Define Your Target Market in 6 Simple Steps (With Examples)
One of the things you have to define when you are launching your business is your target market. You need to know who you will serve and how you will serve them. More than your products and services, you should also know your target market’s characteristics. More than their demographic characteristics, you should know their likes and dislikes along with their goals and dreams. If you can resonate with their needs, that’s the only time you can sell your products and services to them. Knowing your target market will help you to determine if your products can help them.
So before you proceed to market your products and services, you need to take the time to get to know your target market. You need to understand their language along with their needs and wants. You also need to understand the emotions that go inside their head. That’s the only way you can craft a relevant message that appeals to them and get them to take action.
What is a Target Market?
Your target market is the people that you like to serve through your business. These are the people that will most likely buy your products or services because it solves their problems. You must make your target market as specific as possible. Targeting everyone is a grave mistake for business owners. While everyone can use your products, Your customers cannot use products to solve their problems. It is far better to appeal to a smaller target market than aim to please everyone. If you aim to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one.
So how will you know if you are targeting the right target market? Well, you may need to do some audience research to understand the people that your business attracts. This will help you break down the characteristics of the people in your customer base to attract more people like them.
STEP 1: Look at Your Customer List
It helps to start with your customer list. Take a look at all the people that your business managed to attract. They are buying your products or services for a reason. It means that it fulfills a specific need. Your role as an audience researcher is to find out why they are attracted to you. It will give you a clue on the type of target market that you should pursue.
STEP 2: Look at Your Analytics
Another part of your business that will give you a clue on your target market is your analytics. It will reveal the people that click on your links and visit your site. It is somewhat similar to the first step, only this time you also count website visitors and not just customers. You will use your Analytics data to understand how your website visitors are using your website – what links they are clicking and how long they stay.
STEP 3: Ask for Feedback
If you want a qualitative approach to your target market, it helps to ask for feedback. You can ask some of your customers if you can interview them and you can then talk to them directly about their problems. This strategy will reveal more than if you study the existing data. You can uncover some needs, goals, and emotions you would not have otherwise found if you have not talked with your audience.
STEP 4: Create an Audience Persona
Once you have a list of needs, behaviors, goals, and wants. You may want to paint the audience’s persona. You can do this by coming up with an imaginary person who would be your ideal client or customer. You will then describe this person in terms of demographics characteristics, behavioral characteristics, goals, needs, and wants.
An example of an audience persona is this:
Location: United States
He is an early adult who is just getting started with his career. He just finished college but he has a huge debt that he has to pay. More than looking for a job, he is also looking for other sources of income so he doesn’t put everything in one basket.
STEP 5: Look at the Customer Journey
If you are selling some products, you may also want to include the person’s position in the customer journey. The phases in a customer journey consist of five phases: unaware, problem aware, solution aware, brand aware, and most aware. Unaware pertains to those people who don’t know that they have a problem. Problem-aware people see that they have a problem, but they don’t know the solution just yet. Solution-aware is those that know the answer but can’t decide on the brand. Brand aware is aware of the brands that offer a solution. And most aware are those people who know your brand as the best solution to their problem.
STEP 6: Tap Into Emotions
Another factor that you should consider when you create your customer persona is that they also have their own emotions. And you need to know these emotions if you want to communicate your solution to them effectively. Try to address why they want to buy your product. Is it because of the fear of losing something? Or is it because it affects them emotionally? Tap into those emotions. They are pretty helpful, especially if you will write some copy to sell your products and services.
BONUS: Look at Your Competition
You can also look at how your competition addresses its target market. If you are offering a similar product or service, then you may have the same target market. Since your match has already done their research, all you need to do is tap this by doing some observation. You can look at how they are serving their target market and understand the characteristics of the target market without some heavy audience research.
As you can see, getting to know your target market is not that difficult. Don’t make the mistake of targeting everyone. Take the time to get to know your ideal market so that you can create products and services that solve their problems. Also, taking the time to know your target market will allow you to speak their language. You will understand what makes them buy from you so you can tweak your copy and offers in the future.