How To Find Your Target Market? | Target Marketing Strategies

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Do you want to build a solid foundation for your business?

Although your products might appeal to a large group of people, it doesn’t make sense to market to everyone.

Your brand will have what is called a “target market.”

What is a Target Market?

You need to identify the people who really want or need what you’re offering.

Targeting, or “segmenting” these people means you’ll be able to build your store for the right audience, efficiently using your resources to impress and attract your potential customers.

First, figure out the need for your product or service, focusing on what problem it can solve.

  Then refine your target market by identifying who has bought your product or service already. This includes target demographics, audience type, and any other attributes of your target customer segment. If your product or service is brand new, a good alternative might be looking at your competitors to get additional insights.

The toughest part of this process is you must avoid making assumptions.

For example, if you want to start a handmade pet biscuit business, you are probably an expert on their many benefits.

But don’t assume consumers know these things as well. They may not even know such a product exists.

As tempting as this is to fill in the blanks, you should engage with your potential customers and conduct as much research as possible.

As your business grows you should continue to evaluate and possibly change your target market.

Your target market is absolutely dynamic.

Or you might think you are catering specifically to men when in actuality you are selling to wives and girlfriends who are shopping for their fellas.

Knowing who you’re targeting, and continually refining it, will ensure you’re on the right track.

How to Identify and Analyze Your Target Market

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In this chapter, you’ll learn how to conduct the research to find e-commerce business opportunities and accurately answer the following questions:

⇒ What are the features of your business, products or services?

⇒ What are the benefits of these features?

⇒ How do the benefits help the user?

⇒ How does your target market shop?

⇒ What is the typical age and gender of your target market? Do they usually have children? What is their average income and education?

⇒ What are their common interests? These can include attitudes, values, and lifestyle.

⇒ Is your target market comfortable with online? What web and offline marketing methods engage them?

Let’s dive into target market analysis.

1. Gather intel

Some of the business questions you’ll be addressing include:

⇒ Is the potential market for your product or service large enough?

⇒ Do you need to alter your business idea to best appeal to this audience?

⇒ Should you tailor your product or service in some way to maximize effectiveness?

⇒ How can you target your marketing efforts to optimize reach with the most promising potential buyers?

2. Create customer profiles and market segments

Those consumers who find your product or service appealing often share similar characteristics, which will help you fine-tune your message from top to bottom.

You can craft a customer profile to uncover those shared traits. This includes psychographic data about how they behave and basic information to help you identify your audience.

Demographic criteria will get you started:

⇒ Age

⇒ Location

⇒ Gender

⇒ Income level

⇒ Education level

⇒ Marital or family status

⇒ Occupation

⇒ Ethnic background

Psychographic criteria goes a little deeper, painting a complete picture of your audience:

⇒ Interests

⇒ Hobbies

⇒ Values

⇒ Attitudes

⇒ Behaviors

⇒ Lifestyle preferences

Every industry, business, and product is different, so these lists are by no means the end-all-be-all — more of a starting point to evaluate market segment size and opportunity.

Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and include criteria that add interesting layers to your profiles — the better you know your customer, the better you can sell to them.

3. Be specific

Narrowly defining your target customer is more of an art than a science.

As you get started, try to be as specific as possible.

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By starting with a detailed customer profile, you’ll be able to make the most educated decisions when it comes to building custom audiences and crafting compelling advertising and marketing campaigns.

By starting with a detailed customer profile, you’ll be able to make the most educated decisions when it comes to building custom audiences and crafting compelling advertising and marketing campaigns.

New entrepreneurs often worry that they’ll be too specific as they conduct their research, fearing that it will limit their reach.

In reality, identifying a specific target audience helps ensure that you make decisions that are dictated by your customers, which sets you up for long-term success.

Drill down to who your audience truly is:

⇒ Their Attitudes

⇒  Beliefs

⇒  Pain points

Understanding their age and income is the first step, but drilling down to the core customer problem is what will help set your products — and brand — apart from the competition.

4. Tap existing resources

If you do a quick search online, you’ll often find existing resources that can help you pull together information about your industry, the market segment, your competition and your ideal potential customer.

The best part is, someone has already done the work.

However, the downside is that the research you find may not be as focused or useful as you’d like.

Below are a few resources to help get you started:

  • Quantcast provides free, accurate and dependable audience insights for over 100 million web and mobile destinations
  • Alexa transforms raw data into meaningful insights that will help you find your competitive advantage
  • Google Trends uncovers where your target customers are predominantly located
  • Ahrefs provides a tool to help you identify all the backlinks to any competitors, showing you which industries and third-party websites may be the most interested in what you have to offer. This is one of the best tools for finding SEO and online marketing opportunities.

All of this information will help you learn more about your target audience so you can develop a strong brand identity.

5. Look at your competition

In the last chapter, we showed you how to complete a competitive analysis. Now take all you learned in your research and ask yourself these questions about your competitors:

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⇒ What’s their market positioning? What are customers actually purchasing from them?

⇒ How about their pricing? What are their customers willing to pay? Would they pay more if you offered something extra?

⇒ What are customers saying on social media? What social media channels are they interacting with the most? What other interests do they list on their personal social media pages? What do they do for a living? What are their hobbies? How are they describing their business and products?

⇒ Are reviews screaming with opportunity? What weaknesses did you identify from their reviews that you may be able to address with your business?

⇒ Depending on how well your competitor is doing, you may not want to go after the same exact market segment.

A smart business person will identify competitors’ weaknesses and overlooked areas of the market, and capitalize on them to drive business success and concentrate marketing efforts.

6. Conduct your own primary research

You can learn a lot about your target audience through primary research, which involves gathering data directly from consumers.

Although primary research can be a little more expensive than other methods, it allows you to truly hear the voice of your customer and get answers to specific questions about your business.

Here are some things you can try out:

⇒ Distribute surveys: Send surveys to existing and potential customers via mail, email or a web-based service like SurveyMonkey.

⇒  Conduct interviews: Talk to consumers who might fit in your target market. For example, you could stand in a high-traffic area at a trade show and ask attendees to answer a few short questions.

⇒  Assemble focus groups: Get feedback from a small group of consumers who fit your ideal customer profile via Q&A sessions and group discussions.

7. Look at your business in a fresh light

Now that you have some serious insight into who you are selling to, it’s time to ask yourself a series questions.

⇒ Do you feel there are enough potential customers within your target audience to start a brand new business?

⇒ Will your target market benefit from your product or service?

⇒ Will this target market see a true need for it? Will they come back repeatedly to purchase?

⇒ Do you understand what drives your target market to make buying decisions?

⇒ Can your target market afford your product or service? If so, how frequently can they buy?

⇒ Can you reach your market with your message? How easily accessible are they?

Answering these questions will help you understand if you are truly ready to jump into business or if you need to pivot your online store (and its potential products) to appeal to a different market.

It will also enable you to perform targeted marketing efforts that put the right message in front of key segments.

Go ahead now and get real clear with your target audience!Please share your comments below.

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