Sizing Up Your Customers


I don’t know how to blog. I have researched blogging. I have read other people’s posts. I understand the theory behind it. I just have never put in the effort required to go through with actually writing one.

Until now.

My boss wants to help local businesses learn about advertising. I want to get some experience as a writer. (I always wanted to be a writer or editor.) So, I am blogging.

As I research advertising advice, I see so many references to Target Audience, Target Market, Target Demographic and how important they are in advertising effectively. However, I had a difficult time finding a direct answer about how to find out what your target demographic/market/audience should be.

I’m sure you already have some idea of who might buy your product. (Adults who have some money in their pockets, am I right?) But ads targeting everyone (the “spray and pray” method) are expensive and not effective. Instead, focus your efforts. Find your niche and target them; they will show up and bring others to the party.

Here’s how you do it:

Size up your current customers

Start with the basic demographics: Age, Gender, Location, Income Level, Marital/Family Status, Occupation. You may be able to use the sales information you already have for this.

If you don’t already track this kind of data, consider doing a survey. Give out a nominal gift for participation. I myself will help out a business for a decent coupon, and I will give you a lot of information for a gift card.

Do your homework

Once you have an idea of who your customer is on the surface, research that group. What are their hobbies and interests? What kinds of lifestyles and behaviors are typical of them? What are their attitudes and values? Most importantly, how will your product or service fit into their lives?

A few tools that can help are:

  • Targeted surveys, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, message boards, blogs and online communities for your intended customer. If you have social media pages for your business, you can get some information there, too.
  • Check out government sites like the US Census Bureau, US Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Economics & Statistics Administration. has a long list of places to get statistical information.
  • Make sure you check out your competition. What are their strengths and weaknesses? Why are customers buying from your competitor instead of buying from you? Why are people buying from you (As a possible alternative: What sets you apart from them?)

Check yourself

Do enough people in your geographical area fit your ideal consumer criteria? If not, you need to broaden your customer horizons. You want to be specific, but not too specific. You aren’t limited to one niche market. However, if you can’t reach more than one of those niches with the same means, you might have broken things down too far.

Really think about whether your target customer will truly benefit from your product or service. Does it fill a need? Can that target afford you? How often will they need you? Is your product or service seasonal or something they need frequently?

Now you have stacks of information on who your target customers are, or should be and what they want. You have your niche. Time to analyze.

The End Game

You’ve put in all the hard work. Time to put it to use. Time to get advertising and bring toward that target demographics.

This is where our Marketing Specialists can help you out. They will discuss your needs in depth to find the best way for your business to advertise. (And not just the ways they can sell you things.)

Thank you for reading. Hopefully this has shed some light on your customer base and who you should be targeting. Check out our posts every week on for more business boosting articles!  

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