Target Market- What’s the big deal?
When researching to come up with a strategy for search engine optimization (SEO) or marketing you will often here the term Target Market. What does that mean? A target market is a group of potential customers to whom a company wants to sell their services or product.
A target market covers demographics such as age, location, income, and lifestyle. The consumers that make up a target market share similar characteristics which could include geography, buying power, and demographics.
Why is Finding Your Target Market Important?
In order to be successful, you need to know who the target market is. It’s helpful to narrow it down as much as possible. Your product/service may attract people well beyond the chosen “target” market, but by having a specific target area you can better reach people and stay consistent in the messaging. It also allows you to put your product/service in the places where the market hangs out and will be able to speak to their needs. If you’re a virtual assistant for online publishers and you run an ad in the local paper, your ad will be seen by many people but will it be the people who could actually benefit from the service offered? However, if you placed an ad in an Online Publisher newsletter the people viewing it would be more likely to contact you.
For most people, in order for them to ‘buy-in’ to a product or service, they need to relate to the tone and content of the message. When they can relate to the message, a connection is made which is the beginnings of building trust. As trust is built it leads to authority, which is what allows you to grow and expand in your business.
You aren’t excluding people when you determine your target market (see post on ‘why something for everyone’ doesn’t work) you are merely identifying who is most likely to buy from you allowing you to focus your time and energy marketing to those people which is much more affordable, effective and realistic way to approach selling a product/service.
Analyze Your Product or Service
What are the features of your product or service? Write out a list and next to each feature list the benefits of it. This will help you identify who will be able to find your offerings most beneficial as well as having a clear view of why your specific product or service is useful and needed.
Look at Specifics
The goal is to determine no only who has a need for your product or service but also who is most likely to buy it. The factors that you want to think about is:
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Marital/Family Status
- Ethnic Background
Next, evaluate the psychographics of your target. (Everything you need to know about psychographics) This is the more personal characteristics of a person such as:
Characteristics- How Does It Fit In?
Answering these characteristics will help you determine how it fits into your chosen markets lifestyle. Using the analysis above you can then answer these questions:
- How and when they would use it?
- What features they would find most appealing and helpful?
- What type of media to they turn to for information?
Evaluate Your Decision
This is a critical step in your process. One of the top reasons that new companies fail is that there is no market need for their offering. A reported 42% fail because of no market need. This definitely shows the importance of evaluating your decision on your target market and how it fits into their life.
Now, you want to evaluate the decision of your target market and make sure you have considered these questions-
- Are there enough people who fit my criteria?
- Will they benefit from the product/service offered? Will they see the need for it?
- What drives them to make a decision?
- Can they afford my product/service?
- Can I reach them with my message? Are they accessible?
Defining your target market is the hardest part of the process. Once you’ve done that you can then research the best media routes to reach them and why type of message will resonate with them.
Current Customer Base
If you have already dabbled in selling your product or service you can look at who your current customers are and analyze why they buy from you. Pull out common characteristics and interest that they share. Using those common characteristics and interest can allow you to find other people who share those and would be more likely to purchase from you.
Typically, with any business, there may be things unique about your product or service but you will be part of an existing industry. There are other people out there already doing what you are trying to do and you can use this to your benefit.
Identify who your competition is. Next, figure out what they are doing well and what needs improvement.
Whom are they targeting? Is there a group (niche) that are not being serviced that you would be able to provide service to with your offerings?
Going through this process will position you to be more successful as you enter the market for your product or service.