Targeting a specific market does not mean excluding all the other ones. Instead, target marketing allows you to focus your marketing efforts on a particular market that is more likely to buy from you than others; this is a more efficient way to reach potential clients and generate business. Moreover, with a defined target market it is much easier to know where and how to market your business. To begin you want to identify and study your current market; this way you can determine if you're attracting your ideal customer or not. This can help you see the misalignment between who you want your customers to be and who your customers currently are.
Identify Your Current Audience
Market research is an essential tool that can help you identify your current audience, set you apart from the competition, position your business and sell your products and services. Start your market research by answering the following questions:
- Who are your present customers?
- What is the reason they buy from you?
- Which customers yield most business?
You most likely will find they have common interests and characteristics. Once you identify these similarities in your audience you can decide to target other people like them who could also benefit from your product/service.
Additionally, you may find a place in a market that your competition is overlooking by finding out who your competitor's current customers are and who they are targeting.
Once you answer these questions, write out a list of your product or service's features and the benefits it provides. Then, figure out based on your research who needs your product or service and who is most likely to buy it.
Think about the following characteristics:
- Income level
- Education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
At this point, you have enough information to create profiles of people who mimic your customers —who according to your research should also be interested and benefit from your product and/or service. These profiles should summarize who you current customers are.
Identify Your Target Audience
Now that you have identified who your current customers are, you want to compare that to who you wish your customers were. You can begin by creating a made up profile of someone who would be your ideal customer —what is your customer like? How old are they, how much does he or she make per year, are they owners, an executive, manager, and what is his or her level of education? (Refer back to the list of characteristics above)
Now that you identified your target audience you can compare your current audience vs. your target audience. Are they they similar, or are you attracting a different type of customer? If so, ask yourself why and create a marketing strategy to start attracting the customers and business you want.
Gathering all of this information might be time consuming. However, the benefits can be huge and doing this not only outlines your marketing priorities but it can put your business on a better path and trajectory.
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