Know your audience: The importance of understanding your target market

Tue 1 Dec 2020

A well-crafted advertising strategy can work wonders, but all the creativity and innovation in the world is worth nothing if you miss the mark where target audience and market is concerned. A target market includes customers, suppliers and even competitors, and as well as delivering a strategy that succeeds, you need to understand why it works in order to evolve and apply it to future growth and development in your field.

Identifying target market may inform the product/service itself  

Target market and the product or service you’re selling can be a bit of a chicken and egg situation; you can’t really have one without simultaneously thinking about the other. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of having a one-track-mind, becoming caught up in the wonder of their product and not thinking about who might buy it, or where or how it might sell.

Having an idea of who your product will appeal to, even in the very early stages of creation, is vital to its success. At every stage of working on its development, a thought should also be given to the bigger picture of who, where, and how so that your advertising strategy becomes a natural part of the process.  

Knowing where to find your audience

Understanding who your target market includes will inform where you promote your business. For example, 30% of Instagram users are between 25-34 years old; with this in mind, it’s unlikely that you’ll be using the platform to market meals on wheels.

With a myriad of online spaces to promote products and services (along with non-interactive materials like magazines and billboards), researching where best to place your campaign is directly interwoven into researching your audience. As you plan out your advertising campaign, consider how and where your audience will be consuming your promotion. 

Knowledge of target market for future growth

So you know how your target audience is consuming your ads and you’ve shifted a few units of your product. Now that you’ve collated evidence of buying patterns and age, gender, and location demographics, your next campaign can be twice as successful. With tools such as Google AdWords at your disposal, you can use this data to better anticipate future buying habits. For example, if your product sold particularly well in the South-West of the UK the first time you released it onto the market, you can focus more advertising resources on this area the second time around. 

The part-time online MA in Advertising Strategy & Planning at Falmouth University is taught by industry experts and has a global reputation. Structure your time as you wish and benefit from diverse and detailed online resources. 

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