How To Avoid the Biggest Target Audience Mistake

As the old adage goes, “know thy target audience.” Truly, there is no denying the importance of tuning in and understanding who you are trying to reach with your message. From marketing to social media strategy, knowing your target audience is foundational to success. Why? Because understanding your audience allows you to tailor your message, approach and style in a way that connects with them on a deeper level. 

As an agency that works with many new-to-market brands, target audience discussions happen frequently. When brands come to us with very specific audiences for products that could be marketed to multiple demographics and pain points, it’s clear to us what’s happening – the business owner is mirroring themselves.

Sometimes the best solutions come from our own experiences. By providing a solution to a problem you’ve personally experienced, you not only have a unique perspective, but also a personal investment in the success of your business. However, your solution can help others who are struggling with similar issues or have the same needs.  Therefore, simply mirroring yourself to determine your target audience can pigeonhole your company’s marketing efforts and minimize your success. 

Stop Looking In The Mirror

It’s natural for business owners to have a lot of pride in their work and want to make sure that their target customers identify and relate to it. However, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of mirroring themselves too much in their target audience – forgetting that there are other potential buyers out there who might not fit that exact mold. 

While this approach can often result in success initially when it comes time for growth and lasting customer loyalty, it can lead to a number of problems further down the line. In order to avoid such issues, business owners should assess what makes up their ideal customer base beyond just replicating themselves as an example.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Business owners should not mirror their target audience after themselves because it can lead to a number of problems. These problems include:

Limited perspective: As a business owner, you have your own unique experiences, biases, and perspective. If you base your target audience solely on yourself, you may miss important segments of the market and limit your potential customer base.

Lack of diversity: If you mirror your target audience after yourself, you may exclude diverse groups of people who have different needs, wants, and pain points. This can prevent you from tapping into new markets and opportunities.

Narrowing your focus: Focusing only on your own needs and wants can make it difficult to see the bigger picture and understand the broader market trends and customer needs.

Lack of objectivity: If you are too closely tied to your target audience, it can be difficult to make objective decisions about your products, services, and marketing strategies.

Start Gathering Insights

It’s important to conduct research and gather information about your potential customers, their needs, and their pain points. Use this information to create buyer personas, which are fictional representations of your ideal customers, and use this as a guide in your business decisions.

If you are unsure of your market, creating marketing initiatives such as product sampling campaigns and focus groups can help to discover your target audience through testing and intentionality.

It’s truly an insight game, and those who know their audience inside out will be the ones who emerge victorious in their endeavors. So take the time to get to know your target audience, probe deeper, and connect with them on a personal level. The rewards are well worth the effort.


As a business, it’s important to take the time and effort to figure out who your target audience is, rather than mirroring them off yourself. Doing so ensures you have an informed and impartial perspective that can identify additional opportunities within the market. 

By researching and gathering information, creating buyer personas, and even using product sampling campaigns or focus groups, you can make sure that you create a diverse target audience who are tailored to meet your business needs. 

Ultimately, this will help ensure the success of your business. If you’re uncertain of where to start in understanding your target audience, you can always reach out for expert advice; book a consultation with TC Creatives today to get started on the right path! We specialize in helping new-to-market and pivoting brands unlock their potential and scale. 

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