You have launched your business, created your product or service, and now it is time to sell. If you build it, they will come, right? Not exactly. If you do not promote your business, you will not attract consumers. But more importantly, you won’t attract the right consumers if you do not market your brand strategically to a target market.
Target markets, segments of people whose needs and desires best align with that of your business, see the value of your company because they can benefit from the products or services you provide. Being that they share a common interest with your company, they are more likely to develop a long lasting relationship with your brand, and become a repeat customer.
Identifying your target market is important because it:
- Helps you determine which marketing platforms are the best suited for your business.
- Gives you a better understanding of why your customers make the decisions that they do
- Allows you to better adapt your products and services to meet your customers’ needs
Defining your target market can be easy or difficult, depending on your business. In order to do so, you need to gather as much information about your customers as possible. You can determine who your target market is, by answering the following questions:
Who benefits from your products and services?
Identify the problem your product or service addresses and then determine who faces the problem on a regular basis. Even if you have a product that a large audience can benefit from, it is important to narrow your focus because certain marketing efforts only work for certain demographics. That isn’t to say that you can’t target different demographics, rather that you need to create multiple campaigns to target different segments of people.
Where are they located?
The location of your target market will be heavily influenced by the reach of your brand. Are you a local or global business? If you are local, your focus will be small and specialized because you are most likely interacting with your target market daily. But if you are a global brand seeking to target people from all over the world, you will need to think big and broad to create campaigns that are relatable to a large variety of people.
What are their income levels?
Your target market should be able to afford your products and services. If they can’t, you are either targeting the wrong group of people, or you need to change your prices accordingly. How much a customer is willing to spend on your products and services will also be influenced by the value you assign to your brand. If you convey a real need, customers are more likely to pay more, especially if you offer the best alternative.
What age bracket do they fall under?
Age is most important when deciding on a marketing medium. For example, newer social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are most commonly used by millennials, individuals born between 1982 and 2004. Those platforms are a prime marketing tool if your goal is to reach that demographic. If you want to reach older consumers, platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are more promising options as is email. If you don’t pay attention to your target market demographics, there is potential that you will waste time and money on marketing efforts that don’t reach your intended customer.
What are their interests and values?
If you know what your target market likes, you can create events and promotions that are attractive to them. Knowing their interests will also allow you to post relevant content on social media that engages. Try to make the connections. What things can be associated with your brand? As long as you are drawing associations that align with your brand message, you can’t go wrong.
In addition, consumers are becoming more socially conscious, meaning that they are more likely to support a brand with a message or mission that reflects their own values. What is your target market passionate about? Is it improving the environment, helping those in need, or giving back to the community? Once you know, make a contribution. This marketing strategy works because it is emotionally compelling and promotes the sale of their products simultaneously. Don’t forget to promote your service to the community on your website.
Although basic, answers to these questions offer a lot of insight into your target market. Begin by looking at your current customers to understand why they support your brand. Once you can classify your customers, you can then determine what you need to do to target segments of your target market that aren’t already represented by your customer base.
You can gather this information by using tools that monitor website and social media analytics, growth, and engagement, or by creating a survey and sending it to your customers. Quality resources include MailChimp, Google Analytics, and Hootsuite. Once you’ve determined who falls within your target market, you can then decide on the best marketing campaigns and social media platforms to reach them.