Content Strategy

How to Identify Your Target Audience in Your B2B Startup

by Nigel Houghton | 3 years ago
How to Identify Your Target Audience in Your B2B Startup

Is your B2B business a startup or running low in numbers? Have you thought about your Targeting Audience? You have a service and a vision, but when it comes to marketing, chances are you have no idea how to find your target audience.

It’s a lot tougher than it sounds. Finding your target audience during the beginning stages of your business is filled with nuances, and starting from such a broad group of prospects makes narrowing your audience difficult. Add to that, the fact that most methods that work for B2C won’t work for B2B. Narrowing your audience is far more complex when you’re offering a service.

Luckily, we have some tips and tricks to help you out during your “target” hunting phase. Let’s find the perfect buyer persona for your business, and engage the audience that will deliver the results your business needs.

Here are some tips for identifying your target audience during the growth stages of your business.

You Have to Understand Your Business First

Before you can actually build out a target audience, you have to understand your own business. The things that fuel your business will ultimately feed your customers.

What Problem Do You Solve? And Who Would Benefit From You Solving This Problem?

You have to know this. We’re sure you probably understand this intuitively – after all your entire business was perhaps built around a gap that you identified as profitable. You really need to hone in on the problem that you solve.

Before you even begin thinking about your target audience, you should think about who would benefit from you solving this problem. Is it small companies in the health-care field? Is it Fortune 500 companies? Whoever it is, really understanding who you benefit doesn’t only help you identify who your audience is, it gives your company a more thorough vision.

Why Would They Buy it From You?

Why would your customers go to you? It’s more than likely that whatever field your business operates in, there’s competition. Why is it that your customers will choose you over your competitors? Do you offer services that they can’t compete with? Do you solve a problem in a faster, more reliable way? What is it?

Funnel it Down Using Semi-Complex Markers

The basics of creating a marketing “funnel” work like this;

Let’s say your company offers B2B cloud-based sales management solutions.

Well, we can tell quite a lot about your target audience just by the product. They are going to work in sales and be over the age of 18. In fact, the average age is 41, and over 78% of sales reps are over the age of 25. We also know from previous statistics that 61% of salespeople are men (79% in VP sales positions). So we can say that men occupy more space than women, but both still need to be heavily targeted.

Also, sales teams typically use LinkedIn as a primary work-related social media platform. That’s your primary market funnel. You have taken a broad audience and narrowed it down. Now you are down to targeting people working in sales (predominantly males) that use LinkedIn that are over the age of 25. I’m sure that you can see the obvious problem here. That may work for a B2C business offering a product, but that’s not nearly enough for a B2B business providing a service.

It gets a little more complex when you operate in the B2B world. Sure, you still need to know who your target audience is, but you have to take some additional factors into account. More than one person is making the purchasing decisions in businesses, and you aren’t marketing towards an individual, you’re marketing towards a company.

This is where markers come in.

Essentially, you want to think about your service; what it does, what companies would use it, and ultimately, weigh that against statistics that already exist. Then, you want to use that information to create markers that you can test against to figure out a hyper-specific target audience that you want to engage.

Here are some markers to help you narrow your search for your target audience.

  • Location
  • Occupation/Position
  • Success (Does your service favour companies that are doing well or not so well.)
  • Revenue (What does the companies revenue look like?)
  • Age
  • Number of Employees

Now you have a lot more to think about. You need to consider how many people the decision to purchase your service will go through. You need to figure out what occupation is really going to use your product and what position the people (both using it and making the purchasing decision) are in.

Don’t get us wrong, you still have to do the same steps that B2C does, but instead of targeting one customer and their problems, you need to consider every person your service is going to touch, their journey and which stage are they at – which is likely a lot.

These are where markers come in handy.

Going back to the imaginary offering (cloud-based sales management solutions).

What age range are you looking at? Well, it’s sales, so usually over the age of 24. Ok, now how many people does your service touch before the purchase? Do you need to go through sales and sales VP? Does it touch HR? There are a lot of factors to consider. Maybe, your product appeals to companies that are having issues, or perhaps it doesn’t.

Whatever the case is, every single fact that you can think of, use it. It will help you target your marketing in the beginning. The more you can narrow it down the better. Make use of the insane amount of B2B marketing statistics out there.

Build Your Customer’s Persona

Now that you’ve asked yourself some questions and funnelled your customer base down, it’s time to develop your buyer’s persona.

Building a persona is not complicated once you know your buyer. There are tons of different complexities involved that are specific to your organisation, and everyone starts to build theirs differently.

Really, your buyer’s persona is an idea of a key segment of your overall audience. But remember, it’s a personalised piece, meaning that your buyer’s persona is absolutely unique to you and your business.

Here are some questions you need to answer about your audience.

What is their buying process?

  • Do you need to convince them (are they hesitant) or are they looking for your service already?
  • What would their hesitations be?
  • What are the barriers surrounding them purchasing your product?
  • How many people do you need to go through?
  • How do you reach them?
  • Is it LinkedIn? Facebook?
  • What are the negatives of your service (price point, competition, flaws?)
  • Who really needs your product?

Once you start answering these questions, your target audience will become more niche.

What now?

The only thing left now, is to start! Get out there and get marketing. Start an app campaign using Google UAC, create an email campaign, devise a killer social media marketing campaign, etc.

Once you start marketing, your target audience will narrow further. Make sure you run A/B tests, really pay attention to any algorithms that you are (if you are) using as part of your marketing strategy.

We hope that this guide helps you to start narrowing your target audience. If you need any help figuring out your target audience along the way, contact us. If you have figured it out and want some killer creatives for your social media, email, or video campaign, you can also reach out to us. We’d love to help.


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