How to define your target market

Line-up of people from neck down to define your target market

Advertising outdoors creates a unique opportunity to connect with a huge audience. But knowing how to define your target market is key when it comes to connecting with the right audience.

Exposure to the 24 hour presence of billboards and other outdoor ads helps to generate strong brand and product awareness. It can provide that competitive edge against online ads or TV adverts that can be ignored or switched off.

But although outdoor advertising can reach vast audiences, your advertising campaign will be ineffective if it doesn’t reach the right audience. And you certainly won’t get a good return on investment.

A successful campaign will begin with defining your target market

You can’t go in blind when it comes to an outdoor advertising campaign. You need to know who you are targeting and who will most likely engage with your product or service. It will enable you to design the best adverts and select appropriate locations for them.

How to define your target market: Questions to ask:

1. What age is your target audience?

How old are the people you are hoping to reach? If you are hoping to sell a brand of anti-ageing cream to women aged 50+, advertising outside a school full of children is unlikely to yield much interest.

In a recent article from Exposure Ninja, Dale Davies comments, ‘Understanding the age range of your current and soon-to-be customers will help you to forecast which demographic has the keenest interest in your industry and the financial support to be a repeat purchaser.’

2. Where does your target market live?

Where is your target market most likely to be found? Are they commuters? Stay-at-home mums? Once you have identified their locations, draw up a map (or consult our online integrated map) of available ad space in the area. If you are offering a service, set up a radius of where you would like to target potential customers/clients.

3. Is your target market male or female?

You can waste a lot of your advertising budget by targeting the wrong people. Targeting a sexy lingerie brand at men may be appropriate in the run up to Valentine’s Day but maintaining an advertising presence for them throughout the year is unlikely to produce much yield.

4. What is the salary bracket of your target audience?

High flying city bankers are a very different target market to long-haul lorry drivers. Retired people with second homes are not the same as single-mums looking to make ends meet.

If you are happy to not just target ‘immediate spend’ customers, think about how you might target those who take a while to make a decision and then have to save up for the purchase. They are just as important a target market as those impulsive buyers.

Define your target market’s behaviours

Investigate places of work and leisure, modes of transport, places to socialise and so on. It will help identify habits which will, in turn, inform your advertising campaign.

Once you have defined your target audience, your outdoor advertising campaign can truly begin. An understanding of your audience will fuel your ad design and help you choose the most appropriate locations to advertise. You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the industry sector in which your product or service falls and its current or prospective customers. Consequently your campaign will be much more successful.

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