Identifying, understanding and targeting the right audience for your product or service is key for a business-to-consumer company to be successful. However, the group B2C company leaders think is their target audience may not actually be the primary consumers of their product.
This misunderstanding can be especially prevalent in B2C startups — entrepreneurs often focus first on what they do rather than who, specifically, will most value or benefit from it. Further, your customer base is unlikely to remain static. As your business grows and your offerings expand or change, your customer base may evolve accordingly.
Defining your target audience is an ongoing effort for every B2C company. It’s a process that not only drives marketing and outreach but also product development, customer service and more. If you’re searching for ways to define the core customer base for your B2C business, leverage these six strategies shared by the members of Business Journals Leadership Trust.
1. Ask them directly.
There’s no better way to understand your core audience than to ask them directly. Identify and survey customers who have left positive reviews for your business to understand their background, pain points and experience — this will help you build a “sweet spot” persona. By engaging your brand advocates, you can build brand evangelists and gain a deeper understanding of your audiences. – Melea McRae, Crux KC
2. Conduct in-depth market research.
Research, report and rapidly respond. There are many custom research houses, universities and agency options. Ensuring the data is gathered and shared in a timely fashion is very important. If you slip past 30 days, the market could change again. – Donna Michaels, LMGPR
3. Track competitors’ sales.
Tracking the sales of competitors can help you learn about the audience you should focus on. It will also help you distinguish your brand from theirs and create a certain presence in the market. If a competitor is doing well, try to identify their pros and cons and develop solutions that address what they aren’t offering. This process will automatically land you the audience you’ve been looking for. – Alina Clark, CocoDoc
4. Track down brand advocates and influencers.
There’s no substitute for research. Have your team go to where sales are happening and speak with customers. Create a profile of a typical buyer; putting a name and face to data helps keep everyone focused. Perhaps most important, consider who the third-party advocates and social influencers for your products and services are. They’re often the best source of future revenue and feedback. – John Palter, Palter Sims Martinez PLLC
5. Take a ‘boots on the ground’ approach.
Question, ask and question. A “boots on the ground” approach will likely reveal your true audience and uncover their problems and pain points. There are never too many questions — just too few answers. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management
6. Do an ROI analysis.
Do an ROI analysis to make sure that your target audience is indeed the audience that is purchasing your product, not just those who are clicking through without taking final action. Ensure you are spending any paid marketing on the audience that generates ROI. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising