Finding the right customers for your business is a crucial part of its success. While it may seem straightforward, finding the right "market fit" for your product or service is where many businesses fail.
To be successful, you need to concentrate on your customers, identify needs, and solve problems. Identifying your target market is a necessary part of your marketing strategy to ensure that you speak to your customer's needs and provide solutions.
A target market is a specific group of consumers that will be the most receptive to your products, services, and promotions. The specificity of the group is based on factors like age, location, income, and more.
For example, if you are a physical therapist, your target audience might be athletes recovering from injury; senior citizens looking to maintain mobility; or middle-aged men and women with back pain.
The problem many business owners run in to is that they make their target too general. Sure, you can technically treat a professional athlete, senior citizen, or people with back pain if you're a physical therapist.
However, your marketing team will have a difficult time if you try targeting all of those audiences at once.
It is essential to have a target market because the language and channels you use to communicate with and appeal to one demographic may not be as effective with another. The way you speak about helping professional athletes will be vastly different from the way you talk to a 65-year-old with a hip replacement.
Also, you are better off thoroughly meeting all of the needs of one specific, targeted group, rather than meeting only some of the needs of many different groups. Those professional athletes will be disappointed if you don't have enough weights to push them while training.
Having a target audience gives you direction in your marketing, allows for more consistency in your messaging, and facilitates a deeper connection with your customers.
Now, this doesn't mean that you can't have multiple target audiences. It just means that you need to identify each audience's needs and speak to those needs, rather than talk to everyone at once.
I'm sending my grandma to the physical therapist the professional athletes' trust, just like I'm sending my star player to the practice to have the patience to make sure they get healed the first time correctly.
If you identify your audience, you can craft your messaging around those people. If you don't know who your audience is, you're talking to everyone, which means you're talking to no one.
Defining your target audience allows you to effectively and efficiently market to the people you know you can impact.
Don't focus on your product. Focus on your customer. The first step in defining your target market is to put yourself in your clients' shoes.
Identify what problems and needs they have and how your business is the solution. A lot of companies will start with their product and try and make it a solution.
Trust me on this one; you don't want to create a product or service only to realize later that it doesn't fill the market's specific need. We have seen far too many businesses with a product/service held together with duct tape and crazy glue because they didn't ask the right questions.
Think about specific needs. Do they need fast service or 24-hour customer support? What daily activities do they perform that you can make it easier for them? Would they pay money to solve a problem, or is it a small annoyance?
If you have already started a business and have already gained some traction, it isn't too late to identify your ideal customer. A good starting point is to look at your current customers and what they have in common.
Repeat customers and loyal customers can give you great insight into the types of people you should target. Look at broad similarities as well as narrower ones.
An analysis of your pre-existing customers, including their age, gender, location, economic status, stage of life, interests, and more, will give you incredibly valuable information on how to target new customers.
Having customers take surveys about their experience, pain points, and frustrations is also a great way to get feedback. Remember, it's not about how many questions you ask but the quality of the questions.
Another way to define your target audience is to observe your competitors. Look at their business website, social media feeds, and find their best selling products or services. How are they pitching themselves? Who are they targeting? Who is represented in their pictures, website copy, and advertisements?
Learn about who they are targeting, and see if that demographic fits your business. If it does, you may be able to learn a thing or two about your target audience.
You'll also be able to learn how to distinguish your business from others further. Small differences in functionality or service can make a massive impact on someone's decision to go with you or the competition. The only way to know what these variables are is to ask customers.
If you haven't done so already, the most crucial part of identifying your target market is to test. Make educated guesses on who your audience is, and test tailoring your marketing strategy to them.
Use beta testers, give away free services, or have family and friends try out a new product line. Don't get attached to an idea of your target market and spend all your resources trying to attract the wrong audience.
You never know; your ideal audience could be completely different and much easier to attract than you thought. The only way to find out is to test and test some more.
Identifying your target audience is not the same as understanding it. After all, being an expert in your field doesn't equal being able to communicate your field's intricacies. It is essential to learn as much as possible about your target audience and continuously communicate with them.
After all, you can have a perfect product or service, but if you can't communicate with customers about how you can solve their problems, you're out of luck.
The best way to understand your target audience is to immerse yourself in it. Host and attend events where you can talk and interact with them.
Use social media to engage with your customers and followers and understand what's important to them.
You can learn a lot about your target audience by how they interact with your business and how they interact with each other and with other companies. If you're a B2B business, understanding your target market also means understanding who to contact within the organization.
Research to determine who you need to sell to inside the organization. Your target market includes both the ideal company to market to and the ideal point of contact at that company. You may have the perfect solution for a CEO, but you need to be able to show value to the secretary first.
Another strategy you can use is utilizing Google Analytics to track how customers are interacting with your site. You may think you need to change your marketing strategy, when, in reality, your website may not be functional.
People may love your offerings, but they can't figure out how to buy them. Could you imagine spending thousands of dollars on new marketing strategies when you just needed to edit your site's customer journey?
Identifying your target audience is an essential part of marketing your business. With this knowledge, you can connect with the right people and improve the quality of those engagements. Start defining and understanding your target audience so that you can make the most of your time and theirs.
If you need help determining your target market, feel free to send us an email or schedule a consultation. We would love to help!