Advertising Advice That Will Help Define Your Target Audience

The first question I ask when I'm meeting with a new client is, Who is your target audience?" More often than not the response is: "We want to...

Photo: Jessica Rule, founder and CEO of SHK The Advertising Firm; Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Jessica Rule, founder and CEO of SHK The Advertising Firm; Source: Courtesy Photo

The first question I ask when I’m meeting with a new client is, Who is your target audience?” More often than not the response is: “We want to reach everyone!

That’s great if you have the brand equity and advertising budget of Nike or Coca-Cola, but for the typical company you’ll want to define a more specific target audience in order to get the most out of your advertising budget.

See a few guidelines below to help you narrow in on who you should be targeting.


1. Look closely at customer data.

What is the demographic profile of your customers to date? Find the common denominators and talk to others like them. Consider all of your customer facing touchpoints and who has shown interest in your brand: Are they mainly male or female? Or are they young adults, parents, mature adults, etc.?

Look at their zip codes: Do they live in busy metropolitan areas or in the burbs? Something about your brand is making this audience more likely to respond to your advertising efforts. Define your customer profile clearly and then make this your primary target audience.


2. Consider who you want to work with the most.

If there is an audience you are starting to see grow and would like to reach, then they should become your secondary audience. This group might have a slower rate of return, but with continued advertising efforts and branding geared toward this group you can increase their affinity for your company along with sales.

Keep in mind, unless it’s transactional advertising (a price-driven short-term relationship with customers) advertising takes time. This audience group may not need your products or services immediately, however if you place ads to reach them when they do (and where they’re most receptive) they’ll be able to quickly recall your brand.


3. Review profit margins.

Ultimately, you’re in business to make money. Evaluate which customers bring in the most sales and who typically purchases a particular product or service. Targeting your audience and leveraging data will help you take the guesswork out of further targeting your ideal customers.


4. Avoid past troublemakers.

Whether you want to admit it, not all business is good business. If a specific customer group requires a high volume of your time with a low rate of return avoid them. If they come to you great, but avoid using your ad dollars to seek them out.


This article has been edited and condensed.

Jessica Rule is the founder and CEO of SHK The Advertising Firm, a Midland based advertising firm dedicated to providing eye-catching items to market companies. At the age of 26 she is successfully transforming the advertising industry in her town by providing creative, out of the box campaigns for her clients. She is also highly involved in her community she sits on several boards and is an emcee for local events. Connect with @jessicalrule on Twitter.


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