Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right Podcast, Episode 58: Identify and Meet the Needs of Your Target Audience.
Hi friends! Life is good. I hope you are doing well and enjoying life wherever you are listening.
In this week’s episode, we are going to discuss the importance of knowing your target audience. We will look at identifying your target audience, meeting their needs, and then putting it into practice on a regular basis. But first, I want to share the tip of the week.
Tip of the Week — Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
This week’s tip is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! We all have so many blessings in our lives. For me, one of my biggest blessings is my family. I have a wonderful wife and we share a deep love for each other. We are each other’s best friend and really love talking to each other. We have a wonderful loving relationship. We also have great kids. They are fun but challenging at the same time.
Over the past few weeks I was apart from them. I was in Washington D.C. one week, and they went to visit my wife’s family this past week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go due to some other obligations. They came back yesterday and it is so good to have them back.
I heard a speech from Thomas S. Monson where he explained how important it is to have an attitude of gratitude. He said, “We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.” I strongly encourage each of us to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Be grateful for life and all our blessings.
Alright, let’s talk about the target audience. Sometime back, I did some work with another leader that involved re-evaluating processes and making changes. One question asked over and over again was, “Who is our target audience and what are their needs?”
Prior to making any changes, we were constantly looking at and evaluating the needs of the target audience. To be successful, we had to identify the target audience and their needs. Meeting their needs was very important because we didn’t want to make changes just to find out we weren’t hitting meeting their needs and reaching our goals.
For leadership to be done right, you must identify and meet the needs of your target audience. Ultimately, if you don’t do this, you will struggle and maybe even fail as a leader. So how do you identify and meet the needs of your target audience?
Identify The Target Audience
First, to identify your target audience ask who the end users will be. Look at people that will be impacted by the outcomes of your choices. Think about why you are doing what you are doing and who it will impact. Also, consider potential outsiders that will be impacted by your decisions and choices.
Who is Your Target Audience?
As a leader your target audience may be your superiors, the shareholders, your employees, other departments, outside entities, regulators, or someone else. As you work on projects, new initiatives, or drive to create a new vision, you should regularly ask who you are working for and what they want as the end result.
Indirect Target Audience
In addition to the obvious target audience, there may be others that will be impacted by your decisions and choices. Although they won’t specifically be your target audience, it is important to know the impact your decisions will have on them.
Let’s look at Walmart as an example. The Business Insider article, This is what the average Walmart shopper looks like by Hayley Peterson, explained the average Walmart shopper. It said, “According to the data, the average Walmart shopper is a white, 51-year-old female with an annual household income of $56,482.”
Walmart’s initiatives, pricing strategy, and marketing agenda would all revolve around meeting the needs of that target customer. While the were in the expansion phase, all their efforts to grow and expand would be geared towards that customer. Their target audience was people that wanted to buy functional products at an inexpensive price.
They also had an indirect target audience. Wherever they expanded, there were always others that were impacted. That included people that regularly shopped or worked at other stores that wouldn’t normally buy at Walmart, members of the community, other store owners, and even influential community leaders.
Walmart had to focus on their target audience, but could not lose sight of the indirect target audience.
Early in My Career
Early in my career, I learned the importance of knowing the direct and indirect target audience as a leader. I led a small group of people and my focus was on making their lives easier. I wanted to improve the processes, increase efficiency, and just make things better.
I started making changes and my group was very happy. Within a small amount of time, however, other departments were coming to me voicing frustrations. The changes in my department were having a negative impact on their department.
I then had to adjust and change so we had the best result for not only my department, but all the other departments as well.
Identify The Needs Of The Target Audience
Once you identify the target audience, do your very best to meet their needs.
I listened to another podcast recently and they brought up a valuable point. There are two lines of thought when it comes to meeting needs.
Find Pain Points
The first approach is to survey the target audience to know all their pain points, then develop a product to address them.
See Into the Future
The second approach is to see the future and innovate a product that people don’t even know they need. This is often referred to as the Steve Jobs approach. People didn’t know they needed an iPhone, iPod, or iPad until Apple came out with it. At that point, everyone needed one!
Along those lines, Henry Ford said, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.”
The approach you take depends on your industry, and the position you are trying to hold within that industry. Regardless of your approach, however, here’s a few questions you could ask to more effectively meet their needs:
- What is the purpose of what you are doing?
- What is the desired end result?
- What will the product be used for?
Listen to What They Say
Once you ask your audience what they need of want, listen to what they say. Be an active listener. If you don’t understand what they are saying, find out more. If you need further explanation, ask for it. Try to get to the bottom of their concerns so that you can give them what they need.
When you go to many professionals like doctors, car mechanics, lawyers, etc. they first ask you why you are there and how they can help you. They must listen to what you say so they can effectively help you. As a leader, it is important to do the same. Ask people their challenges, then listen to their responses.
Everything you do as a leader centers on meeting the needs of your target audience, so do your best to effectively identify their needs.
We’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we will discuss meeting the needs of the target audience and putting it all into practice.
Meet The Needs Of The Target Audience
Welcome back! Once you identify the target audience and their needs, you must meet their needs. This is where the rubber meets the road. You must work hard and be dedicated to put together a good product.
It is easy to see how this fits when you are selling a physical product, but it is just as important when leading a large group. The way you interact with others, the decisions you make, and the goals and visions you create ARE the product you are selling to those you lead.
Small and Simple Things
Be conscientious of what you do every moment of every day. The little things have a much bigger impact than you would initially think, so pay attention to the small things. A simple “Good morning!”, “Hi!”, or “How are you?” can have a much bigger impact than what you would expect because of your role and the impact you can have.
Also, the decisions you make and the vision you create impact those you lead. When you tell people, “No job is too big to get done with the resources you have,” you are also saying other things. “We aren’t hiring more people. You’re going to have to work longer hours. And, you must get it done no matter the toll on you or your family.”
Consider the impact these statements will have. Are you sharing the message you want to share?
Focus on Needs
Every industry and situation is different, but what’s important is to focus on the needs of your target audience and indirect target audience and how you can meet them.
Put It Into Practice
Now let’s talk about putting it into practice. When I was in college studying mechanical engineering, I took a class in engineering design. For the class, we had to design a water pump for people in Africa to use. We had a few different groups that made up our target audience. The target audience consisted of the African people, our teacher, and the sponsor that would take the pump to Africa.
Varied Needs Amongst the Target Audience
The needs of the target audience varied, so we had to consider the following three points:
- The people of Africa wanted a pump that could be reproduced with a limited number of resources.
- Our teacher wanted us to use a specific design process so he could grade us. He also wanted us to produce a good product.
- The sponsor wanted something that was easy to reproduce and transport.
Once we identified the target audience and their needs, we designed a pump using a bicycle and PVC pipe that was able to pump 10 gallons per minute. It was easy to reproduce and the design process met the teacher’s standards. In addition, the sponsor really liked the design and he took it to Africa so they could use it.
Because we met the needs of each audience, the project was a success. We identified the target audience, their needs, and then followed through with the project. Although this is an example using a physical product, the points can be applied to leadership as well.
As a recap, to be a successful leader, it is important to know your target audience, their needs, and then do your best to meet the needs.
Thank you for listening to this episode of the Leadership Done Right podcast. You can check out the show notes at LeadershipDoneRight.com/PodcastEpisode58. I will include an outline of the topics we discussed and related links.
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Thanks again for listening! My goal is to help you become a great leader, now go be the best leader you can be!
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