This post is part 2 in a series about identifying your target market. We’re discussing what they are, why we need them, and how to find them. If you missed yesterday’s post, Target Market: Finding the Right People, click on over to catch up. We’ll wait.
The problem with mass-marketing is that there is no average customer. When you try to market to everybody, you won’t sell to anybody. And that’s why you need a target market — a group of perfect customers — to aim for.
Put another way: would you rather buy something marked “one size fits all,” or something made specifically for you? I’d pick the item made with me in mind — and I’d bet you would too.
It’s the same with your customers. People buy things that are made “just for them.” So your job as a marketer is to find the people who will pick up your products and say, “This has my name written all over it!”
Walk in the Shoes of Your Target Market
In order to reach your target, you have to get to know them. So put on your imagination hat and start thinking like your customers. What do you know about them?
Note: Now of course, your customer base will include a variety of people with individual differences. But try to answer the questions below about the majority of your market. Think about the center of the target, the bulls-eye, so to speak, and you’ll find that your marketing efforts will hit the mark.
Let’s Play 20 Questions
When identifying your target market — or that special group of people who need and want your stuff — you first need to identify their demographics. Think about the people you want to reach, and write down the answers to these questions.
- What is the age range of the customer who wants your product or service?
- Which gender would be most interested in this product or service?
- What is the income level of your potential customer?
- What is their marital or family status? How many children do they have?
- Where does your customer live? In an urban or rural area? In what state? In what climate?
Keep in mind, too, that your target market might change throughout the year. Let’s say, for example, that you sell knit scarves. In December, most of your sales might come from the US and Canada. But in July, most of your sales might come from Australia.
Dig a little Deeper
With those basic facts in mind, think about your customer’s lifestyle, personality, and values:
- What magazines and blogs does your customer subscribe to?
- How else do they enjoy spending their free time? What are their hobbies? What do they do for entertainment?
- What does your customer value most? Low price? High quality? Trendiness? Uniqueness? Special features?
- Which, if any, special features are most appealing to them?
- Is your product or service something they need, or is it a luxury item?
- Is your product an impulse purchase, or something customers save up for?
- What kinds of problems do your customers have that you can help solve?
- Where do they get most of their decision-making information? Do they research the Internet, newspapers, books, or television?
Market to One Perfect Customer
When you know the facts about your market, you’ll be able to figure out what’s important to them. When you know what’s important to your customers, you’ll be able to understand them. And, when you understand your customers, you’ll be able reach them more effectively, and cost-efficiently!
For example, when you know what special features your customer finds most appealing, you’ll know what to emphasize in your product descriptions. And, when you know what blogs she reads, you’ll know where to spend your advertising dollars.
My advice: Take some time today and really answer these questions about your customer. Don’t just think about them in passing, but take some time and write down the answers. Your answers to these questions will help determine what products will be the most successful, how to position your products, and at what price to sell your products. Homework isn’t always fun, but it will make your marketing efforts more successful in the long run.
Was this approach a little heavy on the guesstimation? Stay tuned for a few techniques to get the cold hard facts about your target market in an upcoming post.