Aiming a campaign at the correct audience is key. For all campaigns you need to firstly define who your audience are. Are they male or female are they young or old? The next question is where? Where are they in the country, where are you most likely to capture this audience. We then come on to the what? What do they want? What are you going to offer to them? And finally Why? Why do they want your product or service? Why should they do as you are asking them?

It is a simple set of questions but if you apply the who, where, what, why to your campaigns it gives you a clearer understanding of your product or service and why people might buy into it – it also helps you keep it relevant to your audience.

If you define your audience as females for example, the who, where, what, why will help you identify exactly what kind of females these are. They could be career focussed business women, women with young families, environmentally conscious, love anything that sparkles – there are various groups that people can fit into and some of these groups will have a cross over, they maybe career focussed business women with a young family but you need to pin point where your product sits and what group you’re it aiming at.

Where your audience live, what area they live in and where they go, even down to what supermarket they shop at is important. People respond to different messages, colours and designs and these need to be targeted to your chosen group.

Have a look at how other advertising campaigns talk to their customers. You will get a different type of message from Waitrose than you will to Aldi customers and you will get a different design for Primark than you will for Monsoon. They are aimed at different people therefore they tap into that audiences emotions, aspirations and needs.

The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ are the areas where you have to be really clear on your product or service offer. You need to put yourself in someone else shoes and decide what they are going to get from you and why they would want it. Your USP (unique selling point) is important here. Why would they come to you if someone down the road is offering the same or similar? Is it because you are better value, do you provide a better service? If so, how do you provide a better service?

Questioning yourself and playing devils advocate is the best way to do this – put every barrier you can in your way so that what your offering is clear and concise and you always have to have something to back up your claims. The amount of times I have gone into a company and asked them what their USP is and when I’ve questioned it, it becomes apparent that they chose a string of words that sounded good but they have nothing to back it up. Just imagine if a customer were to question you or ask you to back up what you believe to be your USP – could you do it?

It is important to see how other companies advertise to similar audiences as I mentioned before. Big name brands spend thousands upon thousands of pounds profiling their customers and identifying their audiences and there’s a lot a small business can learn from looking at how they sell, where they sell and what techniques they are using.

You can also do your own research by sending out a simple questionnaire to your customers and finding out what they want and why, you can do this online free of charge with Survey Monkey and similar programmes or you can get people to fill in a quick tick sheet when they come in to your shop or place of work. You can even use a bit of bribery if it’s a long questionnaire or you think you are putting your customers out by asking them to give you their time – offer them something in return for the information. Once you have the data, use it wisely and listen to the feedback and use any negative feedback constructively to improve on what you currently have.

If you are doing your campaign yourself you should be set up with a clearer idea of how you want to sell and to what audience. If you are using a designer to create your campaign you are in the best position to brief them in on exactly what you want and you will get far better results than if you are unclear about your product or service.