Know your audience: It’s amongst my top communications advice for business success – right up there with empathy and enthusiasm.

While it sounds obvious, many businesses get it wrong or simply don’t consider their audience at all. Instead, they focus on their own wants and needs, then wonder why their business is not performing to its potential.

To communicate effectively with your customers, clients and stakeholders in a way that connects, builds a relationship, and increases sales and profit, you need to know your audience.

You need to know:

1. Who they are: Their demographic, background, age, socio-economic status, life stage and lifestyle. The relevance of each of these factors will differ depending on your business, but having a general picture of your audience will help you determine how to communicate; what to say and how to say it.

2. What they want to hear: What does your audience want to know about your business, service, or product? Do they want a detailed explanation or succinct overview? The message you want to convey and the angle you want to focus on may be different to what your audience wants to hear.

3. What connects with them? What gets your audience excited? What’s important to them? Again, this may be different to what pushes your buttons.

4. How your audience wants to receive your message: Which medium do they prefer? Social or traditional media? Mail-outs or email? Face-to-face or telephone? The best medium for your business will be determined by your audience, your budget, business type, and the intention of each communication; not necessarily your preference.

If you’re not sure of the answers to any of these questions – ASK! Survey your audience; form an informal or formal target group; pick their brains; find out what they want; ask questions; listen.

To build a successful business you need to meet your audience’s needs, not just your own.

Leah Mether is communications specialist, trainer, and professional speaker with her own business, Methmac Communications (

She works with large corporate clients, small businesses, community groups, and individuals to help them improve and deliver their communications.

#knowyouraudience #communicationforbusinesssuccess