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  • Writer's pictureJenny Henderson

THE SECRET TO CREATING A TARGET AUDIENCE MARKETING PLAN

Updated: Apr 2


blog cover: target audience marketing plan


If you’re reading this, it means you are done trying to market your business and offers and are looking to be more strategic. The truth is, marketing to your target audience shouldn’t be that challenging. You know the phrase work smarter, not harder? Well, this blog is going to show you how to create a target audience marketing plan that is simple and successful.


CONTENTS


START WITH A TARGET AUDIENCE PERSONA

Before we can create a target audience marketing plan, you need to have a nuanced understanding of who they are. I’m willing to bet, this isn’t a new concept to you, so I will try and keep this part short.


The goal is to create a really clear target audience persona of your ideal client or customer. You can even use my free target audience template to get you started. As a business trying to market to their target audience, you want to have a balance of demographic and psychographic details about them.


Demographic Examples

  • where they reside

  • their annual salary

  • education

  • relationship status


Psychographic Examples

  • their personality

  • their values

  • lifestyle

  • responsibilities

  • motivations

  • challenges


I dive deeper on the basics around target audience analysis and development here. If you’ve never done a formal target audience persona, I would definitely give this a read.


DON’T SKIP THE AUDIENCE MARKET RESEARCH

I can’t stress enough how important audience research is to creating a successful target audience marketing plan. You can guess all you want about who your ideal client is, how they behave, and what their problems are... but if you haven’t actually had conversations with people that fit the profile of your ideal client, your marketing plan is likely to yield little to no results.


Tips for Doing Audience Market Research


Join Facebook community groups that your ideal client would be present in. Create a poll or a simple survey on Typeform or Tally survey to get insights on your target audience.


Use social media to have real conversations with your ideal clients. Look for those folks that align with your target audience connect with them, have a sincere conversation with them. You may even ask them if they’d be willing to do a survey or join you for a brief market research call.


Incentivize market research calls with a gift card for their time. I did this in 2023. I posted in a few Facebook groups that I’d offer a $10 Starbucks gift card in exchange for a short 15 minute market research chat on Zoom. (Plus, you can totally expense those gift cards on your taxes.) It was extremely eye-opening and even led to a few long-term connections with individuals who are in my target audience.


A NEW WAY TO LOOK AT YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE’S PROBLEM

Here is where most businesses get their marketing wrong. They’re not thinking about their target audience’s problem in the right way.


To build a relationship with your target audience on social media through your content, you need to have a layered understanding of their problem and how that problem manifests in their life or business.


This is what will truly change your target audience marketing plan for the better!


Remember, your business is a solution to their problem. How you present that problem in your marketing and how well you understand the needs and desires of your target audience is what will lead to a stronger connection between you and them through your marketing and brand messaging.



You’re Thinking About Your Target Audience’s Problem All Wrong

Here’s the problem: when business owners are creating their target audience personas, the problem they think their ideal client has—as the solution provider—isn’t at all how their ideal client would describe it themselves.


They inevitably describe their problem as a lack of something:

  • they don’t have X

  • they don’t know how to X


But nobody that’s really ready to change or take action describes their problem so simply and superficially.


To create a target audience marketing plan that truly resonates with them and helps grow your business, you must go deeper and explore the ripple effect that functional problem has on their story and manifests in their lives.


Why? Because it’s our emotions that lead us to take action.


Aim to understand what’s important to your target audience and what their values are (important questions to ask in your target audience research) so that you can optimize your offers and create solutions that coincides with more than just that superficial problem.



tips for target audience marketing plan


IDENTIFYING THE LAYERS OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE’S PROBLEM

So how do you identify the problems that will make your marketing plan a magnet for your target audience?


Start by doing a brain dump of as many problems your target audience has as it relates to your product or service. The deeper you go, the better.


For every functional problem you list, identify the emotional problem that exists as a result of that functional problem.


Then go one step further and make a list of self-expressive problems to understand how having this problem impacts their identity.


Let’s look at an example. A social media manager creating a target audience marketing plan may approach it like this:


Their Target Audience’s Functional Problem:

  • they need help optimizing their content and maintaining an online presence


Their Target Audience’s Emotional Problems:

  • Tired of the mental energy required to keep up with content and engagement

  • Looming anxiety, stress, and general distraction all week as they try to tirelessly come up with content ideas

  • Frustrated that they’re taking time in their evenings and weekends to catch up on social media marketing


Their Target Audience’s Self-Expressive Problems:

  • Their social media marketing doesn’t reflect the professionalism they want associated with their brand

  • Inadequacy on the content marketing front compared to their competitors

  • Doubting their ability to run a business if they can’t maintain their business’s social media presence


These are just a handful of examples, but you can already see that by going deep you’re able to uncover a narrative around your target audience’s problem that will play a significant role in your marketing. As you continue to fold these narratives into your target audience marketing plan, your audience will take notice, see themselves in your content, fostering a deep connection to your business as the best solution.



content idea exercise from your target audience marketing plan


USING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE MARKETING PLAN

When you have a detailed list of the functional, emotional, and self-expressive problems your target audience has, counter each of those problems with a list of functional, emotional, and self-expressive benefits your business offers.


You may be surprised by how successful this exercise is for your marketing plan. It makes your entire content marketing game so much simpler.


Here’s the best part: more often than not your target audience hasn’t even recognized these deeper emotional or self-image problems they’re struggling with.


And when you can help them better understand themselves through your messaging and marketing, you’ll VERY QUICKLY earn their attention and their trust.


It’s important to remember that marketing is a long game. Keep coming back to these problem scenarios in your target audience marketing plan for your content ideas. This consistency is how you position your business as the best business to solve their problem.

The more you speak to the same things, the faster they become familiar with the idea of working with you.


This is all a huge part of the brand strategy work I do with clients. If you’re looking for strategic support with marketing to your target audience in a way that will earn more recognition and revenue for your business, apply here. Let’s have a conversation and make a tailored plan that will allow you to market like a brand.



content marketing planner to support your target audience marketing plan


 


jenny henderson



Jenny Henderson Studio develops memorable brand experiences and strategic brand foundations to improve recognition and revenue for service-based small businesses.




 

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