So you’re planning an outreach campaign for your product/service? That’s great! Do you know who you’re trying to reach through the campaign? If your answer is – “everyone”, “not really”, “I think so”, you might spread it out too thin and not reach the people who really matter – your target audience. Instead, you might end up wasting your time, effort, and resources.

Defining your target audience before starting an outreach campaign is more important than you think. 

“The worst thing you can do is target everyone with your campaign. By targeting everyone, you target no one.”

Neil Patel

What is ‘target audience’?

Target audience is a set of people who are most likely to be interested in your business’s product or service. Businesses use and assess demographics such as age, gender, location, profession, marital status, personality, lifestyle, interests, income, and education to determine their target audience. 

When you know who your target audience is, it’s easy to craft sales and marketing strategies to reach them. And there’s more to it. Let’s delve deeper into understanding why it’s so essential to define the target audience.

Man on a laptop thinking on its target audience.

Why is it so important to define the target audience?

“If I’m offering something, people will come,” – this approach hardly works when there’s so much competition in the market. Brands need to create strategies to reach the “right” consumers with that offering. Defining the target audience can help:

Connecting with consumers – an essential

Businesses need to understand their consumers. Without it, they’d fail to build a connection. Consumers get attracted to and show interest in brands that offer them what they need. The only way to provide consumers with what they want is by connecting with them. So, when you get to know your target audience, connecting with them becomes easier.

Meeting consumers’ unique needs

At the core of every successful business is the ability to solve consumer problems and address their needs. Your buyers – individuals or companies – have specific issues and needs. When you understand their problems, there lies an opportunity to offer solutions to them. To do so, you need to know who your audience is. 

E.g., Sprout and Buffer are two platforms that understand their customers’ pain points. Their customers are marketers, agencies, start-ups, and businesses that struggle and juggle multiple digital platforms.

Creating the right messaging for your consumers

What do you say to your consumers if you don’t know them? Defining target audience helps to engage with consumers in their language, and in a way that they understand things. Brands that take the generic route when communicating, trying to reach everyone and anyone, often get overlooked as just another face in the crowd. 

Defining your target audience helps create content in a voice that appeals to the target audience and enables you to reach them where they are. The result: higher engagement and more chances to generate leads.

Offering improved and new products/services

Solving your customers’ pain points is a sure way to your business success. It works on a simple premise – when you solve a specific problem, you attract a specific following of consumers. Defining and knowing your target audience helps get a sense of their needs. By conducting research and surveys of your consumers, you can create improved and even new offerings.

E.g., a SaaS company building campus apps should know the challenges and needs of schools and colleges. Similarly, a fintech company should know the gaps they can fill in the market.

Defining your target audience is a way to focus on understanding your ideal customers first. Once you have that knowledge, you’d be able to reach the right people, at the right time, in the right spaces, and offer them that in which they find value.

Team of 6 people discussing the customer journey

By now, we know why defining target audience really matters. Moving on, let’s look at ways to define your target audience.

How to define your target audience?

Target audiences are easy to work out when you dig for the right information about your consumers. Here are six things to look for:

Identify the people who recognise your brand

People who follow you on online social platforms, like your posts, and share them, are easy to identify. Another place to look at is the demographics of people who have already bought from you offline or online. It can give you a peek into what kind of consumers are interested in your brand.

Know their pain points and needs

There’s no point in reaching out to people who won’t benefit from your products/services because they’re not your buyers. Who are your buyers? Those whose problems and needs you can meet.  

Gather insights into consumers’ problems and what they’re exactly looking for. Look for pain points that your competitors are ignoring. There’s your golden opportunity to create your set of target audience.

Find them where they are

Consumers are surrounded by information and have many avenues to look for products/services that they’re looking for. Identify their go-to platforms and channels. 

E.g., a niche B2B tech solution might be frequenting social platforms like LinkedIn and online tech forums. Similarly, a consumer of lifestyle products might prefer Instagram and Youtube to gather information.
When you identify the places where you can find your customers, you can understand how to build communication to help your brand put out the right messaging in the consumers’ language. You can take this a notch higher by actively prospecting in your defined demographics and networking with your ideal customers using a social search prospector.

Know how you benefit your ideal target

You know your product/service. You also know your competition. Is your offering good enough to give your business an edge over your competitors? If yes, well done, and keep it up. If not, it’s time to improve and offer something better and more to consumers. Understanding how your product/service can benefit your consumers will help you offer them what they want.

Understand what your audience doesn’t want

To know what your target audience wants, it’s important to look at what they don’t want. It’s best to rely on assumptions. Conducting research and surveys can help you understand the aspects that have a negative connotation for consumers.


The B2B Ideal Client Profile Blueprint
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Focus on the trust factor

Consumers do not buy from brands they do not trust. Brands build trust by understanding their customers’ needs and offering relevant products/services. Not just that, consistency plays a crucial role in building customer trust. Get a pulse on where consumers are putting their faith. If you know what they trust, you can understand what they’re looking for.

You can do this by initiating networking with them in a non-salesy manner. Reach out, offer something of value, engage with what they share and truly get to know them before you sell. Building the initial trust will help you even optimize your sales cycle eventually when you trigger your outreach campaign. 
New to outreach campaigns? Here are some tips for successfully building trusting relationships.

Should you be focusing on your target audience?

The answer is YES. 

With competition on the rise, businesses’ focus should be on reaching the right people, not just reaching people. Imagine spending thousands of dollars and countless hours chasing an audience that does not want to purchase from you. 

The first step to succeeding in your outreach campaign, is to define your target audience.