Audience: talking to a specific group helps focus your message

I’ve talked about audience before and the importance of understanding how speaking to your specific audience in a way that they can connect with is crucial. Today I want to talk about segmenting your audience, and not being afraid to really, specifically, target a certain group.

Your target audience is never “everyone”

Time and time again when I ask people who their audience is the answer is extremely broad. Women. Anyone with money to invest. Anyone with a car.

You can’t really connect with an audience that broad. You need to segment your audience and then figure out how to talk to them individually.


Toyota is a great example of a company that could say their audience is anyone who wants to buy a car. Although that may be true, different segments of an audience want different things based on price, safety, style, engine, etc.

This is one of my favourite targeted ads ever. It’s for the Toyota Sienna and talks directly to my peers and I. We are in our 30s, we have young kids, and we never wanted to be the “minivan parents”. This ad clearly talks to parents because they are the most likely to need this vehicle (my 60+ neighbours have one; they clearly didn’t buy it for the same reasons I did).

Here’s another Toyota ad talking to a different audience, this time without talking about a specific vehicle. This ad would not work for anyone who doesn’t use their mobile for asking for opinions when out shopping. *I* frequently text photos of clothing I’m trying on when shopping to my friends to get their opinions. I can go shopping with my friends without finding a time we’re all available. My dad doesn’t even have a cell phone.

But I’m not a huge corporation

Who is your most ideal client? Start there, focus on them specifically.  Connecting with one group really well could pay off far more than trying to reach everyone but not really connecting with anyone.

I once had a financial planner who specifically wanted women as her clients. Women who needed to understand how to save and plan financially independently of her spouse.  Her messaging was all to that effect and she primarily went to women’s networking groups.  Would she take anyone who wanted to invest with her?  Of course.  But meanwhile she was out connecting with women on a personal level, gaining their trust, and declaring a niche in her business.

If you’re a realtor maybe you want to focus on clients who are looking to downsize now that they’ve become empty nesters. You can provide specific information on how to declutter, how to decide what to keep and what to get rid of or helping people decide what size home is right for just two people.

Some businesses have a more obvious perfect audience segment and some need to work harder to choose one. Don’t be afraid to take the leap and declare a niche audience. Instead of limiting the potential of your clientele, you’re creating so many opportunities to really reach the clients you most want.

Leave a comment and tell me who your ideal client is. Do you target them specifically?