Defining your dream audience
“Here’s £10, now please clear off”.
When I was growing up my mum & dad used to have a small-holding, and for a while, they had a couple of animals who became unlikely friends.
In addition to a German shepherd dog called Rolf, and a stray cat affectionately known as “stinker”, they had a nanny goat and a gander and these two became inseparable.
One year when my parents went away on vacation I was left to look after the house, and the small-holding, and the animals; and that meant that I also had to milk the goat every morning.
To do that, first I had to distract the gander so that he wouldn’t attack me while I was milking the goat, then I had to entice the goat into her pen in such a way that she would stand still for a while and wouldn’t kick the milk bucket over or stand in it, and I think that’s probably when I learned my first lesson about Defining your Target Audience.
People are becoming increasingly intolerant to businesses without a purpose.
~ Jane Finette, (Mozilla)
Before I could start the milking process I had to use a particular product that was designed specifically for this particular purpose.
Like me, you may have seen a similar product in similar packaging and called something like baby wipes, or screen wipes, or even universal wipes, and for all I know, they might be exactly the same product inside.
This product, however, had a specific audience in mind, and I was that audience that day.
The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him (or her) and sells itself.
~ Peter Drucker
Of course, before you can define your Target Audience, first you need to clearly understand your Target Area. For this, you need to know and understand what product or service you are passionate about, and of those things which you have experienced the struggles and problems that people will have encountered associated with your product or service. You need to make sure that it’s something that you do well and that you are prepared to practice to improve and become the best you possibly can, and of course, you’ll need to be able to find a way to take some income from delivering that product or service.
Now is the time to define everything you know about your potential client. In business networking a popular phrase is that people want to do business with people that they know, like and trust. In the same way, ideally, you’ll want to work with customers and clients that you like and trust too. So of the clients that you know, who do you like, and who do you trust. In fact, which of your customers do you love working with?
This thought can be taken further to look ahead and consider who would you love to work with into the future, who would be your ideal client if you could take your pick. Stretch your thinking and expand your horizons to imagine who you absolutely would love to work with. Then, look back to consider who did you love working with, in the past; and who did you not like working with!
My father ran a petrol station and vehicle maintenance garage that was located in the middle of nowhere, and he told me there were some customers that he would have been well advised to tell them:
“Here’s £10, now please clear off”
~ Brian Fairhead
(well, that’s pretty much what he said). Fortunately, that’s not all of our clients, so think of those that you loved working with, and perhaps why they chose to move on somewhere else, maybe this time you could retain them by doing something different.
Now the next key question is to understand what are their pains, their problems, their challenges, that would make them want to use your product or service. It is absolutely key to get a really good understanding of this so that you can get a really clear understanding of the pain, which provides the “away from” motive that you can help solve with your product or service as a “towards” motive.
For me as a newly appointed goat milker, my need was for a product that on the one hand was easy to open and use, and that also makes sure the udder is clean. This means I would get cleaner better milk, and I want that because better cleaner milk makes our family (and any other consumers) healthier. So the marketing objective is now people that want a healthier family, who have a goat. We are now selling a healthier family to people that have a nanny goat.
This technique is based on one originally conceived by a chap named Sakichi Toyoda and was based on work by Taiichi Ohno, and it was used by Toyota during the development of its manufacturing model. The “5 Whys” forms a critical element of their problem-solving training and is introduced as part of their induction into the Toyota Production System.
Taiichi Ohno was the strategist behind the “Toyota Production System” which was developed in the 1950s, and he describes the “5 Whys” method in his book “Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production” as “the basis of Toyota’s scientific approach … by repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear.”
Since then this technique has seen widespread use well beyond Toyota and is now used in Kaizen, lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma.
Now we are in a really good position to describe everything about our target audience. Many people actually choose to use a picture or an avatar so that they can visualise their target audience whenever they work on their matchmaking, whenever they work on their marketing.
What is yours?
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.