Identifying Your Target Market
February 16, 2017 - by Ryan Harris Blog Post
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Almost every business can better serve themselves by whittling down the target market of people they are trying to attract with their marketing efforts. Counter-intuitive though isn’t it?
Traditional thinking says “put your message in front of as many people as possible.” So what is the problem with this?
When starting this business, I actually didn’t do this initially. That is because I somewhat started the business by accident. I had been studying Social Media for YEARS, but not really providing it as a service to anyone else. In the process though, I began running into people that needed help and so I started that way.
The good thing about this is that I knew I had something if people were knocking on my door asking for help. The bad thing is that initially, I just accepted any type of client. If they had a business, and wanted to use Social Media to attract more customers, I took them.
After a month or two of doing this, I took a step back and identified what kind of clients I actually wanted to work with and what type of work I wanted to actually do for them.
I asked myself the questions contained in my Target Market Identification worksheet to come up with the type of business that I wanted to work with.
This made all the difference. Being a consulting business, made it a lot more fun because I was working with the right people. I also had better success with the specific clients that fit within my target market. It was also easier to market my business when I knew exactly what I was going for.
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Pretend that you sell a brand new type of shirt. Everyone wears shirts so what if you try to market it to everyone? That will be hard immediately because men and women have different tastes in shirts. So you decide it is for men.
Now the problem will be that men have a very different taste in shirts based on their age. So now you decide to narrow it down to young adults.
I think many companies get that far, but there are some problems with only going that far.
First, what about the design of the shirt. Even among young adult men, there are many tastes in the shirts they wear. There are also many different fit styles that they like depending on the type of hobbies they have. They might also have a different need in a shirt depending on what their occupation is. So, even making the shirt will be hard if you don’t know the person that the shirt will be for.
Now marketing it will be even harder. Since we are a Social Media Consulting firm, let’s talk about marketing your shirt with Facebook Ads.
First, you will want to put a picture of someone wearing your shirt. Naturally, pictures stand out to us of people that we identify with, especially if we recognize them.
Next you will want to make sure you will only show an ad to the same type of people that you have in the picture, which is the person you made the shirt for, otherwise you will pay money showing your ad to someone that doesn’t identify with the picture.
Now, what if you have a higher priced shirt, but show the ad to tons of low income people. Now, you have paid for people to see your ad that can’t afford your shirt.
These are just a couple examples of problems you are going to run into if you don’t really identify your target market. Ads will be ineffective, expensive, and really not generate any sales.
The objective of identifying your target market is to make marketing less expensive, convert more potential customers, generate more revenue, and make everyone happier.
So how do we get there?
- If you already have a business, do whatever you can to gather data on your purchasing customers. We all have potential customers, but you want to find what is common among the purchasers. Some ideas are:
- Use Facebook Audience Insights
- Send out a survey
- Ask yourself the questions on the Target Market Identification worksheet
- If you don’t have a business yet, but are planning it out, start with your customer at the very beginning.
- Get out of the building and talk to people, find out the type of people that are most likely to purchase your future product.
- Use the questions found on our worksheet to know what to ask your potential customers.
- And finally, use all the characteristics you identified to create your advertising. Your target market will govern the text you use, the emails you send out, the pictures you take, and the people you show it to.
No matter what stage of your business you are in, identifying your target market will absolutely make a difference for you. We have helped new businesses do this, and companies that have been around for over 10 years. In all cases, it has helped a light bulb turn on for our clients and the marketing has become more effective and consistent.
Have you identified your target market before?