How to Identify Your Target MarketAuthor: admin | Filed under: General
Identifying Your Target Market – Our Top 10 Tips
At the planning stage of many small businesses the task of researching the likely target market is often not done properly or overlooked completely.
We’ve compiled 10 tips below to help you identify your target market and ensure your business is aimed at the right people;
- Speak to friends & family
If you’re thinking of launching your own small business and have a product or service in mind, your first port of call should be to ask as many friends and family as possible for their opinions. By getting feedback from people of different ages and interests you can begin to build a picture of who your target market is going to be and best of all, it’s free.
- Look at the competition
Whether you’re launching an online only presence or looking to market offline as well, researching your competitors will also tell you a lot about the type of people you want to try and target. For example, if you’re going to sell ceramic tiles online, it would be wise to visit a few shops in your area who already sell similar items to get an idea of who their customers are and what people are buying.
- Make use of surveys
Making use of online surveys is another cost effective way to get an idea of the type of people who are going to be interested in what you plan to offer. Many small business owners think they know their target market without doing any research, but surveys such as these can often uncover surprising results.
- Arrange a focus group
For the small price of hiring out a room and giving away some free samples, arranging a focus group can let you hear people’s thoughts on your product or service first hand and most importantly help to understand their buying decisions and behaviours. Focus groups also enable you to get more data from your target market by being able to talk to them face to face.
- Use Guerrilla marketing methods
Guerrilla marketing could be in the form of stopping people in the street to show them your product or ask questions about your service, or arranging an event in a busy area to showcase what you’re doing to as many people as possible. You will be able to get a good idea of your likely target market by looking at the type of people who approach you for more information or to sample your product.
- Email previous customers
If you’ve already started your business and it’s not been going as well as you hoped it’s never too late to go back and research your target market more thoroughly. Emailing your previous customers a survey as part of a competition can be an invaluable way to help you determine more about the people who have actually bought from you in the past.
- Use social media
By starting a page for your business on Facebook for example, you may be able to get an idea of the types of people who are interested in what you do and use this in conjunction with other methods to get a greater insight into who your target market really is.
When gathering data to help you identify your target market it’s a good idea to try and get as much information as possible. Finding out someone’s age and occupation is not really enough to help you really understand your target market and what they’re all about. Things like income level, race, location and home ownership status will help you build a more detailed profile.
- Market segmentation
Depending on your product or service, you may have a number of different target markets, which is why it’s important to use market segmentation. This is the process of splitting up your market into different groups so that you can target them separately.
- Creating a customer profile
All of the points detailed above will provide you with the information to come up with a typical customer profile. Having a clear picture of your target market in the form of an individual profile is a real benefit when it comes to writing your website content and other online marketing copy because it helps you to focus on and engage with the exact group of people you want to target.