If you sell a product or service, you probably have a general idea of your target market, but do you realize how vital it is to define it? As much as you might like to think that your audience is “everyone,” that is simply not the case, and it doesn’t make for a good marketing strategy. According to Inc.com, “Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever.” Define that market as narrowly as possible to perfectly tailor your message.
Who is out there that will be a good match for your product or service? If you don’t have any idea, the chances are good that you won’t be able to connect with anyone. This is especially true for inbound marketing, where making strong, meaningful connections wins business. Before you know what to say you absolutely must know who you’re talking to.
Think About What You Offer
Spend some time considering what exactly you are offering, whether it’s a product or service. What needs do you fulfill? What pain points can you alleviate? Make a list! Once you clearly define every benefit, you will see which target market is the best match.
Analyze Your Current Customers
Take a long look at everything you know about your current customers, especially repeat customers. If possible, examine their profession, age, education level, interests–anything significant that can give you an idea of who is the best match for your products. Once you have a clear idea of whoever is already attracted to what you offer, you will have a better idea of who else to reach out to.
Analyze Your Competition
Are they connecting with the same customers, or type of customers, that you do? Or do they have other markets that might also be interested in what you’re offering? While you’re examining that information, also take a look at how your competition markets to them. It can be a great source of ideas, not only for what to do, but also for what NOT to do.
Daydream About Your Ideal Customer
We all have an idea in our minds of who we want to reach, of customers that sound like they’d be the perfect match. Spend some time going into detail for who that might be for your business. What income level do they have? Does it matter where they live? Is there a particular age group that will be more keenly interested in your business? Think about your ideal demographics and once you’ve created your ideal customer, think of the ways available to reach them.
Putting it All Together: Customer Personas
After analyzing all the information above, target markets will begin to emerge for your business. Once you have them defined, create customer personas for each one. For example, maybe your business is one that Millenials who are homeowners but don’t have any children, would be highly interested in. Create Sydney and Jake Millennial–write a description of where they work, where they shop, what their worries are, what their needs are, etc. When you have this kind of detailed person in mind, it will help you shape all the details of your sales and marketing efforts.
If defining your target market is something you’ve put off, or only dabbled in, now’s the time to go for it. Don’t be discouraged by the amount of work it takes–once you know who your ideal customer is, you will be on the way to greater success.