When it comes time to create a marketing strategy for your business, it’s time to flex your muscles and get to work finding your target market.
Having a well-defined target has never been more important, especially with all the options available in social media, digital advertising and email marketing to fine tune your audience.
Knowing your target group helps you compete more effectively in your market.
In this article, we look at 10 tips for researching your target market, but first let’s define the “target market.”
What is a Target Market?
First, your target market is the group of people you want to sell your products or services to. Once defined, this group is those people whose needs you are able to meet.
More succinctly, your target customers are those who are most likely to buy from you.
You want to hit the bullseye on your target, and the likelihood you’ll do it is better with a target market instead of sending random shots out to a wide audience hoping someone will bite.
Next, targeting a specific group of people doesn’t mean you are excluding those who might be interested. What it means is focusing your marketing dollars on the people who are more likely to be interested in your product.
For example, if you are an interior design company that only works on houses over $200,000, your target may be people between the ages of 30-60 with an income over $100,000 per year.
You might even further refine your target market to people only interested in kitchen remodels because that’s all you want to do this quarter.
While this may seem like you’re excluding people, what you’re doing is allocating your marketing budget to the people who are able to hire you.
#1: Look at Your Customer Base
Look at your current customers. Think about why they buy from you. Then, decide if they have any common interests.
Consider a survey if you don’t know the answers to these questions. Once you’ve done this, you can start building your target market.
#2: Look at Your Competition
Next, you want to look at the people buying from your competition. Check out their social media pages for some guidance.
Then, you might consider a new market that your competition is overlooking, or you might find a better way to market to the same group of people.
#3: Review Demographic Data
Why is this important? Let’s say you are marketing diapers to new parents. Your target market most likely isn’t the over 50 set. Knowing this helps you pinpoint the right demographic groups.
Consider these demographic elements:
- Marital Status
- Social Class
- Income Level
- Educational Attainment
You also want to consider the psychographics of your target to help you get more personal. Psychographics is the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research and may include:
#4: Create Buyer Personas
It may be that your business can target to several different groups of people. Because of this, it’s important to build buyer personas (or customer profiles).
What does your typical customer look like? Again, you might have multiple personas.
This helps you find the right people to market to that share the same characteristics. You can use your demographic information to help you.
Once you have your buyer personas, it’s easier to decide which marketing tactics are likely to engage them and propel them to action.
#5: Analyze Your Offerings
Another tactic is to analyze your products and services.
First, make a list of everything you offer. Then, next to each product/service, write down what benefit it provides. You can take it a step further and notate which buyer persona(s) you think would fit.
Ask yourself who needs this product or service and would gain from using it.
For example, if you sell diapers, the product provides a benefit to new parents. The buyer personas it might fit are mothers and fathers.
Once you’ve got all this information in hand, and you’ve landed on a target market, you want to look at the following:
- Are there enough people in my target market?
- Did I make my target too specific or too broad?
- Will my target really have a need for my products and services?
- Can they afford my products/ services?
- Is my audience easily reachable with my message?
- Do I really understand their needs?
Finally, you may find that you have more than one target market, and that’s okay. You will just need to tailor your marketing message to each niche group.
Once you know who you’re targeting, your marketing from your website to social media to email marketing and paid digital ads is infinitely easier.
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