44 year old female and familyIf your business does not define a target audience, your advertisements will not usually hit the right people.

If a small business doesn’t intentionally market to their client, they will usually market to the owner instead. Sometimes, the owner happens to be the ideal client as well, but usually that’s not the case, so the target audience needs to be well defined so you don’t waste you money!

When we ask business owners to describe their target audience, 4 out of 5 times the business owner will say something like, “we have all kinds of people come into our store.”  That is probably true, but not everyone who comes into your shop is an ideal client.  The only organization that truly does not have a target audience is the IRS.  Everybody else has a type of client that works best for their business.

No matter if you are a manufacturer, a non-profit, a skilled laborer, or a banker there is a type of person who fits best with your type of business, who often becomes a repeat customer, and who is satisfying to work with. 

You need to design your imaging for your business or product with a target audience in mind.

Small businesses who don’t identify this person very specifically will typically put together marketing collateral that the owner likes instead of what attracts their very best client.

So let me give you a couple of tips for identifying your target audience:

#1 Look at your last 5 sales and ask:

  • What is their gender
  • What is their age? (child, teen, young adult, middle aged, retiree)
  • Are they clearly part of a subculture that you can identify? (homeowner, golfer, artist, a manager, a laborer, etc)
  • How much did they spend? (was it profitable enough to do again)
  • Did you like working with them?

If you made a profit and you liked the client and would like to work with them again, then take note of their age, subculture and gender.  This could be a great target audience.

#2 Look at you 5 best clients and ask the same questions:

  • What is their gender
  • What is their age
  • Are they clearly part of a subculture that you can identify?
  • How much did they spend (was it profitable enough to do again)

Often you 5 favorite clients share traits with the last 5 sales you made.  See what lines up and what doesn’t.  The overlapping qualities may further define your very best client.


Then you need to ask, if your current target audience the one you’re are shooting for?  Are they the people you’d like to be working with in 5 years?  If not, what needs to change in your advertisement to attract the right type of customer to your shop?

One of my clients spend a great deal of time developing a target audience for their product.  In their case they were selling airtime on a radio station.  They had identified their audience as:

  • A white, 44 year old woman
  • Married with 3 kids. 1 teen from a previous marriage and 2 elementary aged kids.
  • Religious, church-going
  • Upper-middle income

They even put a picture up of her so they would be reminded all the time to target her and not anyone else.  The picture was a lot liek the one at the top of this post.  They intentionally targeted businesses that sold products to a 44-year-old female and those types of businesses enjoyed favorable results from their advertisement

Here’s an article about matching the right type of media to your target audience

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