As a business owner, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of defining your target market. You need to understand who’s most interested in buying your products, what kind of money they have to spend, and what types of items they’re actually looking to buy. But many business owners are still hesitant to take the time to sit down and define their target market. They may feel they know their audience well enough already, or perhaps they believe that by carving out a niche, they’re closing the business off to other potential customers who don’t fall into that group. In reality, identifying your target market allows you to spend your time and energy in a productive and strategic way. Here’s how it can have a positive impact on your business:
If you believe that your customers are parents of teenagers who are prepping to go to college, you’ll approach your marketing efforts with messages based around this theme. However, if you do some research and discover that your customers are actually parents of young children, you’ll find that your marketing messages need to shift drastically. If you’re struggling to convert sales or reach clients, it’s often because the messages you’re sending out aren’t relevant to what the customer base is looking to hear. Doing research clues you in when your marketing is off track.
You already know that your customers love a product or service that you’ve offered for years, but now you’re looking to grow your business. Some careful research will tell you how to spend your money and time most effectively when you’re ready to diversify. Are your customers hoping you’ll add a smaller version of a product you already carry? Are they looking for you to offer Sunday hours? Instead of taking a wild guess and hoping you’re right, go directly to the source and find out.
As you do your research, you should gain a good understanding of the kinds of people that buy your products most regularly. You should learn about their:
When you can paint a clear picture in your head of who your ideal customer is, you’re able to market your business more effectively. Instead of guessing when it comes to your brand, you’re making research-based choices that allow you to grow your company strategically as you serve your customers more effectively.
Good stuff, but we also have to acknowledge how hard it is to do. For instance, look at what you do. What you have to offer could be for anyone looking to start or improve their business by having an online presence. It’s a demographic that doesn’t quite fit age, sex, or any of those other measurables. Thus, it seems like a wide open market, and the goal of “niching” yourself towards a specific audience has to be quite hard. It’s the same thing I deal with.
Very true, picking a specific target audience can sometimes be pretty hard, especially for us who work with a wide range of businesses. While my business caters to a wide range of businesses, I try to narrow down my target audience to the “type” of client I’d like to work with, not necessarily the industry that they’re in.
I also try to “niche” my marketing efforts to specific industries.
I’ve seen a lot of web developers niche down their audience to a specific industry, however I’m not sure I want to go down that route.
Thanks for reading!