographic analysis of your customers; Include their age, geographic location, interests, gender, occupation, ethnic background, income etc.

4. Complete a psychological overview of your target audience; What is their personality, attitudes, values, hobbies, behaviour etc

5. Evaluate; Work out the best your competitors have to offer and marry that with the customer profile you already have and the direction you would like your business to take. Write down your target audience and put an overview of this on every person's desk from your receptionist through to your senior managers and mail room.

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

4 comments

  • Zora
    Zora
    26/09/13

    What's up to all, it's in fact a pleasant for me to pay a quick visit this web page, it includes priceless Information.

  • Kathryn Wilson
    Kathryn Wilson
    05/06/12

    From a recent graduate propective i am glad to see that all the theory i have learnt about analysing your competition etc is highly applicable in the real working world, and will help your company to be successful or at least on the right pathway.

  • Leo
    Leo
    04/06/12

    Defining the target audience is one of the main characteristics in a marketing strategy. Indeed there are many businesses which have a lack of knowledge about their target groups or they believe they well defined them but they are not aware their environment has changed.

  • Sandra
    Sandra
    01/06/12

    The successful businesses are the ones that have defined their target audience and know their competition. It will help them create marketing strategies which are specific to their audience which will then turn into sales. e.g. it will be advantageous if you know that your customers are interested in sports, that way you can market your product at sporting events or magazines.

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