Through the different clients we’ve worked with at AKÏN, we’ve come to notice a common thread: that their target audiences (TA) aren’t prioritised or clearly defined from the get-go.
It may seem easier to approach marketing from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ perspective, but it doesn’t work that way. It’s important to recognise that consumers have different motivations or needs to fulfil when they utilise your product or service, and therefore it’s best to appeal to them in those respective ways. Just look at how a K-pop group has different members to draw in a range of fan types - from those who like the cute, boy-next-door to the smouldering, mysterious hunk.
If you're always looking out for the ‘next big thing’ and how to attract the masses with it, that approach is like the waves of the sea: it’ll come and go. Instead, start by properly identifying your core TA. Crafting targeted strategies around them would then help develop a stronger foundation - the start of a human brand.
Here are some points to consider when planning for each aspect of your TA:
This section focuses on the quantifiable attributes of your desired TA and their family members – from their age range, gender and income bracket.
Try to be as detailed as possible even when you’re considering aspects like their location and their family make-up. For the former, you can elaborate on the kind of housing they live in, whether it’s a flat, condominium or a terrace house. As for the latter, think about their marital status and if they have any children – if so, are they toddlers or school-going?
Here, we look at the TA’s attitudes, aspirations, and other kinds of psychological criteria that would best profile them.
a. Roles: Everyone takes on different roles in their lives, and in different settings too – from doting mother to studious student, to even a free-spirit freelancer. What kind of role does your chosen TA play in their lives, and that of their immediate sphere (e.g. family, friends, colleagues)?
b. Goals: This could be anything pertaining to their career, family or even their personal lives.
For example, a TA that is more job-focused may want to hit their sales target within a certain period of time, or be promoted within the year; a TA that is family-centric may endeavour towards the well-being of their children, or to build a strong marriage. Can your product or service thus help them achieve these goals?
c. Challenges: Your TA may not necessarily experience a smooth journey towards achieving their goals. What are some of the challenges they might face along the way in their respective roles, and how could your product or service help alleviate these challenges?
d. Values: Values are principles or beliefs that matter most in your TA’s lives. They guide the way they work, make decisions, and even how they interact with others. Values are often developed from life experiences and family backgrounds and upbringing. Think about what your TA believes in and values most in their lives. You can also refer to this list when crafting their values.
These fears are different from challenges they may face in daily life. Though not outwardly expressed, such worries may manifest in other ways, like spurring certain buying decisions or courses of action. What kind of fear would trigger your TA into buying your product or service? On the flipside, what kind of fear would prevent your TA from buying your product or service?
- 3. Persona Story
Now, it’s time to put everything together! Here’s where you can put your imagination and creative writing skills to work: based on the demographics and psychographics derived in the earlier stages, craft a story that would best personify your target audience. This could help you and your team better relate to or understand them.
You could also give your TA a name to personalise them further. What we like to do is to choose a name that starts with the same letter as their role/job. For example, if our TA is a student, we might name them ‘Student Sam’ or ‘Student Sally’; if our TA is an executive at a company, we could call them ‘Executive Eddie’ or ‘Executive Ellen’, and so on.
Quotes could also add a more realistic dimension to your TA persona. Think about what your TA is most likely to say in response to a problem they’re facing, or a concern they might have, and weave that into the story.
- 4. Your Business Goals
Round things up with what would entice or appeal your business, product or service to your TA. Think about the call-to-action you’d like them to respond to - how would your product or service help to solve their problems or alleviate the challenges they’re facing?
A business can have several TAs, but it’s important to focus on your primary target audiences and deepen your knowledge about them. Here’s a guided template to get you started. Revisit this guide every six months as you continue to discover more about your TAs!