Do you feel like your business’s marketing efforts are a bit scattered and that your business could benefit from a more focused approach? Identifying your target market and subsequently directing your marketing strategy towards this focused group of consumers is the equivalent to citing in your rifle and putting the bull’s-eye in your crosshairs – a surefire hit with an optimal ROI. In other words, instead of aiming in an arbitrary direction and hoping to connect with an on-point consumer you can do some research and “hit” your target with one magic bullet. Sound too good to be true? Let’s start by defining what a target market is and take a look at how this works.
WHAT IS A TARGET MARKET?
A target market is a focused group of consumers whose needs most closely align with the solution your product or service provides. Identifying your target market is a deliberate process that takes time and effort.
Here are some things you can take a look at as you get started…
Imagine a child at the beach pouring water from one bucket into another, then from that bucket into another and so on. Each time the water is poured into a subsequent bucket a smaller amount of water remains. As a business, you can implement a similar process when assessing your product using various demographic filters. Perhaps you begin by asking yourself if your product is age-specific. That means that age is your first filter. Filter out the people who are not in the optimal age range for your product and “pour” the remaining people through your next filter – let’s say that’s location. If your product is ideal for people who live in a certain geographical region pour them through this filter while filtering out the people who live outside of this geographical region. Enact this filtering process over and over using numerous demographics until you arrive at what appears to be a focused target market for your product. You can also rearrange your filters and try introducing others to see if you generate a different end result.
Data, data and more data
Collect as much data as possible. A great place to start is within your sphere of influence. Evaluate what products your family and friends use. Ask your mentors or colleagues if they have a use for your product or know of anyone who does. If it’s possible let them try it out for awhile and then follow up: Did the product serve them well? Who do they think could benefit from it? It’s also a good idea to consider observing people interacting with a product or service similar to yours “in the wild”. For example, if you’re thinking about launching a food truck startup spend every lunch hour for a week or two observing people who are ordering from various food trucks in various locations. Who are the trucks’ primary patrons? Men? Women? Business people? College students? Talk to the patrons and get to know them a bit. What part of town do they live in? What is their ethnicity? What kind of food do they prefer? Would they frequent a food truck if it was in their neighborhood? Then take a week or two to consistently observe the dinnertime crowd at these locations and ask yourself (and the patrons) the same questions.
Your competition…what are they up to?
One of the best places to gather information as you define your target market is from your competition. Spend time on their websites and take notice of who they are marketing their product towards. Read through their social media feeds and the interactions on their blogs. What are they saying? Do your competitors’ target markets seem to fit for your business’s product or service? Or maybe a better question is…how does your product differ from your competitors’ products? In doing so perhaps you will discover an unreached demographic that you can focus in on as your target market.
Ultimately, no business wants to waste time on inefficient marketing or miss out on potential opportunities to connect with on-point customers and make a sale. Investing time into identifying your target market and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly will yield vast returns on your worthwhile investment. If you or your team could use some help with this or other marketing strategies, schedule a no-obligation 15 minute consultation to see how we can help you pinpoint your perfect target market!