Defining a Target Market for your Business in a systematic way
Marketing is something which every company needs to do whether small or big, new or old. It shouldn’t be taken lightly because precious money is involved. To get the maximum ROI and have consistent growth in business, it is important to know your target market.
Big companies do that often, which is why they are successful almost every time. As for the mid-level or small companies, most of them either don’t have the right target market defined or don’t know how to. But with the help of a few following tips, it is possible to know the target market for businesses of any type; and by knowing that, successful marketing campaigns can be created.
Start with broad assumptions, then narrow your focus: Don’t start your target market search with a small sample from the outset. Begin with a larger group of people whom you think might be interested in buying your product/service. Then gradually start getting specific by using some basic demographics like age, gender, location, etc. After some time, you should arrive at a definitive group of people.
Inspect your current customer base: That is if the operations of your business has already begun. Who all buy from you and what, with what frequency, etc. what is common between them, check who bring in the most business for you.
Study your competition: You should get an easy answer from here, i.e. if they too have studied and defined a target market. Study their current customers, their target market, analyze their social media, their advertisements, their marketing campaigns and research on what else they are doing to sell their products. Competition analysis also shows you the consumer behavior in your industry.
Demographics and Psychographics: A detailed list of demographics will make it easy for you to find your target market. Make an exhaustive list of Location, Age, Gender, Income level, Education level, Family or Marital status, Occupation, Ethnicity, etc.
Whereas making a list of psychographics means knowing the more personal characteristics of people. It includes Attitudes, Personality, Interests, Hobbies, Values, Lifestyle, Behavior, etc. Knowing all these features about people will greatly help in determining a correct target market for your business.
Conduct User surveys: These can be either with the existing customers or other people. Surveys help you show customers that you care about them. They help you find out more about your customers so that you can improve your offerings for them, but they also help you identify your true target market.
To make your surveys more useful and gain the maximum from them, know what all you want to know about your customers and from each question you ask, make questions easy and short to answer. You can offer a giveaway but then some people might take part only to get the prize.
Google Analytics: Being a search giant, it is obvious that Google has tons of information on tons of people. Those having a website will get all the analytics about it like the website traffic, basic demographics of visitors, sessions, bounce rates, transactions, new visitors, etc. All the reports are automatically generated. It will help you identify valuable customers.
Social Media Analytics: It is not just the search engines, but the analytics of even the various social media can prove useful in the search for the perfect target market. A business account on almost all social media has different insights and analytics about all the activities that take place.
You can determine the demographics of your followers, what they share in common, what they prefer and like more, which locations your business is reaching, etc. Analyze not just yours, but also the social media of all your competitors.
Talking to People: You can do and learn much more about your potential audience by interacting with them than just analytics. Reply to every message and comment on your posts, interact in your industry groups on social media and get involved as many people as you can, create interactive posts like polls, questions, etc.
You can also talk to people in person, take one-on-one interviews, ask about their needs, wishes, what they do in their free time, gauge their reception to you, and talk more to those who are positive about your business. You can gradually narrow down your interactions from a wide range of demographics to a focus group and determine your target market.
Make customer Personas: After executing any of the above points, and getting a fair idea of your target market, you should create personalities of the same. It helps visualize your ideal audience & market and you will be able to tailor your products/services perfectly to them.
An impeccable audience persona covers all the ‘Wh’ questions plus other details like family life, income, gender, likes & dislikes, location, ambitions, needs, challenges, buying behaviors, spending patterns, etc. With all the knowledge above, you can curate your marketing campaigns and offerings accordingly.
If you get less number of people as your target market than your expectations, you shouldn’t get disheartened; either you resume your search again or with time and your efforts, the number will surely increase. You should evaluate your target market regularly after a fixed period of time as people’s needs may change, whenever you introduce a new product or considerably improve any current one.