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define your target audience

How to Define Your Target Audience for Directory Business

None can afford to target everyone in marketing. Even most, if not all successful business owners will admit that defining and serving your target audience is the key to the success. Not only directory business but also any other business is lucrative as long as you are targeting the right audience.

Interestingly though, most of the unsuccessful business owners forget to serve by defining their target audience and so they go downhill and retract their business in the long run.

In this article, we will not just help you define your target audience but also give you some effective steps so that you can serve them well. Now, let’s dive in!

But before we go any further…

What Is a Target Audience?

define your target audience

Wikipedia defines,

In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message.

In non-technical terms, a target audience is the core customers or the particular demographic of people, most likely to buy products or services from your business. Not to mention, the target audiences usually share similar characteristics or traits. These include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Marital status
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic status
  • and so on and so forth.

These characteristics are essential on how to identify your target audience. For instance, if you are selling baby food, you have to target parents on the go and home-staying moms. To narrow down more, you can target only the home-staying moms having babies.

If you are a business directory owner, never end up spending money on irrelevant consumer groups. In addition, you have to market your business only to the people, most likely to buy your directory website services.

Spending money and trying to cater your services to all customer groups may make your directory business face colossal losses. Then again, defining and serving your target audiences can be the key to beating these odds.

9 Steps on How to Define Your Target Audience & Serve Them the Right Way

define and serve your target audience

Regardless of not having any hard and fast rules of how to define a target audience, we have tried to come up with the following approaches. If you reach out to your target audience with these steps, you are most likely to have a successful marketing campaign:

1. Understanding the customer pain-points

First off, you need to identify the pain points of your customers which is imperative to define your target audience then you have to offer your proposition to them. For example, if you are running a rent a car directory business, you have to find the sufferings of the people to hire a car. You can also become narrow-focused by targeting people aged between 21-50 years and only interested people.

One way to collect data is to offer special prices and coupon codes to those who visit your website by letting them answering a survey or so.

2. Segmenting your target customers

defining target audience - customer segmentation

Done identifying the pain points of your customers, you need to list all the customers in different segments to make sure you define your target audience well. You can simply group them by location, age, high-net-worth individuals, marital status, gender, etc.

An example of customer segmentation can be high-net-individuals living in certain areas. You can then group them by recruitment agents, manufacturers, exporters or importers and so many more. Above all, try to get a clear picture of the customers to get the most relevant ones.

3. Demonstrating the Benefit of Opportunity Cost to Potential Customers

opportunity costs - define target audience

For the most part, customers are not aware of the opportunity costs. If you simply can make your customers understand that the cost of dealing with certain problems is significantly higher than the cost of sorting out them initially, your proposition becomes much more compelling and lucrative as well.

For the purpose to define your target audience, you have to demonstrate your directory website’s implications to your customers by eliciting emotional uproar and stress incorporating all the pain points.

4. Targeting Based on Niche

Don’t forget the old adage,

To strike the iron while it is hot.

With the advent of digital media, it has been easier than ever to target a niche you want. If your directory website has multiple niches, you must target your customers based on those niches to define your target audience the right way.

Unlike TVC Ads, digital media ads (for example, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, etc.) comes up with full control. Meaning, you can get to know which niche your customer groups are interested in by tracking user behaviors. This way you can show personalized ads to different customer cohorts. This is both a cost-effective marketing strategy and an excellent way to minimize your marketing endeavors.

5. Identifying interests from the current customer base

identifying interests of current customers - define target customers

Another great way to define a target customer can be by observing your current customer base traits. Ask yourself these three questions:

  • Who are your current customers?
  • Why do they buy from you?
  • What are the common traits and interests?
  • Which traits and interests bring the most paying customers?

While getting answers to these questions, you may find out other groups of people bearing the same characteristics. Thus you can find an untapped group of customers to target.

6. Observing your competitors

Your competitors may have already defined their target audience and are already targeting and serving them. You can always go with their targeted audience if you do not want to spend much time on research.

However, going after the same market or same audience may be a tough challenge for you. Hence, we recommend you go for a different market or different group of audience that your competitors are neglecting. It is a great way to fight shy of the severely prevalent competition out there in the market if you want to determine how to define your target market.

7. Analyzing your products or services

analyzing your products or services - define your target audience

No matter which directory business directory you own, you have to analyze your directory services and write down the exclusivities in an attempt to define your target audience.

As I have already mentioned, you must provide value by addressing the pain points of your customers. There again, at the same time, you have to show your customers the exclusivities of your directory services. It means how your directory service is different from others.

This way you can acquire more customers and target and retarget them anytime.

8. Identifying the Right Area to Research Your Audience

In digital marketing, it will be quite easy to determine the influx of interested audiences from different channels. According to Databox, content marketing or simply blogging brings in the most interested potential customers.

As you will be operating a directory business, you must take content marketing into your consideration too so as to ensure how to define your target group.

Source: Databox

9. Considering the Psychographics of Your Target Customer

The Psychographics of your target people play a crucial role in your marketing campaign. The Psychographics of your targeted people include but is not limited to:

  • Personality
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Lifestyles
  • Behavior

For instance, if your intended audience belongs to the elite walks, it can be inferred they spend less time researching before buying a product or service. Similarly, if the audience group belongs to the developing class, you can guess the vice versa impact.

Consequently, you have to consider:

  • Whether your directory services will fit into your target audience’s lifestyle
  • How they will use your directory services
  • Whether your target audiences spend time online, read newspapers or attend particular events, etc.

Disclaimer: While these steps can be pretty effective to define and serve your target audience, we can not guarantee these steps will always work 100%.

Drawbacks to Define Target Audiences

When you are too narrow-focused while targeting your audience, you are highly likely to exclude a bunch of people from other groups. This can hurt your sales volume.

Body-spray manufacturer, AXE, for example, targeted young geeks and dorks to sell their perfume. They produced and showed video ads targeting these young men by highlighting the fact that applying AXE body spray will make them sexier and more appealing to young women and make them socially acceptable.

This advertisement soon faced backfiring as it was hurting the brand when other groups of audience ditched the product as they did not consider themselves geeks and dorks. It felt like the brand was only for the nerds rather than for other normal young men.

Therefore, it is highly likely that a reputed brand can also make the mistake of excluding too many audiences in the name of defining the target audience. So always watch out for your target audience and reevaluate your audience group to optimize your marketing strategy and to serve more people with your directory service.

Final Thoughts on How to Define Your Target Audience

Though there is only a single disadvantage to determining your target market, you can not fight shy of it to take your business to the next level.

We hope this article will help your directory business reach out to the most relevant audience or business owners. And, always keep in mind narrowing down your customer base may miss out on tens of thousands of untapped customers. So, be careful and vigilant when defining your customers.

If you do know any other tactics to define and serve your target audience let us know in the comment section by dropping us a line below.


*Opportunity costs represent the potential benefits an individual, investor, or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another.

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Al Suzud Dowla plays the role of a content strategist at Directorist. He is basically a digital marketing expert and a tech enthusiast (by heart) who excels particularly in technical content writing. In his pastimes, he is seen playing Ping Pong, performing Karaoke, reading books, and playing around with JavaScript as well.

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