Customers are the lifeblood of a business around whom most of us plan our products, marketing activities and even operations. And the best way to reach them is through a carefully planned targeting strategy. But what if you’re targeting the wrong people? What if the audience you’re reaching isn’t really your ideal audience at all?
Thus, when going back to analyzing business basics, the very first step is to rethink your buyer persona or targeting strategy. Find out whether or not you’re reaching the right people or have you been shooting darts in the dark all along?
This analysis will not only help you understand what your current audience expects from you but also identifies the gaps in your strategies which can be filled with better content, ideas or offerings. It can also help you identify what stage of business you’re in and if you need to expand your buyer persona or not.
What is a Buyer Persona?
A buyer persona is a semi-fictionalized representation of your ideal customer, created by combining demographic, behavioural and psychographic aspects of their lives. A business can either have one or multiple personas, depending on the products and services you offer.
Once you’ve created your buyer persona, it should resemble the following description:
Over the course of time, you may find your target persona change from one point of business lifecycle to another depending on the growth and evolution of your business and customer needs. Thus, you need to rethink your targeting every 4 to 6 months so you can craft a suitable content or sales plan in every season. Basically, you should be prepared to understand your audience on every step of their buyer journey, which can go as follows:
While this may be a tricky task while managing ongoing operations, the current downtime is ideal for you to review the audience you’ve been targeting, their response to your product or service, and the impact of that on your results. So let’s start with the steps below:
The first step in reviewing your targeting strategy is to analyze the problems you’ve been facing in achieving your targeted results. Have you been getting lower leads or have you been unable to engage your audience with your content? Finding out the problem is the first step to figuring out whether you’re targeting the wrong audience, or if the problem lies elsewhere. Some of the common problems you may face are as follows:
- Low Response or Engagement.
- High Engagement but Low Conversions.
Low Response or Engagement
Engagement plays a key role in helping convert your audience to customers, but a lot of times despite a great content strategy, you find that people aren’t engaging that well with your page or posts. Or if they are, the response rate or quality isn’t satisfactory. One of the main reasons may be because you’re trying to target an audience that doesn’t fit your buyer profile at all.
You may be targeting the wrong age group, or your audience’s interests may be different than what you perceive. What should you do? Research. Pull out old sales data or communication records. List down the names and details of your best buyers and find out which query brought them to you. Then answer the following questions to see which area you’re missing out on:
- Is your targeting too detailed or too broad?
Different targeting approaches work differently for each brand. For a multinational brand like Shaan or Coca Cola, it’s easy to target a broad audience and engage them on digital media. But if you’re a small business like a home-based food caterer or an IT firm selling point of sale systems, you cannot afford to clutter your digital platforms with the wrong kind of people who may not even convert in the long run.
Always remember, while creating a targeting strategy, quality works better than quantity, and you want to rely on qualitative data like reliable messenger queries, lead form submissions or the number of times people have searched for your location, than superficial or quantitative data like the number of likes received on a post or the followers you’ve accumulated on your business account. One thousand likes on Facebook or Instagram may not bring you an equal number of sales, but one interested customer asking questions about your product can be converted, retained, and even utilized for word of mouth marketing.
So always target that customer, the rest will follow!
- Are you relying on incomplete data?
When it comes to targeting, data, like their emails and contact information, is the most important asset you have. Not only does it help to reach out to them for research and feedback, but this data can also be used to retarget your audience using Facebook’s Custom and Lookalike audience tools or Google’s data-driven strategies.
Data can also be collected by departmental research within your company. Combine both sales and accounting data and see which customer has had the most profitable retention rate in the past. Then combine that with the right tools to reach the people who can benefit you the most.
- Are you targeting too many personas at once?
Yes, a business may have more than one buyer persona. But focus on them one at a time, or divide them into different sections for different products. Trying to reach multiple audiences at the same time may lead to cluttering your digital campaign, which can dilute your message by the time it reaches your intended audience.
On the other hand, using one single persona for each campaign can also have a negative impact. Using the same audience for all your business fronts can lead to a clash of interest in the audience. If you have more than one product line or service, distinguish and differentiate the targeting information for each and try to stick to that principle in the future.
- High Engagement but Low Conversions.
There may be a possibility that you’re targeting the right people and they’re engaging with your brand, but they’re unable to get the right message, or maybe you’re not marketing on the right platform they’re on. Worry not, as we’ve got a guide for that too. Now that you’ve completed Level 1 of our Back to Basics series, find out more about content, platform and funnel strategies in our blogs below: