When we’re hired by a company for any type of marketing support, one of the first questions we ask is, “Who is your target market?” The answer to this question is fundamentally important; every business has a target market, but all too often our clients respond, “We don’t have a target market.” This is a common problem for many small businesses. It seems counterintuitive to some entrepreneurs to focus on a limited segment. Many business owners are in the mindset of, “We’re for everybody.”
But you’re not for everyone. You need to narrow down who is most likely to do business with you. These are the people you need to communicate your message to.
If You Sell a Product or Service then You Have a Target Market: It’s Time to Define It
Many of the businesses we work with have been operating for years. They know who their clients are, thus they know their target market. So now we ask our clients to paint a picture of their ideal customer. Depending on the type of business you operate there are various characteristics, qualities and demographics to consider while painting this picture.
Using What, Where, When and Why to Answer: WHO is Your Target Market
You don’t need to know any fancy marketing definitions to define your target market. All you need to do is go back to grade 1 English and remember the rules of the 5 Ws. You may need to make some assumptions about your clients, but by the time you answer the following questions you’ll have a clear picture of your target market.
A basic question is, what is your ideal customer’s age, gender, income?
More importantly is, what is your ideal customer’s spending habits, personality type, attitude, values, interests, hobbies, lifestyle, and behaviors? Where does your ideal customer live, shop, play, and work? When does your ideal customer purchase your product?
Most importantly you need to define, why does your ideal customer purchase your product?
Why Does Identifying Your Target Market Matter?
As we said at the beginning of the article you need to identify your target market so you know with whom you are communicating and therefore how and what you should be communicating with those people. We all know the expenses that go into a good marketing mix, so why waste your money marketing to people who will have little use for your product or service.
Identifying your target market will do wonders for your business. At its surface it will allow you to develop messaging that will make a connection with the people most likely to buy, produce products and services that your target market need and want, advertise in places where your target market is, and help your business grow by catering to your specific target market.