A marketing campaign without a target audience is immediately set up to fail. Without a target audience, you may as well throw a penny down a well and wish for customers. It’d definitely be cheaper and just as likely to succeed.
Target audiences direct almost every aspect of a campaign, whether it’s the type of marketing used, how copy is written or even what platform the marketing is run on. Without a target audience, your campaigns have no direction.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your company sells eco-friendly diapers.
Without a target audience, you’d be selling those diapers to everybody. Teenagers, seniors, people without children and those that don’t care about the eco-friendliness of your product. The rate of success for the marketing would be low as the majority of people wouldn’t care.
With a target audience, your whole campaign would be focused on connecting your product with that target audience. But most importantly, the majority of people seeing your campaign would be those interested in it.
If you decide to target your marketing at new mothers who are eco-conscious, your rate of success would be a hundred times higher than the scatter shot approach of hitting everybody.
What If My Product Can Be Used By Everybody?
There’s a distinct possibility that you sell a product or service that could technically be used by everybody. That still doesn’t mean that your target audience would be every person on Earth!
Everybody drinks water, for instance, so you could easily assume that the target audience of a bottled water campaign would be everybody too.
However, this disregards the fact that “everybody” would include multiple types of people (demographics), each of which would be best communicated with in a different way. Creating a marketing campaign that speaks to everyone is nigh on impossible as different groups receive messages in different ways.
Think of everybody that lives on your street. They all have different ages, different interests, different ways of talking and thinking. So trying to create marketing that would connect with each of them would be impossible.
It’s not just a good lesson for marketing, but a good lesson for life. You can’t be all things to all people.
Even if your product can be used by everybody, it’s best to target your marketing at a specific demographic instead, to make your message more effective. It’s better to hit a million people with a campaign that resonates with them, rather than hitting a billion people with something that makes them all feel apathetic.
In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be the job of your marketing to choose this target audience anyway. It would happen while developing the product and branding it. Creating a bottled water that appeals to a certain demographic, is again better than a bottled water that’s supposed to appeal to everybody, which has marketing targeted at a certain group.
A product or service can die quickly if a there is no target demographic even as the product is being thought up. The more thought that is put into your product at the early stages, the better.