How important is to define your target audience?
The biggest mistake regarding target audience is thinking that your target audience is everybody. You cannot design for everybody.
If you have a website and you know that your visitors are from different countries, they are males and females with different interests, they have different education, occupation, computer skills… how do you define target audience?
Let’s make something clear first, your target audience are not people who visit your website but those who YOU want to visit your website. Why? Because you want to sell something, you want those people who will buy your products – if this is your goal. You won’t achieve this by having a lot of visitors on your webiste who won’t buy anything. What would you want? 500 visits a day with 20 sales or 100 visits per day with 50 sales?
Do you know who do you design for? Imagine you have a shop with used cars and you want to have an ad in the magazine. If you don’t know what is your target audience, how will you create an ad that will work?
You will design a really cool looking ad with cool graphics and fonts and it’s gonna be all shiny. It will appeal for young people who can appreciate cool graphics etc. But in fact, your target audience is people around 50 years old [but you don’t know that]. They buy most cars from your shop and they do not care for an ad like this. They do not have to see cool graphics to be blown away. Maybe all they need is a big black and white ad for a discount.
So the result will be that you will pay money to the designer, to the magazine and the ad will not bring more people to your shop. You will either blame designer or magazine. But the truth is that you have an ad which appeals to young people who doesn’t even have enough money to buy a car so of course they won’t come to your shop and buy a car.
You can identify target audience by following ways:
language that you communicate with. You can’t use teenage slang words in a product for old people. They won’t get it.
helps you define colours and the mood. You don’t want hardcore looking web for girls’ stuff.
if you have a bookstore, what books do you wanna order? For example your regural customers are students, so will you order books about babies or will you order study books?
if you build a website and your target audience lacks computer skills, this website has to be really simple to use and understand. It shouldn’t contain moving graphics and stuff like that, because people won’t know how it works and where to click.
this can help you define another product that could support the main one if you know the interests that your target audience has in common – expect the main product that you sell.
what kind of phone your target audience own? Do they use it to surf the web too? Do you need responsive web or not?
if your target audience doesn’t care for internet, do you really need a website?
if you have a car shop with expensive cars, your customers have to be able to afford those cars. What do they do? Will you put your ad in the teenage magazine or expensive one?
for example in Europe the white colour means wedding, angels, peace but in China it means death and mourning. So be aware of those things.