September 24, 2021

Product Specific Criteria - Anatomy of a Target Client

Erica Mackay

So this series has really stressed the importance of getting to grips with who your target customer is. From their geographical location to their profession, you’ll now have a better understanding of what makes them tick.

But let’s face it, understanding your target audience means nothing, if the thing that you are selling doesn’t actually meet their needs.

Sadly, many businesses make the mistake of producing a shiny new product or service without having actively considered their target audience during the process of design. 

We see it all the time! 

But to put it frankly, there’s no point coming up with a glorious solution before you understand the problem your customers need solved.

While we can certainly appreciate just how exciting it is to get that sparkly new product over the line, it’s absolutely critical that organisations don’t overlook this vital step.

Through a combination of actually speaking (yep, speaking!!) to your target clients, and other market research, your organisation can build a product or service that is based on your customers’ genuine needs - not just what you think they need.

This might mean a slower path to market, but it will allow you to effectively piece together all the vital working parts, giving your product a beating heart that will truly resonate with your target audience.

And, of course, this will help with your marketing too. 

By understanding how your product actually improves the lives of your customers, you can fundamentally shape the way that you brand and position your offering to make a genuine impact.

You will be ‘speaking the language’ of your target audience.

And ultimately, if you have developed a product or service that you are confident will truly meet an existing need for your customers, then communicating this should be easier.

With that in mind, you need to be thinking about…

  • How your business’ offering will benefit your target audience - is this clear enough in your messaging?
  • What it does differently to (or, better than!) a similar product on the market
  • What problem your product solves that your audience will identify with
  • Which benefits will appeal to which subsets of your target audience the most - as ever, there is no one-size-fits all

It’s at this stage that businesses need to pay close attention to the features and benefits of their particular product or service.

Because getting your messaging right could be the difference between your target audience clicking ‘buy’ on your website or closing that online tab.

You have an opportunity to highlight how exactly your product or service can make a difference to your target audience’s lives by leading with the way it will benefit them, rather than simply listing the features (another very common marketing faux pas!).

While it might be easier to rattle off all the cool and funky features of your offering, if you don’t connect them to a specific customer need, then you may have limited success in winning over your audience. 

Sounds tricky, but you’d be surprised by how powerful a simple tweak can be.

Want more? Read our blog post ‘Features vs Benefits’.