You likely know the term, “target audience”, but do you really know what it means? For many, a target audience is a group of people that is sought after for one reason or another. While this is true to an extent, a target audience is much more than that. If you’re defining your association’s or organization’s target audience as the people you would like to get, instead of the people you need to get, you’re going about things incorrectly. The truth is, you may want business professionals that are mostly male and range in age from 18 to 35, but what will benefit your association or organization more is to target females who work in the marketing industry and range in age from 45 to 60.
Why Choosing the Right Target Audience Matters
In keeping with the model of targeting the audience you need instead of the one you want, you need to think about goals. Once again, you may think that you should be targeting a specific audience based on what you’ve been told or based on what others are doing, but when it comes down to it, what is going to accomplish your goals in the most efficient and effective manner? Using the above example, you may think that targeting and attracting younger people will boost your organization or association, but you may be missing the credibility that comes with targeting older, more experienced adults. Likewise, older, more experienced adults tend to have more business and personal income that can be spent on membership dues, association retreats, special events, and so on. Once again, it all comes down to your goals as to who you should target and why.
Where to Target an Audience
Another important step in targeting an audience is knowing where they spend their time, both personally and professionally, online and off. While younger professionals tend to use social media more often, older professionals are often found at industry events. To break this down even further, females are more likely to use social media sites like Instagram and Pinterest, and older men are more likely to read trade publications. It would be a good idea to do as much research as possible to drill down deep and find the niche areas where your audience is most likely to be found and targeted.
Targeting Specific Issues
Finally, once you’ve identified the ideal audience and where to reach them, you’ll need to know their pain points, concerns, professional fears about joining your organization or association, and so on. This information can be gathered by conducting interviews and surveys, but you can also spend time on message boards and online forums to find out firsthand. With this data, you’ll want to craft a marketing campaign that shows why your organization or association can resolve pain points and concerns while alleviating any fears, such as financial costs, associated with joining your organization or association.