How to identify your target market

Successful marketing has to do with getting to know your target market. Who are your potential customers? What’s in it for them? Why should they even do business with you?

Targeting these people makes it easy to create your store for the right target market, efficiently leveraging the tools you have to nurture and win your potential customers over.

  • To achieve this, first, you need to determine what the purpose of your product is, concentrating on the problem your product solves.
  • Then you need to separate those who have bought from you from those who are yet to buy anything. This includes audience type, target demographics, any other characteristic of your segmented target audience. If your service or product is relatively new in the market, a wise move will be to study what your competitors are doing to get some ideas.

The most challenging aspect of this step is that you can’t base your decisions on assumptions. For instance, if you plan to launch a vegan biscuit business, the chances are that you know a lot about their health benefits.

But don’t make the mistake of assuming that customers are also aware of those things. They may not even have heard of such a product.

Here’s another important tip: always ensure that you build a healthy relationship with your target audience and carry out lots of research.

You can then keep evaluating or changing your target market as your business expands.

Your target audience is completely dynamic

For example, as your business grows, you may want to start selling to international customers. Or might believe your customers are, predominantly, men, when, in reality, your customers are women who are buying stuff for their spouses. Understanding who your audience is, and tweaking it constantly, will keep you focused.

This article reveals some market research tips and finding the right opportunities and providing the correct answers to these questions:

1. Understand the problems you want to solve with your products

When you want to define your target audience then you have to identify the problem that your product or service solves. You will then need to start identifying the people who are likely having these problems.

2. Visualise your target customer

The customers who buy your products have a few characteristics in common, which can help you present your message in a better way.

You can find out what those characteristics are by creating a customer profile. This includes data on their behavioural pattern as well as information that makes it easy for you to identify your target market.

Here are some demographic criteria to begin with:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Income level
  • Gender
  • Family or Marital status
  • Education level
  • Ethnic background
  • Occupation

Psychographic data uses deeper criteria, showing more in-depth traits of your audience:

  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Attitudes
  • Values
  • Lifestyle preferences
  • Social Channels
  • Behaviours

No two products, businesses or industries are the same, so the above lists are subject to change. They form the basis for market segment size and opportunity evaluation.

Never shy away from shaking things up and including criteria that give you more possibilities. Getting to know your target market makes it easy to convert them into paying customers.

3. Who gets to benefit from your offer?

Lots of businesses are too careful not to get too specific when doing their research for fear of limiting their reach.

When you identify a target audience, it allows you to make decisions that take care of their needs, which keeps you on the path of success for a long time.

Narrow down your target audience:

  • Their Beliefs
  • Pain points
  • Attitudes

The first step for you is to understand their income level and age, but narrowing down to the core problem of the customer is what distinguishes your brand and products from the competition.

If you can prove that the cost of ignoring the problem DWARFS the cost of solving it, then you’ve got a compelling case.

4. Consider niche markets

Niches are almost everything these days. For instance, the days of being tied to certain TV schedules are long gone. It is now possible to watch any program of our choice from any corner of the globe. Everyone gets to enjoy that unique viewing experience at any time of the day.

The internet makes it possible to deliver personalised services and products, bypassing the numerous middlemen that used to be in place.

What these factors tell us is that it makes so much sense when you’re a big fish in a small pond. You will easily gain more referrals and build your reputation. Also, you will be profiting more from your marketing activities.

Make use of your existing knowledge and start segmenting your market. Do you intend to work:

  • With certain types of individuals – influential women, men, golfers?
  • In specific parts of the Australia – Sydney, Melbourne?
  • Around specific industries – accountants, manufacturers?

5. What company expertise can you provide?

One way to determine your target market is to evaluate your employees and your business.

  • Are you an expert in certain areas? For instance, do you have a deep knowledge of certain industries, such as dealing with doctors?
  • Are you richly knowledgeable about certain geographical location?
  • Are you more comfortable getting along with specific types of people?

With these factors, you can present an attractive offer to your targeted audience.

For instance, an accountant who works alone in Melbourne may find that it’s not practical to work around the country initially.  They may then only choose clients specifically in the Bayside area and work with those clients.

It may be that they have previously worked in-house for a few businesses before deciding to go it alone. The accountant may, therefore, choose to make ‘Entrepreneurs in Melbourne’s Bayside area’ their marketplace.

Suddenly, every entrepreneur in the Bayside area begins to feel that they probably have to know this accountant. Because the accountant specialises in working in this area only, there is a bigger chance that they’ll connect you with the right people and have deep knowledge about funding and schemes for entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, focusing on this marketplace means that the accountant knows the right networks to attend, the right publications to read, and the right websites to sign up to. It’s easy for the accountant to gain popularity. If they hadn’t narrowed down their target market, getting started would have been an uphill task.

6. Identify your competitors

Once you have answered some of these questions, you need to see if there is anything else available in the market. Here’s the question you need to provide an answer to is this:

Why am I in a position to be the problem solver?

It may be that there is no definite answer in some marketplaces. However, there may be a compelling answer to that question in some geographical locations or sectors.

You should also consider asking these questions about your competitors:

  • What is their position in the market? What products are their customers buying?
  • What’s their pricing like? How much are their customers willing to pay? Would they jump at a chance to pay more for something extra?
  • What have customers got to say on social media? What is their favourite social media platform? What are they interested in, according to their social media profiles, what’s their occupation? What about their hobbies? What is their description of their products or business?
  • Can you spot opportunities in their reviews? Are there weaknesses in their reviews that you feel your business can address?
  • If you can’t provide answers to any of these questions, you’re either targeting the wrong market or pushing the wrong products. In this case, you will need to do more work before you think of targeting potential customers.

Carry out your own research

Through research, you get to know your target market, which as to do with collecting data directly from consumers.

Although the cost of conducting primary research can be a bit higher than other methods, you will be able to understand customers and get some specific questions about your business answered.

You can try some of these things:

  • Send out surveys: email or mail out surveys to potential or existing customers. You can also use a web-based platform like SurveyMonkey
  • Put “interviews” to good use: interview consumers who might possess similar qualities as your target audience. For instance, you could interview people in a crowded mall, and just give them some short questions to answer.
  • Create focus groups: use question and answer sessions to gather feedback from a small group of consumers.

View your business in a new way

Okay, now you have some deep insights into who your ideal customers are, this is the time to put some questions to yourself.

  • Does your target audience have enough potential customers for you to launch a new business?
  • Will your service or product be of benefit to your target market?
  • Will your target market see a need to buy repeatedly from you?
  • Do you know what influences the buying decisions of your target market?
  • Is your service or product affordable for your target audience? If yes, how often can they purchase?
  • Can you get your message across to your target audience? How easy is it to reach them?

Providing honest answers to these questions will show you if you are prepared to start running a business or if you need to find another target market for your services or products.

You will want to ensure that your target market is up to date.

Contact Us Today

Contact us today to find out how your business can benefit by helping you identify your target market with a marketing workshop and plan. We also have some great Marketing Consulting packages to give you the right support and advice to help your business grow.

One of our friendly marketing consultants will ask questions about your business, industry, target audience and current marketing activities to see if our services are a good fit.

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