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Who cares? Your target audience does, once you find them

What good is a compelling message if doesn’t reach the right audience? Many businesses and organizations make two common mistakes when trying to determine their target audience.


The first mistake: believing that the target audience is everyone. It’s unrealistic to assume that anyone and everyone will benefit from your products, services or initiatives.

The second: assuming that your target audience is just like you. When you are immersed in one industry, or have been loyal to your brand for a long period, it can be tempting to use your own personal experiences or beliefs about your audience that are possibly misguided.

Your target audience may be narrower than you assume. Or, it may be very broad, but contain diverse segments that all share a common interest, attitudes or opinions. In either case, your branding, re-branding or communications strategy hinges upon a solid understanding of your audience.

Begin identifying your target audience by asking these 5 key questions:

  1. Who is it that you want to reach with your message? Who are they today versus a decade or two ago?

  2. Who do you want to help? How can you be their hero; their advocate? Who do you want to educate, influence and motivate?

  3. What are the demographics? Where do they live? How old are they? Where or when do they have friction in their lives?

  4. How do they receive daily information? Where are they engaging online or in their communities?

  5. How does your message benefit them? What motivates them to action?

Getting your story across to a broad, segmented audience means tailoring the message to the specific attitudes, interests, worries and opinions of your audience segments. It also allows you to find multiple ways to reach them and a variety of ways to frame your brand messages.

The more narrowly and precisely you can identify your target audience, the better you’ll be able to identify compelling messages and deliver them through the right mix of communication channels.

Learn more about how to build an integrated communications campaign here.

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