There’s no doubt about it: your business will evolve over time. Given this, it’s important to keep in mind that the target audience you chose when you initially began your business may, at some point in time, no longer make sense for your evolving products or services. When it comes to shifting your target audience, you may be tempted to update your marketing and outreach strategies based on what you knew about your previous audience, however your assumptions about the wants and desires of this new audience may not match the reality of who they are. A new target audience requires new eyes, new perspectives, and a careful plan of action. Avoiding these three pitfalls will help you do just that:
Pitfall #1 – Pivoting To the Wrong Audience
Business owners often pivot to a new audience based on gut instinct or their experience with a favorite customer. However, the right target audience for your business shouldn’t be based solely on the customers you like. Your new target audience should include stakeholders or referral partners that can help you reach your business goals. Casting a wide enough net to capture all of your key customers and partners takes time and requires proper research. Without it, you could pivot your business in a way that negatively impacts your bottom line.
Pitfall #2 – Making Assumptions
Another misstep often made by business owners is to pivot to target audiences that are tangential to their current market or with whom they have past experience. In this case, past experience can make business owners feel overly-confident about whether they truly understand the wants and desires of their new targeted group. Even if you have experience with your new audience, it is essential that you conduct proper market research. In doing so, you ensure that your company’s products and services align with your audience’s needs — not your assumptions.
Pitfall #3 – Failing To Do Your Research
Even if you find it fulfilling or impactful to serve a particular market, your business won’t stay open long if you do not understand your audience’s buying power, or how to price your products and services to meet their expectations. Your target audience needs to be able to spend money on your products or services and you must communicate the value of those products in a way that your new audience understands.