When asked who they’re targeting, it’s not uncommon for a business owner to say, “Well, everyone”. I mean, why would you want to leave anybody out and risk missing out on clientele? I get it, it’s tempting. But the reality is, the risks that come with targeting everyone are far worse.

If your target audience is everybody, it’s nobody.

Here’s why: if you target everyone, you’re basically telling the world that your product or service appeals to nobody in particular. Stay away from vague. Stay away from generic.

No surprise here, but different people like, want, and need different things.

“Everyone is not your customer.”
–Seth Godin

Keep it defined.

Companies who focus on defined targeting show improved sales. And companies who invest in learning more about their audiences show improved sales.

The more defined your target market is, the better you can reach your ideal customer. How amazing is it to get to choose who your customers are, find them online, and make them notice you? So, I recommend spending quite a bit of time thinking about who your ideal customer is and why. What services are they interested in? How old are they? Where do they live? How much do they make?

This should drive your targeting.

Get to know who you want to target – really, really, well. When you zone in on a defined audience, you’ll be able to come across with clarity and purpose. You can tailor your messaging specifically to your audience. Because when you target everyone, it muddles your message.

 

Segment if needed.

If you’re thinking, “OK, but my audience is too big to be this specific, this isn’t going to work” – that’s fine. Sometimes with larger target audiences (and even small ones), we do this thing called segmenting. It allows us to split our target market into different groups (or segments) based on certain characteristics.

Let’s say you run an interior design firm. You may need to segment your audience into commercial and residential client groups.

Or maybe you run a bookstore, and you have a lot of different genres. Maybe you need to segment your audience into young adult, older adult and kids.

You can go even deeper than that. Maybe within the older adults, there are the ones who shop often and enjoy it, and the ones who shop only when they need to. So now you’ve got active shoppers and practical shoppers within the older adults segment,

See how specific you can get? This is how you connect with the people who will engage the most with your business.

It’s better to reach 200 people and have 40 buy your product then to reach 10,000 people and have 10 buy your product.

So who’s your target audience?

 

 

Kate Bourque is a branding and web specialist in Ottawa, Canada with a background in design. She’s passionate about brand psychology and why we buy. 

 

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