Defining a target market is one of the most important aspects of any marketing professionals job, as it affects the rest of what they do. This doesn’t mean that the process is easy, however. In contrast, it can often be just as difficult as it is vital.
Much of this is driven by the fact that understanding your existing and potential market is fundamental to bringing in more sales. This can be much simpler than you might believe, as there are several steps you can take to ensure that it’s done easily and effectively.
Look At Your Current Customer Base
The first step that you should take to identifying your potential market is to understand who are already buying your products or services. Once you know what defines your existing customers, you can then begin targeting people who share similar traits.
This can be a difficult task depending on how you collect data on your customers, which also means that it may take a large amount of time. There are several things that you should look at when doing so, such as age, location, and even spending habits. The more information you have, the more you can define your target market.
Check Out The Competition
Collecting data on customers may not apply to companies that are just starting, which means that it mightn’t be a step that they can take. One way to overcome this, however, is to determine who your competition is targeting, which can then inform your initial marketing strategies.
Once this has been done, these plans can then be refined and improved depending on results. This is also something that many existing businesses can take advantage of, especially if previous strategies have been unsuccessful.
Analyze Your Product/Service
Many marketing professionals make the mistake of listing a products features instead of its benefits when advertising it. This is a mistake, as knowing the benefits of a product or service can help you realize who might be interested in them,
This is primarily because you’ll then be able to recognize the most appropriate market for these benefits. For example, if these benefits are best suited to people aged between 18 and 25, then college students may be part of your target market. This can be applied to the majority of other products and services, as needed.
Choose Specific Demographics
Once you know the rough target market, then it’s time that you start choosing who you should advertise to. While there may be some initial guesswork involved in this, you’ll be able to continue refining this as the campaign continues depending on the results you achieve.
Over time, you should get deeper and deeper into these demographics, which will then help you see better results for a smaller marketing spend.
Psychographics can be a difficult thing to determine, although it can prove to have significant dividends, should you take advantage of it. This means that you should look at the personality, interests, hobbies, and much more.
While this may seem as though it’s a waste of time, it isn’t as it can help you to get into a target customer’s mindset. As a result, you’ll then be able to determine better how you can market to them and see a successful return on investment.
One of the keys to determining your target market is to look through the results you’ve gotten with previous campaigns, as well as who already engages with your brand. This is where your social media and website analytics will come into play.
The information that you’ll be able to run through can be much more detailed than you might expect. As a result, you can see the composition of your existing customer base. These will be people who already have an interest in your brand, which means that you can use this to inform future campaigns and your overall market.
While these can form the basis of your customer analysis, you should use this in conjunction with a wide range of other analytics. This will help you learn what their interests are, regardless of whether they’re already buying your products.
Once you have a working model of your target market, it’s time to start creating test ads based on the information that you have. This is because you’ll need to test how accurate much of your information is and collect the results accordingly.
During this part of the process, it should be noted that there may be several issues with your target market information. This isn’t a bad thing, however, as it will allow you to tweak and refine your ads and a variety of other parts of your marketing strategy over time.
Be Prepared To Adjust
This leads us perfectly into the next step that you should take, which is being prepared to adjust everything over time. Nobody will be 100% correct when they first create a target market statement or ideal buyer. This means that you shouldn’t be worried about some information being slightly wrong or inaccurate when you first start.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put a significant amount of time or effort into being as accurate as possible. Instead, it means that you should be prepared to make adjustments once results start from an advertising campaign come in. You can then use these result to improve the strategy.
Think About Niche Markets
Every business wants to attract as many customers as possible. This doesn’t mean that you should aim to advertise to everybody, as this can lead to a large investment for small returns. Instead, you should consider targeting niche markets, which can provide a much better ROI.
The majority of customers want a personalized approach to the sales process, which also includes any advertisements that they see. As a result, many of them shouldn’t be interested in campaigns that aren’t targeted as specifically as possible to them. The majority of this will only be seen if you start advertising to specific niches.
Create A Target Market Statement
Once you’ve determined each of the above, it’s time to create a target market statement. This should be a short and simple statement that allows you to better envision your target market. While this is the first step in your brand positioning, it can still be a vital step in defining your overall market.
While the statement should be short, it should still cover much of the information that you’ve collected about potential buyers.
Evaluate & Refine
Once you have determined your target market, you shouldn’t need to stick to it religiously. This is because you may need to vary your strategies and target market based on the results that you see over time. While much of this will be seen in the short-term through your test ads, you may also see different results over time.
This means that you may need to change tactics depending on the results that you see. There’s also the fact that many of us may not be 100% accurate the first time we create a target market, which means that we’ll need to adjust over time. This is a natural part of the process, which means that you’ll need to make tweaks and refine everything over time.