Identifying and understanding your target audience are two different things. As a business, you can know who your target audience is, but still have an unclear understanding of what their needs are and how to properly engage them with your content and products or services. Getting to know your target audience is essential to your overall success as a business, and if you do not get to know them, you are unable to properly target them with your branding and marketing efforts – resulting in little to no brand awareness and market perception.
There is a such thing as negative audience engagement, and if you are unable to accurately target your audience you run the risk of falling into the wrong crowd who will give your brand little or negative results when it comes to ROIs and lead generation. To avoid mistargeting your audience, and ensure that you practice successful audience engagement, we have hand selected five questions to ask your current and potential customers to make sure that you are getting the essential information from your target audience.
1. What Need Are They Looking to Fill?
The first question you must ask your target audience when getting to know them is plain and simple: what need are they looking to fill? Before you can decide if they are a potential customer for your business and what you have to offer, you must know what they need.
Whether you offer products or services – or both – in order to be a part of your target audience, they have to have some sort of interest in what you have to offer. For example, as a B2B manufacturing marketing and branding firm, we offer solutions for manufacturing companies that are looking to boost their brand success and grow their business. One of our customers, Global American, a well-known embedded computer hardware manufacturer, needed an improved lead generation strategy and a boosted online brand awareness status. Immediately, you can make the connection between what they need as a company and what Millennium offers to clients – Global American is a prime example of a member of the Millennium target audience. By asking potential customers and audience members what need they are looking to fill by partnering with your brand, allows both you and the customer to determine whether or not you are a good fit for one another.
If you determine that your products or services do indeed meet your audience’s needs, you must continue to refine the criteria that define this audience to get the most accurate and clear understanding of who your optimal target audience is.
2. What is Their Current Situation?
The key to understanding your target audience is being knowledgeable about their past and current industry partnerships. Who have they given their business to in the past? How did their decision work out compared to what they expected? You want to know the details of what has worked for them in the past and what has not, this gives you a better idea of how you can secure their business for a long-term partnership that is successful on both ends.
Knowing which competitors they have previously done business with is important to understanding how to engage with them, because it gives you a clear picture of what types of marketing strategies they respond best to. Additionally, knowing who your target audience has worked with in the past establishes the standards that you have to exceed to win over their business and turn their engagement into actual leads. Once you have a clear picture of who they have a history of doing business with and what drew them there, you can begin to dive deeper into their priorities and specific requirements.
3. What Are Their Priorities?
Your target audiences’ priorities should be your priorities and understanding what they value can connect them with your brand on a deeper level. For example, as woman-owned branding and marketing firm, we appeal to businesses who are committed to supporting and partnering with companies that are woman owned. Other examples of causes that your target audience may prioritize can include sustainability or environmentally friendly initiatives, human rights activism, giving back to the community, and more. Research has shown that consumers are four to six times more likely to choose a company with a strong purpose and clear priorities.
Understanding what your target audiences’ priorities are is key to understanding how to engage them and maintain their business. Regularly generating awareness around the initiatives and causes that you support or identify with showcases to your audience that you both care about the same issues and lets them know what you are doing to combat it and further invites them to “join the cause.” Sharing priorities when it comes to taking a stance on important causes and issues unites your brand with your target audience and establishes an inherently positive connection.
4. What Are Their Set Requirements?
Understanding the standards and requirements of your target audience is essential to determining how you can help them. Every customer will be different, but before getting too far into the client relationship, you want to make sure that their budget, timeline, and the scale of their needs is deliverable on your end. Often, clients approach businesses with a budget, a deadline, and a dream, and all too often all three are not complementary with one another. Taking the time to ask your target audience what their typical goals, budgets, and timelines are gives you a better idea of what to expect from your customers and allows you to tailor your services and products to meet their specific standards.
Getting to know your target audiences’ requirements helps you better serve them in an optimal way. Understanding your audiences’ budget constraints, project scale, company goals, and timelines gives you the knowledge you need to successfully engage with them and get their attention. From there you can tailor your offerings to meet their specific needs within their specific standards, turning their interest into leads.
5. How Do They Communicate and Receive Information?
The final piece of the puzzle when getting to know your target audience is understanding how they communicate, or more specifically how they receive and interact with information. You cannot reach your brand’s target audience if you are reaching out in the wrong way. This is where the importance of data analytics comes in, because it allows you to record and analyze the data of which social media apps your current and potential customers tend to favor, how responsive they are to email marketing, and even how they view and engage with your advertisements.
This is where it becomes helpful to collaborate with an experienced marketing firm, because they have the background knowledge of your niche industry to establish your presence on the right communication platforms. From there, they can use data analytics to determine what works best and what doesn’t. This could mean increasing your social media and overall digital presence and cutting back on physical mailers, or maybe pausing your email marketing and boosting your paid advertisements – either way you need to understand how best to communicate with your target audience. Once you understand how your target audience communicates, you can establish a successful marketing plan that not only reaches them, but successfully engages them and converts them to a long-term customer. You cannot succeed if you cannot properly reach your customers – current and potential.
Get Set Up for Long Term Success
When you have a genuine understanding of your target audience, generating business and engaging with current and potential customers is simple. You cannot expect to understand your target audience overnight, but with these five leading questions you can get to the root of who your target audience is, what their needs are, and how you can engage them successfully. Although you can dive deep into your target audiences on your own or with an internal team, enlisting the help of an experienced B2B marketing and strategy firm that is well versed in targeting niche manufacturing and tech industries will increase the level of success you have. They not only help you understand your target audience, but they can also set up a marketing plan for your business that establishes a successful engagement campaign that draws in new leads while maintaining current customers’ satisfaction.
If you are interested in getting to know your target audience better, connect with the experts at Millennium Agency to revolutionize the way you engage with your customers and generate leads.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a nationally recognized, top woman led B2B branding, positioning, and digital marketing firm who knows how to create value that emotionally influences your customer’s buying decision, giving you the competitive advantage. As your trusted partner in B2B software technology and manufacturing, we provide the branding and positioning framework that make an impact – so you can focus on what you do best – run your business successfully. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, and a worldwide presence, the professionals at Millennium Agency would like to learn more about your business. Visit www.mill.agency or book time here.