Sometimes it may seem as if finding your target audience requires some kind of specialized sleuthing. It doesn’t. It does, however, require a little science, a little art, and a little self-faith. Here some suggestions for applying all three:
Depending on what you intend to sell, you may or may not need to conduct any formal market research. For example:
- If you’re going to sell adhesive dressings for everyday cuts and scrapes, you might not need extensive research on your target market (people with everyday cuts and scrapes). You will, however, face some pretty stiff competition from Band-Aid.
- On the other hand, if you’re going to sell curare-tipped arrows for hunting maned wolves in eastern Bolivia, you might have to do a fair bit of homework to identify the purchasing members of your target audience.
Depending on whether you’re reasonably comfortable you know your target audience — or that you’ve done adequate research to identify it — you can be creative. If you can present your message in ways your the members of your target audience aren’t likely to have seen or aren’t likely to expect, you’re quite likely to engage them enough to deliver your message. And if you manage to entertain and educate them, you’ll probably grab some mindshare in the bargain.
Depending on your ability to trust yourself, your judgment, and your ability to relate to your target audience, self-faith may be the most important aspect of finding your target audience. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, “You can reach all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot reach all the people all the time.” If you recognize and accept the fact that those who think as you do will relate to the ways in which you communicate, you’ll effectively attract the members of your target audience most likely to establish a rapport with you and your brand — and to trust what you’re selling enough to buy it.
It may not always be easy to find your target audience. But letting comics do it will be less expensive and more effective than hiring a detective agency.