“Who’s your target market?”
“Everyone. I need to grow my business so I need to reach everyone.”
“Yes, but where are you going to advertise?”
This is the typical conversation I’ve had many times in business development. Business owners believe their product is the solution to everyone’s problems. However, rarely is that the case. Even Apple has a specific target market when they design and market their iPhones. Knowing your target market can help you know the right product for the right people at the right time. So let’s talk about how to know your target market.
First step in knowing your target market is to go and talk to the people who think are your target market. Step out of your comfort zone, design a questionnaire and go talk to some people face to face. If you feel like you can’t do that, try it and see how it goes. Don’t let fear stop you. This is your business. If you are scared to ask the questions to your potential target market, maybe it’s not the market for you. Most businesses succeed when their target market is more like themselves. They have experienced the same successes and struggles. Maybe they have kids in the same school or are on your sports team. Stick close to home when it comes to defining your target marketing, it will help you know them more.
Second step in knowing your target market is to really understand your target market. Take some time to really develop a detailed description of who these people are. You should know what geographical region they live in, what’s their income level, what hobbies do they do, what’s their family situation like? The Empathy Map will help you dig deep into your target market.
The main reason you want to know your target market is so you can provide the right product to the right people at the right time. So in knowing your market, you can design your entire business to meeting their needs. So let’s say you’re developing a hair product. If you know your target market you can know what kind of hair products they are looking for. Do they need shampoos or hair straighteners? Does your product sell for $500 a bottle? If so, you might not want target those making under $30,000/year. You might target women who are concerned about their hair who are currently CEO’s of organizations making over $500,000/year. Then once you’ve narrowed that market, you can advertise where they are. If that person is an avid golfer, you may want to advertise at a golf course using words that will touch on their feelings.
Knowing your target market will make you more effective in marketing your business, which will make you more profitable.