Sounds easy right? Just work out who your target audience are and then target them.
But for some businesses they either don’t know who their main target audience are or they don’t want to accept the most obvious audience and are perhaps aspiring to target a different group entirely. There’s no shame in creating a market for a less prestigious sector or demographic. As long as they are paying customers that’s all that really matters.
A great example of this is the television programme The Hotel on Channel 4 which is about The Grosvenor hotel in Torquay.
The Hotel provides wonderful entertainment due to its inept general manager Mark and his ever more random attempts to increase revenues for his business. But, interestingly, it also provides an insightful lesson in understanding target audiences. To the outsider it is perfectly obvious who the target audience are for The Grosvenor, and they can be easily profiled. However, Mark thinks that by targeting a more affluent demographic it will bring much needed funds into the hotel. But what Mark has failed to realise that although the demographic he would like to have stay at his hotel has more money to spend, they would most likely choose not to return or not stay there in the first place.
Basically, he is barking up the wrong tree. They may have more money, but he is wasting previous funds on trying to market to them and cater to them specifically. And all the time right under his nose is the obvious: the target audience who don’t mind that the hotel is a bit haphazard and that the staff are a bit lacking in 5* professionalism. They like the fact that the hotel is more low-cost family style than it is boutique London style and also its location in the so called ‘English Riviera’.
Instead of wasting money chasing the folks that read The Guardian and The Telegraph, who Mark perceives to be ‘posh’, to empty their bulging wallets, he instead needs to focus on the customers who are going to come back time and time again. That is how he will build sustainability.
But how do we apply all of that to b2b marketing? Well, it is pretty straightforward. To know the needs of your audience you must first know and fully understand your product and/or service, and also to know why and how it appeals to a certain group of people: your target audience. And once you know who that audience are then you can concentrate your efforts on marketing to them in a way that will appeal to their needs and wants.
The Key Factors For Establishing Your Target Audience:
Work out who it most benefits or helps
Understand who those people are – what they would like to hear about
Find out what their business pains are and work out how you can resolve them – then you can articulate that to them through your marketing campaigns
Find out their needs and wants
Analyse and measure results for each campaign and message
Adapt your profiling and targeting according to feedback and analysis
After working out who your target audience are you can then tailor your marketing efforts accordingly. Gone are the days of the scatter-gun approach. You need to be focused and reach out to your audience with your marketing as if you are dealing with each of them personally. It all takes more effort, but the rewards will be reaped in the long run.