As a small business owner, your success will depend on your ability to find and retain a steady customer base. This customer base is often referred to as a “target market,” and it will be the driving force behind your company. Finding your target audience is easier said than done, but it can be achieved by understanding your customers and doing a bit of research. Here are five time-tested and highly effective steps to defining and appealing to your target market.
1. Ask Questions
What issue does your product or service attempt to address? Answering this question will give you a relatively basic, yet useful overview of your target demographic. What type of person is most likely to experience these issues? For instance, if you are selling textbooks, your target market will probably be largely composed of students who are on a budget. When doing this, remember to be as specific and as honest as possible.
2. Conduct Research
Every marketing executive knows that an essential part of the marketing process is conducting research. This research will usually be composed of social, economic, and psychological information, and it will be responsible for giving you a comprehensive overview of your typical customer. This can be done by using complex formulas, but you can also learn a lot about your customers simply by talking to them and observing their habits. If you don’t know what type of person is attracted to your business, it will be nearly impossible to define a target market.
3. Examine Your Pricing
This is a very important part of defining your target market, and if you don’t understand the economic background of your customers, it will be exceptionally difficult to appeal to them. If you have not yet set a price for your goods or services, you can use research to decide on a reasonable price. This is important because:
- If your product or service is noticeably more expensive than your competitor’s, you should explain the reason why.
- Some products appeal to high-income buyers while others appeal to low-income buyers. If you don’t understand these particular demographics, you may market the wrong products to the wrong type of customers.
- Generally speaking, customers with lower income levels tend to buy necessities while higher income buyers purchase extensive amounts of luxury items.
4. Create a Customer Profile
After conducting your research, you will be able to compile a fairly accurate profile of your target market. If your business offers multiple products and services at varying price points, it may be necessary to conduct research for each product or service. This information will give you an adequate profile of the socioeconomic and psychographic characteristics of your customers. This allows you to understand information about your customer’s income level, educational background, values, lifestyle, and many other demographic traits. A detailed and thorough customer profile lets you to craft a marketing campaign that appeals directly to your target market.
5. Implement a Marketing Strategy
The final part of defining a target market involves creating and implementing a cohesive marketing campaign. Many business owners achieve this goal by sending out promotions that appeal to certain segments of the population. This is one of the most daunting aspects of the marketing process, and many business owners need the help of a professional marketing company or strategist. This can be somewhat expensive, but many find their services to be immensely helpful.
Finding your target market will require you to be observant and conduct an extensive amount of research. This may seem intimidating, but it is necessary if you want to understand what type of customer you need to reach out to. The steps listed above are simple, but extraordinarily effective if employed correctly. By following these steps and developing strong relationships with your customers or clients, you’re sure to be able to take your business to the next level.
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