Defining a target market is about figuring out who you sell to. It is something every business should know the answer to as it helps you structure everything from your long-term strategy to your marketing efforts to your customer service approach.
So, who are you selling to? The answer should not be a description of every customer you have ever had. Also, it is not about describing all the customers that could potentially buy from you in the future.
Instead, it is about defining your main customer. This is the group of people that is most likely to want or need your products.
Defining a target market in this way doesn’t stop you from selling to everyone else. You are not being restrictive or limiting your options. What it will do, though, is improve your business. For example, identifying the group of people most likely to want or need your products will help you craft your marketing messages. This can include everything from the ads you run to the blogs you write to the content on your website.
Marketing Benefits of Defining Your Customer
Defining a target market brings many benefits to your business, but one of the most important is the benefits it brings to your marketing efforts. When your main customers are clearly defined, you can focus your marketing messages to that market. For example, you can directly and specifically answer any questions, queries, and concerns they have. You can also show empathy, and establish a position as a leader in the field.
Most of all, you can increase conversions. Remember, your target market is the group of people most likely to buy from you. If you can make your brand and offering more appealing to them, you will sell more.
5 Steps to Defining A Target Market
1. Think of an Individual Rather Than a Group
When identifying your target market, you should think about an individual rather than a group of people. This will enable you to do more than identify basic information. In other words, you can go beyond factors like age or gender to things like interests, hopes, and ambitions.
2. Understand Why People Buy Your Products
What problems do you solve? How does your product make people feel? How will their lives be better? What are the buying triggers that make people want to get your products or services? When thinking about these questions, don’t start describing your product or features. Instead, think about your products and brand from the customer’s perspective.
3. Who Needs Your Products Most
Now think about who benefits from your product most. Don’t list everyone who can benefit – focus on the group of people who get the most out of a purchase from you.
4. Who Makes the Decision
You have thought about the group of people that benefits most from your products, but who makes the final decision on the purchase. It might be the same person you identified above, but it might not. An example is a product aimed at young families. The group of people that benefits most is, therefore, parents with young families. However, most marketing experts will tell you that in those situations, it is the woman of the household who usually makes the final buying decision. So, while men might benefit from your products, the decision makers are women who are parents with young families. The group of people who benefit most from your products AND who make the decision to buy are your target market.
5. Describe this Market
Now you should describe this market in as much detail as possible. This includes standard information like age range, gender, income level, marital status, parental status, nationality, and type of job. Then, go into further detail if you can. For example:
- Stresses and pressures
- Hopes and dreams
- Priorities in life
The more information like this you can define, and the more focused you are, the better your marketing messages will be. You should then use this target market whenever planning a marketing strategy, designing a product, writing a page of content on your website, drafting a PPC ad, or doing anything else that will put your business in contact with customers. When you do, you are much more likely to get the message right.