Identify & Learn About Your Target Market

  • By Catherine Dove
  • 22 Mar, 2016
Whether you are a start-up business defining your target audience for the first time, or a well established company re-profiling, there are four vital ways to determine who you should target and how you can capture their attention.

1/ Identify Who Will Most Value The Benefit(s) You Deliver

This is absolutely vital as understanding and targeting the people who will benefit most from what you can deliver is likely to be reflected in how they value your proposition. A good way to think about this is to think that if you could only make one more sale this quarter, who would you sell it to in order to generate the most profit whilst still delivering exceptional value to your customer?

If youoffer a tailored service, which might relate to consultancy or bespoke craftsmanship, think about the time and effort that goes into a small order versus a large one. Often it’s easy to get distracted by the ‘low hanging fruit’ i.e. those deals which fall in your lap rather than the nicer ones you need to hunt out. Let’s say you offer a made to measure furniture service for example. Your process for a small room is likely to be similar to that of a big room and in some ways the complexity of the project may actually require more work at certain stages. However the smaller room size is going to significantly influence the overall budget and therefore your likely ROI.

Think hard about who is going to really value your product/service the most and think about the pricing strategy you intend to adopt.

2/ Research The Market

Whilst developing your plan, see what you can learn from others before you begin.  The internet is filled with data to help you research competitors and assess the industry you are in (or about to enter).  Traditional methods such as face-to-face questionnaires and small focus groups always work well and you can also embrace online surveys and ask for feedback on social media.

Through this you can determine your audience’s demographic, geographic, and purchasing patterns. You may be surprised at what the results and feedback conclude; it’s very easy to assume that you think like the target market, when in reality your market is entirely different.

3/ Develop a Customer Profile

After performing this research, it is essential to create a comprehensive description of your typical customer, a ‘customer profile’. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, location, marital status, and income, as well as psychographic information, such as hobbies, interests, values, and lifestyle. Demographic information can help you identify the type of person who will be interested in your product, whilst psychographic information can help determine the reasons behind the purchase. Once you have this honed you can think about what channels to employ within your marketing plan to reach them with key messages.

4/ Plan To Evolve

You should be continually researching your target audience, and adapting your customer profile accordingly. This doesn’t mean changing your target audience whenever you feel a slight change in the market, but evolving with your target market to stay current with your audience, and ahead of your competition. As you track sales, interactions, requests for information, complaints, and more, keep a record of how you redefine your target customer. This way, patterns and trends might be determined annually which you can utilise in the future.

Persevere with the target audience you determined at the beginning until you have reached the point that your marketing plan has been delivered. There’s a reason you went after them initially and many companies give up without even properly trying.  It’s easy to blame the profile but ask yourself and your team if you’ve really done enough to inspire your market? How many times have you ‘touched’ your targets through email , direct mail, telemarketing, advertising, and social media ?  Don’t write off people because they haven’t shown interest or made a purchase yet - it doesn’t mean they won’t and until they tell you that they won’t, don’t defeat yourself. Even if they do, ask why - it’s the most valuable answer you’ll receive.

If you would like any more information or advice in determining your target market, then give us a ring on 01189 100 012 or drop us an email at .

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