Target markets are crucial for all companies, whether it be a startup or a fortune 500. Let’s face it: not everyone will be interested in buying what you have to offer. Although a larger, more generalized audience may seem enticing to some, a strategy like this will end up costing you quite a lot. Identifying target audiences and employing market research strategies with these specific customers in mind will set your company on the right track for maximizing your potential. Allocating resources and energy into more specifically identifying target audiences is well worth your time (and money!).
Narrow Your Attention: Prioritize
Finding the right target market appears to require extensive outside research. However, looking within your own company first will ultimately help you find the perfect target audience. How can you market your service or product to people when you lack a comprehensive understanding of your own brand? Before you begin research, think about two big questions: What need is your company filling? And Who would value your service or product most? The answers to these questions enable you to narrow your attention and prioritize whose needs you are filling. For example, a female college student will have very different needs and wants compared to a middle-aged father of two. Dive deep into the qualities of your own product or service.
Tactfully Filter Your Audience
Although the idea of searching for your specific target market may seem daunting, we suggest taking a funnel approach: start with broad assumptions and begin to narrow your focus. Major aspects to consider include:
Not only will these considerations help you hone in on a specific target consumer, but also will enable you to eliminate those who would not be interested. Once you’ve taken these first steps, you can begin to even create an ideal customer profile. Perhaps young, middle class, male millennials from the West coast may be your best target option. In many cases, the more specific, the more likely you are to develop lasting customer loyalty.
When entering a market, competition is almost always inevitable. More often than not other brands are already attempting what it is you want to. Figure out who your competition is targeting and work from there. Are they targeting a slightly older audience? Or perhaps an audience of a different region? From there, analyze what their successes are and their weaknesses. You can learn a lot from other companies. It will not only help you know how to manage a tough market, but also enable you to capitalize on holes you see in your competition’s strategies.
Diversify Your Perceptions
The most successful marketing involves multiple dynamic perspectives from both inside the company and outside. Talk to people. More importantly, talk to your customers! Find out if their perspective matches yours. Are you successfully translating your values to your consumers? Conduct surveys, gather intel and listen to feedback. Your business relies on the people that buy from it, so it is a no-brainer to listen to their valuable opinions.
Although identifying a target audience can be a long, yet worthwhile process. Be ready to make changes as markets fluctuate. These helpful tactics will help you narrow in on your ideal audience, and with that, enabling your company to continue progressing upward and onward.