How to define your target market in six steps

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How to define your target market

Successful marketing relies on understanding your target market. Whom are you selling to? Why should they bother buying your product? What’s in it for them? This article suggests ways of identifying new customers. It’s called how to define your target market.

You need to confidently answer the question, why am I uniquely placed to solve a customers problem? You may not be able to answer this question, but going through the following article may help you develop a compelling reason why customers need you. If you are unable to answer the question, you either have the wrong target market or the wrong offering. In this case, do more work before targeting potential customers. Otherwise you will be just wasting money on marketing and advertising.

1. What are you great at doing?

It’s a tough place to start if you don’t limit your market. Take a look at your business and the team. Are there any stand out areas of expertise? Any particular market sector specialisms? Do you have many customers who are in the same field? Are you known within a specific geographical location, or do you feel more comfortable working with certain types of people?

2. List the problems

Looking at your product and service make a list of all the problems they can solve for your current and next customers. Then make another list of the issues you want to solve for your customers. These activities are a great starting point in defining your market and understanding your customers and their problems more.

3. List the customer types

Now list the types of customer that suffer and will benefit from the problems you solve. Then sort them into as many demographics as possible. Such as:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Wealth
  • Market sector
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Pastimes and sports

4. Cost of not sorting the problem

Now look at these piles of problems and ask which of these customers have the biggest problem that your product / service can resolve. Who has the most to lose by not sorting the problem? Can you isolate the cost of not sorting the problem is more expensive than the price of sorting? Then you may have something compelling? Take a look at the risks to their reputation and their stress caused by sorting the problem your way.

5. Niche markets

The internet has given us a way of delivering a personalised product which cuts out some traditional distribution models. Going niche allows you to focus on a small sector and be the big fish in a small pond. Big fish can build a reputation and referrals much quicker with less marketing budget than trying to survive in the sea. Take a look at your current market. Are there segments within the significant segments you like working in? Think about:

  • Location
  • Market sectors
  • Particular job role titles
  • Types of people
  • Networth

6. Who are you competing against?

So you now have a better understanding of what you can do and who with. But who else is doing what you are doing? Or who is providing a good service within the market sector you want to boss? What are they doing well, and what can they do better? How will they react to you entering their patch?

Finally

As discussed, you need to understand your current and next market thoroughly. Who are you going to sell to? And why should they buy from you? This article suggested ways of identifying new customers. It was called how to define your target market in six steps.

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