Do You Know Your Audience?

Knowing your audience is critical to any business’s success.  I was reminded of that this past week when my daughter and I were running errands around town and a custom-painted iridescent purple Lamborghini Urus SUV pulls up next to us at a stop light. I made a comment about the sweet ride and my daughter replied she would much rather have her (“new to her”) Camry. 

Ironically, the SUV behind it was a red Mercedes G Class SUV, which prompted another adulating comment about the G-550 and she replies, “That’s a Mercedes? I thought that was one of those (Nissan) Cubes!” Probably not a comparison the owner would find flattering!   

In less than 30 seconds, my individual sample study, confirmed the preference of her 4-door sedan over these luxury SUV’s with starting MSRP’s of $222K and $130K respectively! The point of the story is, I hope Lamborghini and Mercedes are not marketing their Urus and G-Class SUVs to the average college female, the ROI would not be good. At least from my vantage point, even without the hefty window stickers, that demographic does not appear to be part of the target audience!

Knowing and identifying your target audience is important. And though you would think every business would intentionally evaluate this on regular basis, the reality is many businesses still take the approach of throwing spaghetti at a wall. If you throw enough, some is bound to stick! There is no real strategy behind what they are doing.

Demographics and Psychographics

But where to you start if you don’t want to be cast a wide net and just see what you get? A great discussion is defining the demographics and psychographics of your current customer base. If the product is new, defining these are a little speculative, but the exercise is the still the same. 

Demographics is simply a slice of the population. Who is the ideal customer for your product of service?  Factors like….

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Marital Status
  • Location (can be separate geographics)
  • Level of Education
  • Income level

Psychographics isn’t quite as easy to determine. They are more defined more by personalities and opinions than something you can capture from a statistic. Examples would include things like

  • Beliefs
  • Lifestyle
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Personality Traits
  • Values  

Trimming the vine….

Once you have defined the demographics and psychographics, you will need to make some tough decisions. You will need to trim the vine, a term Mike Michalowicz used in The Pumpkin Plan. It’s recognizing that you can not be all things to all people.  

Believe it or not, even basics like bottled water are more likely to be sold to consumers with a specific demographic and psychographic. What that means is even though every consumer in the US is likely to buy bottled water at some point, there is a specific group that tends to buy more.      

What we recommend is trying to narrow your focus down to 2 or 3 characteristics you have identified during the demographic and psychographic exercise. It will provide clarity in crafting a marketing message that speaks to a specific group. If you have a marketing budget or you’re planning to invest in online marketing, it allows you to target your message instead of wasting valuable dollars sharing your message with people who have little or no chance of ever buying your product or service.

Don’t be afraid to trim the vine. You can always redirect marketing efforts later. The purpose of knowing your audience is that you’re marketing to the segment of the population that is most likely to buy your product or service. Plus, thanks to powerful digital marketing tools and the ability to leverage SEO, interested consumers you have not identified in your sweet spot are still likely to find you as google processes over 3.5 billion searches submitted every day.

What do you think? Do you know the demographics and psychographics of your ideal customers? Have you done this exercise before? If you have products or services targeted to different audiences are you customizing efforts to reach them? Between a Urus, a G-550, and a Camry, what would you prefer (cost not being an issue)?

As always, we value your comments in the space below.   

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach

4 thoughts on “Do You Know Your Audience?”

  1. macy steinlage says:

    wow thats yikes about ur daughter… imagine not knowing the difference between a nissan and a mercedes 😔😳

    1. Chris Steinlage says:

      He is proud of her for what she does know the difference between.

  2. RT says:

    Does she have sweat equity in that Camry?
    Can I marry her off to my son?

    1. C. Steinlage says:

      Q #1: Yes she does.
      Q #2: Ha! Ha!

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