Your target market is a group of people with all their challenges, influences, goals, values, and habits. The best way to define your target market is to create an avatar or persona that embodies all your target customer’s traits. Several of them, so you have a picture in your mind of the people who buy from you—a detailed description.
Creating that persona needs real-world facts harvested from real people. Your personas are fictional people, but like the best character in a novel, they are fully rounded and believable.
Tried and tested ways of collecting real data to create your target market personas include your research and analytics from big data sets.
We will review the following:
- Performance Audience Research
- Analyze Current Customers
- Define Demographics
- Consider Psychographics
- Website and Social Media Analytics
- Competitor Analysis
- Understand Your Product/Service
- Create Your Target Market Statement
- Test Your Target Market
Revisit Your Research
The best way to find out what real people think and believe is to ask real people questions. Detailed questions with non-obvious answers. Market research is linked to people with clipboards and questionnaires because asking questions is the best way of getting answers.
Social media and digital research make surveying many people quicker and more efficient. Plus, the answers can be analyzed and examined in detail.
Audience research gathers opinions and beliefs about potential new products and services. It’s also a way of checking what people believe and understand about existing products. Plus, you can use it to gauge the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. Did your customers love or hate your message? Did they even see it?
Use your current customers
If you are not already compiling data on your current customers, why not? These people are already customers – they represent the type of people who buy from you. They are a goldmine of information, and there are plenty of tools to make it easy for you to collect what you need.
You are probably collecting a lot of demographic and geographical information automatically as part of the sales process. It doesn’t take much to ramp that up, collate the data, and start making some useful findings about your type of customers.
You can get at the psychological or behavior factors by inviting your customers to share their thoughts and feelings with you – surveys, quizzes, Facebook. People who already like your brand can tell you what influences them to keep coming back.
Customers who complain are an even more fruitful source of information. They tell you (for free) how you can improve and develop, so the next hundred customers are fully satisfied with your brand.
Choose Specific Demographics to Target
A message aimed at the whole world is weak and unfocussed – a 14-year-old boy does not have the same approach to products as a 36-year-old woman. They may buy the same item but for different reasons. Crafting a message that reaches both results in bland ineffectual adverts.
In this example, you need two different messages about the same product. That’s the point – if you are crafting a message, focus your attention on a clearly defined demographic segment that is likely to respond in the same way. Communicate to suit the audience.
Consider the Psychographics of Your Target
Identifying someone’s chosen tribe is the most effective way of targeting them and what they buy. Psychographics is all about grouping people by what interests them, and that covers a broad field of:
- Work – type and status.
- Sports – played and watched.
- Music – listened to and played.
- Location – where they live, holiday, work, and play.
- Buying habits – always organic or cheap and cheerful.
- Free time – crafts, volunteering, reading, films, eating out.
- Values – active support of causes, donations, campaigning, opinions on the news.
- Personality – broadly introvert and extrovert. People are rarely all one type all the time.
Website and Social Media Analytics
You have access to big data on your market segment because information about people’s interests, beliefs, and values is collected and organized on websites, search engines, and social media platforms.
You can collect your own information or buy-in from other sources. People telegraph their interests by the information they search for, the webpages they click on, the amount of time spent reading a blog post, and the social groups they join and interact with by commenting and posting.
On your digital assets, you can track and learn from the interactions your customers currently have with you. This information helps you to increase what works and change what is not performing to increase your attraction and retention of customers.
Check Out the Competition
When looking for a target market for your product, where better than your competitors? Selling is all about market share and how much of the cake you can claim. If you want to sell more, you need to increase the size of the cake (find a new audience) or take a bigger slice. Targeting your competitors’ customers if there is a limit on the pool of potential customers makes sense.
Social media gives you a window into your competition. You can see who is following them (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and anywhere else that creates followers and friends), check out customer reviews, and read their social media posts.
Use the tools and information available to see who your competitors are targeting because you and they are fishing in the same pond.
Know the Value of Your Product or Service
Your target customers buy from you if your product or service meets their needs and wants. How can you convince anyone to buy a product or service with no value? If you are not clear on why your product or service is best for them, you can’t explain it to your market segment.
Also, knowing the value of what you are selling defines the type of person who is most likely to buy it. There’s no point in targeting sales of cheap plastic flipflops to customers who like to go snowboarding and prefer hand-tooled leather boots. What’s best about your product defines the person who wants or needs it.
Create a Target Market Statement
A target market statement outlines everything you know about your target audience. It summarizes it in clear, concise language, so the whole team understands the target.
Clear definitions focus the mind on a common goal. They let you set SMART targets as to how you are going to achieve your goal of gaining and converting new sales leads. You are in the business of selling – your message, your product, or your service. For you to be successful at selling, someone needs to buy. You can count the number who do, and that gives you a measure of your success.
Your target market statement needs to cover every area – demographic, geographic, and psychographic. But, it needs to connect your product or service as the answer to those customers’ needs and will define how you craft your marketing content.
The joy of social media is that you can try out a small-scale campaign with a tiny budget. You’ve developed your clear picture of your proposed target market. You think you are talking their language, and they can see themselves in your images.
Now it’s time to prove it, before committing the big money budget. Running a small-scale campaign lets you gather audience reaction. Does it work as you expect? When the results of your test are in, you analyze and refine. Or go back to the drawing board and start again. You repeat the cycle of develop-test-learn until you know that when you scale up your campaign, you have the formula for success.
Revisit Your Audience Research
A reality check is always useful. Asking real people real questions and learning from the answers allows you to explore the unexpected. You may think that tangerine orange is a wonderful color for a golf ball, but they are not selling. Is it the product or the message that isn’t working?
Getting clarity on what people think about the product is the best way to assess if the difficulty in selling lies with the product or the marketing technique. Your audience research can give you that information and is a useful tool that you can use whenever you need clarification on any aspect of your product’s features or your targeting approach.
Interested in partnering with an agency to get a Targeting Campaign started? Connect with a Varga Targeting Expert regarding a custom strategy today.