One of the essential things for any business is working out who their customers are likely to be, and tuning their marketing pitch accordingly. It’s simply not possible to be all things to all people. Therefore, knowing who is likely to want or need your product or service is the best way to use any marketing budget. As a small business, learning to pinpoint your target market’s needs can help you compete effectively with big players. Your target should be more specific than homeowners or stay-at-home parents. These are too wide and general scopes, meaning your messages may not hit the spot.
It can seem scary to narrow down a market and feel like you are missing out on potential business. However, you won’t be excluding people who don’t fit your criteria. You are simply focussing your marketing spend on those most likely to buy.
Review your current customer base
Where does most of your business come from? Look for the common interests and characteristics of your current customers. What is that you have that makes them buy from you? Target your marketing to similar demographics to reach other similar people who may benefit from your service or product.
Analyse your products and services to pinpoint your target market’s needs
What do your customers gain from you? Understanding your product and the benefits it brings is essential. List the benefits of all of your products and services individually and how these could help customers. This gives you a general basis from which to work out not only who needs your product but who is most likely to then buy it.
Think about age, location, gender, marital and family status, income and education levels, then go onto psychographic marketing profiling, which includes further narrowing down your target audience by personality, values and lifestyle. Once you know what your target audience finds most appealing, how and when they will use your product and how they look to buy or replace products and services, you are well on your way to understanding your target market and their needs.
Evaluate your decision
- Look at numbers – are there enough people that fit my criteria
- Will, they really benefit – will they see the same need
- Do I fully understand how my target market is driven
- Is my product or service affordable to my target market
- How easily can this market be accessed – will my message reach them
At this point, it’s essential to stress that you shouldn’t break your target market down too far, and you can have more than one niche. Make decisions whether multiple niches should see different marketing messages or the same message will work.
If you find your target market too small, you should reevaluate your target to find the perfect balance. Much of the information you need to help can be done by searching online for research and looking at how competitors succeed and fail. Look at forums and blogs frequented by the people you want to target to see opinions. Consider conducting your surveys, and of course, don’t be afraid to enlist help, and ask for feedback from your current customers or enlist professional marketing help from experts in targeted marketing. There are lots of great ways you can improve your business, but pinpointing your target market’s needs should be top of the priority list.