Let’s say I’m selling makeup. You might think your target audience would be young women — specifically, 13–17 year olds who are interested in fashion. You start targeting that group and are getting moderate results.
But what happens when you need to expand? When you feel like you’ve hit a plateau? Or someone asks if you’ve found the entire addressable market?
User research is a great place to start, but marketers need to do more. We can’t trust these initial perceptions of who our target users are. We need to expand. And as our businesses grow, our sets of targeting options need to grow, too.
There are more than 72 quadrillion different targeting options on Facebook (yes, even after the recent loss of 5k+). This isn’t something you need to be scared of. You need to embrace this. You hold the power of the company in your hands — and you can run thousands of tests to determine who your audiences really are.
It’s time to train ourselves to think outside of the box.
If you’re trying to come up with new targeting groups by yourself, you might start thinking about what different people are interested in. Maybe people who like makeup also like fashion — and then maybe they like shopping, clothes, lip balm, moisturizers, and hair salons.
With so many different options, how do you know when you’ve tested them all?
Here’s the thing: you don’t.
That’s right: you don’t know when you’ve found your full target audience. And maybe we don’t need to. We can continue to test, to build, to iterate. To keep going and searching for new people.
Otherwise, we’re going to end up finding and targeting the same users over and over again. It’s time to think outside the box, think outside of the targeting groups and find new audiences.