A product or service is sold to and bought by a person that has a need for your product or service. Business ventures begin when you know there are people out there, who are in need of what you can offer. A profitable business will do well to attract this ideal customer. Once found, these customers will have a deeper understanding of your product or service, and will be truly appreciative of what you have to offer.
While finding this ideal customer may seem daunting, it all starts with your target market. This popular buzz word touts focused marketing, brand development and efficient advertising. How does a business identify their target market? The market can be narrowed down to five categories: geography, demographics, psychographics, behavior, and product relationship. Once identified, your marketing efforts can be directed specifically to attract these customers, tailoring online communications to appeal to this audience.
Take a step back from the business and think like your customer; zone in on who they are and what will drive their purchasing decisions. Here are six basic questions to help you identify your target market.
- Who can afford the product or service? Consider the price range and determine if there is a specific group of people that would be able to buy what you offer.
- Who would the benefits of your product or service help? Understanding that the person buying may not be the person utilizing what you have to sell.
- Who is most likely to use the product or service? Identify who is using the product or service, how they are using it, and where it is being used.
- Who is most likely to influence the purchase of your product or service?
- What niche is your product or service in?
- Who is buying or showing interest in similar products or services? Look at similar products, services, or opportunities. Study competition carefully to see the customers most drawn to that product or service.
Most products and services will have multiple target markets and it can be difficult to narrow the scope. However, it is really important to narrow it down to one. After more experience has been gained, the target audience can be expanded to others. Once the target market is identified, write down all the attributes of your target customer. Armed with this information, you now have an image of your perfect customer and an awareness of how they make their purchasing decisions.