target customer

No matter how amazing your product is, it can’t appeal to everyone. After all, supermarket shoppers have a wide range of needs and wants. Some seek out vegan snacks. Others are in the market for organic sweets. Some exclusively stock up on gluten-free sundries.

Whether your product line focuses on frozen, beverages, or a specialty category, knowing your target customer is essential. Find out why identifying your audience is key and learn how to create an effective ideal buyer persona.

Outline Basic Audience Demographics

Identifying your ideal customer starts with outlining the basic demographics that define your audience. Are your customers typically men, women, or a mix of both? Do they fit into the millennial, Gen X, or baby boomer generation? Are they single or married? Do they shop for themselves or for a family with kids?

Consider where your target customers live, too. Are they based in a certain city or region, or are they located nationwide? Do they tend to be urban or rural residents?

Dig Into the Details

After charting the basics, take some time to flesh out the details of your target audience. Try thinking about your ideal buyer’s likes and dislikes. For example, do your customers usually opt for a healthy diet? Do they prefer organic brands, or do allergy-friendly foods take priority?

List a few of the other brands your customers tend to purchase in addition to yours. Consider which websites they frequent and what magazines they typically read, too. Together, all of these small details can help you understand what your target customer really needs and wants.

Reference the Right Research

When we map out target audiences for natural food brands, we find that few businesses have these stats on hand. Fortunately, you can gather them from several different sources.

  • Email List Stats: If you’ve already started to build a contact list, check your subscriber stats. You’ll discover basic demographics like age, gender, and location breakdown for your email list.
  • Social Media Insights: Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offer tons of insight. Facebook goes far beyond the basics, even revealing your followers’ preferences. Check Facebook insights for your audience’s favorites in categories like food and beverage, supermarkets, and restaurants.
  • Surveys: If you haven’t been in business long enough to gather many stats, try launching a market research survey. Offer subscribers and followers an incentive for answering a few basic questions. Interview potential customers at in-store demos or expos, too.

Build an Ideal Buyer Persona

Once you’ve gathered enough data, use the research to create a buyer persona. This framework should define a single person: your target customer. If your research turned up a wider range of stats — such as more than one age range or set of preferences — consider creating two distinct personas that define your ideal buyers.

Take the time to describe the major pain points and desires for each target customer. To make your buyer personas more realistic, assign names, photos, and even quotes that bring them to life.

To drive home which shoppers you want to attract, create a negative buyer persona, too. Identifying the customers who aren’t right for your brand might seem backwards. However, we find that this practice can help you focus on your ideal buyer without worrying that you’re leaving out a potential customer.

Put Your Target Customer Profile to Work

After defining your target customer, get ready to put your buyer persona to work. You’ll find it invaluable as you shape your digital marketing strategy. For example, you can use it to craft the right messages on social media or in marketing emails. You can also use it to create a content strategy or brainstorm blog posts. Your customer profile can even help you find the right target audience for online ad campaigns.

Creating a new buyer persona might seem like a tall order. You shouldn’t rely on the same old customer profile as your business grows, however, as your customers may change over time. To make sure you don’t miss out on a key slice of the market, review your customer profiles every year. If you note a shift in your audience, update your buyer personas and your marketing strategy to ensure that you keep attracting the right customers for your brand.

Need a hand identifying your target customer? Want help shaping a digital marketing plan around your ideal buyer? Connect with us to find out how we can streamline your digital strategy.

 
Want more online marketing insights for small businesses? Subscribe to the Sonnenberg Media list to receive our best tips every month!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *