Do you know your markets and are you targeting them specifically

Michelle Pearce
  • Michelle Pearce
  • Managing Director

When we ask our clients this week’s blog question, we usually hear a loud chorus of ‘Yeah! Of course! Isn’t that the obvious thing to do?’ Then there’s a pause. And then we hear: ‘But we could probably do a bit more.’

Knowing your markets and targeting them specifically sounds like the obvious end of marketing basics. It’s what most businesses intend to do. However, here at The Graphic Design House, our marketing support for business shows that many of us need to tighten up activity on this front.

When you drill down further for market knowledge and use what you’ve learned with more specific and tailored activity, you can really push up your return on investment, both in terms of money spent and time spent on marketing. Here’s how:

Analyse your audience

It’s amazing how many businesses have a broad view of their customer base that isn’t based on thorough analysis. Most of us could rattle off a sentence that describes our target market, but some proper analysis not only helps you to create a more specific picture, it’s also brilliant for throwing up clear indications of possible marketing channels and methods. Analysis doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming, but it does need to be broken down into specifics. Ask questions such as:

  • What are the age ranges of current customers?
  • Where do they live?
  • Is there a mix, gender-wise, or is your customer base predominantly male or female?
  • What are their professions?
  • What are their interests?
  • What is their income bracket?

Analyse the competition

Once you’ve made an analysis of your target market, you need to analyse the competition. This can be a tremendous learning exercise, but it’s not about copying your competitors. It’s about finding out how you can set your business apart and build your business through more effective marketing. Learn about the marketing habits of your competitors and using that information, work out:

  • Where are there gaps in the market that you can fill?
  • How can you fill them?
  • What are your unique selling points and market niche?
  • Are there marketing methods out there that you haven’t used before?

Getting the message out

Once you’re armed with better knowledge of your target audience and your place in the market, the next thing you need to do is let potential customers know who you are and what you do. You need to start conversations, make friends and win attention.

It’s essential that you tailor your marketing to your audience. Don’t pursue a fabulous creative idea if it isn’t the right fit for getting your message across to your specific niche market.

Getting the medium right

Think about how best to get your message across. How are you reaching your target market? Are you gaining more clients through social media? If so, which of your social media platforms are getting the most attention?

What about conventional marketing, such as direct mail, newspaper ads and billboards? This type of marketing is still your most effective method for a large number of industries and audiences. Conventional can work together with digital marketing to build attention and create an easy route from customer attention to customer action.

Use the analysis you’ve carried out to hone your message methods for greater impact.

Be smart about social

Analysis should be ongoing, especially for social media, which changes fast. Luckily, there are plenty of tools make gathering and analysing digital data simple. Regular assessment of your social media data is what separates effective campaigning from the competition.

Use Google analytics alongside the data gathering tools specific to each social platform that you’re using. This will enable you to track who you’re reaching while finding out who is responding and engaging with your message. This data will help you to develop more effective marketing in the future by giving you a better idea of who your audience is and how you can reach them more effectively.

Think about the audience demographics of different social platforms. Which has more of the audience that you're looking for? For example, Facebook tends to have an older audience, while millennials and young people lean towards Instagram and Twitter. But it’s not just about age. Different interest groups favour different social platforms too.

What to say on social

We all know the importance of posting regularly on social media. The trouble is, that can lead to a lot of content with minimal value. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Get your content wrong and it could irritate more than attract. Get it right and you win friends, build interest and create confidence in your messages and products. Ask yourself:

  • Is your content tailored to your audience?
  • Are you consistently posting relevant and insightful content?
  • Does it feed audience interest, answer their questions and entertain in the right way?

And don’t forget the benefits of posting ads on social sites. Ads on social sites are often much more cost-effective than conventional advertising. Within Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn & Google AdWords, you can specify location, gender, interests, as well as job titles and keywords. This will help hone in on your specific group or target audience.



Analysis is the key to understanding markets and to targeting audiences with the right message. It’s a lot less time-consuming and complex than many people think. Do it regularly, thoroughly and with an open mind, and you can really capitalise on the opportunities that your competitors might miss.