Identifying your target market can sound pretty overwhelming to a business owner who is really thinking this through for the first time. In reality it’s a very simple but really important thing to do to boost business growth and increase sales.
Why are target markets important?
In this post I want to take you through the process of defining what a target market is and why spending time thinking about it is so important when you are trying to find your ideal customers.
Most importantly I want to help you understand how you take that target market research and turn it into real flesh and blood customers spending money on your products and services. This is a really important activity no matter the type of business you have.
No one can afford to market to everyone and no business will be attractive to every potential customer. To be able to compete with big businesses and big budgets you need to get smart about who you advertise to and how you do it.
How To Define Your Target Market?
Current customer base
If you have already been in business a while the first place to start is probably your existing customer base. It’s worth spending a little bit of time thinking about who your current customers are and thinking about why they buy from you.
What are their characteristics, where do the hang out, what social group do they belong to and most importantly what is the thing that makes them likely to come to you?
Look at your product or service
Next up is taking a deeper dive into your product or service. What are the things that make your customer likely to buy? Are they all about price? Are they focused on quality? Maybe service is the thing they are looking for.
It’s important to think about what motivates your customers to purchase and how that relates to you and your business.
What is that thing that makes you stand apart?
Features and benefits
Features and benefits are an important piece of the puzzle. Look at the problem your product or service solves and what is it in for the customer when they make the decision to choose you.
This isn’t about creating a list of all the things your product does in a cold hard bullet points kind of way.
It is more about thinking things through from a customer point of view. If you look at the features of your products and reverse engineer it back to who would benefit from those products you are much more likely to get a great idea of what that customer looks like and how you can reach them effectively.
Being aware of competition is important. Who are their customers? How do they target them? How can you set yourself apart?
Look at what is working for them but also be aware of how you can create a niche of your own. Choosing a niche is really important. You need to make sure there are enough customers in that niche to be profitable and viable but you also want to be able to find an angle that isn’t flooded with competition.
Finding your ideal customer
When starting to think about your ideal customer it is often helpful to get really specific.
Create a character in your mind and make specific choices for your business with that person in mind.
The following things are important to consider when building up that picture:
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Marital Status
- Ethnic Background
It isn’t just about these cold hard status’s though some of the more fluid things should also be thought about and built into the picture:
Once you have thought about all of these things you should have a really good idea about who is buying your product/service and why. You should also have a great idea of where that person is hanging out and how you can get your message across to that person and make them choose you.
Don’t go to far!
The aim of this activity isn’t to break your market down to far and it isn’t to exclude anybody! The idea is to have a niche that you can tap into comfortably and know that they are likely to be interested in listening to what you have to say.
If you narrow the field to much there will not be enough money to grow and thrive.
This whole process is about getting to know your customer better and seeing your business through their eyes. When you take this approach strategic choices can be made with that customer in mind. This reduces the chances of costly mistakes being made.
I have been very fortunate to build an online income over the past few years, if this is something you’d like to do too you can see here exactly how I make money from this blog.
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