Marketing means nothing if you don’t know who you are marketing to. In fact, the entire point of marketing is to get your product or service seen by those who need it—your targeted audience or more broadly explained as your target market.
What is Your Target Market?
Your target market is defined as the market that is most likely to show interest and invest in whatever it is you have to offer. While many brands claim to target “anyone interested” in their specific services, that doesn’t exactly help you narrow down your true audience.
The fact of the matter is, you can not market to everyone.
Therefore, it is vital to define your true target market. There isn’t enough time in each day or dollars in your marketing budget to spend on the generic idea of “anybody,” which is why these resources need to be spent on those most likely to purchase your offer.
How to Define Your Target Market: 5 Questions You Should Ask Yourself
In order to define your target market, you need to be able to not only identify but visually picture who it is you are selling your product or services to. One of the most popular methods of defining your target market is to sit down and imagine a physical person, their attributes, and what it is that they need help with that you can supply them. If you aren’t much of a visualization type, then being able to answer these five questions should help you narrow down your ideal target market.
1. Who Are Your Current Customers?
The first question you should be able to answer is who are your current customers? Do they live in a given area? Does their age range in a specific zone? Are they predominantly male or female? You must know who your current customers are in order to help you narrow down your target market.
This is especially true for businesses starting up. When you can start narrowing down these different pieces of information, you can better see who needs your products or services the most. If you haven’t already, this can also help you narrow down your niche, but that’s a topic for later.
2. What Need Does Your Product/Service Fulfill?
You have something worth selling—okay, cool. Now ask yourself what problem is this product or service fulfilling? Consumers purchase things based on their need to answer a question or fulfill a specific need in their lives. For example:
- People hire cleaning services when they need help maintaining a clean home
- Runners purchase athletic shoes intended for long-distance running instead of CrossFit shoes that are ideal for short, quick movements
- Men purchase electric razors to help speed up their facial hair maintenance routine
What solution are you providing to your customers?
3. Who are Those That Have This Need?
Now that you’ve nailed down what solution you are providing to your customer’s take your current list of customers and compare it to the solution you are providing to the public. Do your current customers truly need your product?
The answer should be yes, and this will help you define who else may need your product or services. Does your product cater to a man’s need to shave his beard? Alternatively, does it cater to a female’s need for carefully designed athletic wear?
4. Who are Your Competitors and Whom Do They Serve?
If you’re particularly struggling on answering the question ‘who does your brand serve,’ then you could benefit immensely by studying your competitors. Find out the demographics of your competitor’s audience members and discover why they are buying from them. You can also look into how often their audience is making purchases and the length of their customer loyalty to see if your products are serving that same market or not.
5. Can You List the Demographics/Psychographic Attributes of Your Ideal Customer?
At this point in the defining process, you should be able to create a detailed list of who your ideal audience members are and what target market they belong to. Start by listing some of their demographic information, including:
- Location (local/national/international)
- Income levels
- Marital status
Don’t forget to consider the psychographic attributes of your target market as well. These could include:
- What is their personality?
- What are their values?
- Do they have specific behaviors?
- What are their interests and hobbies?
Defining your target market requires you to identify who your consumers are. That involves doing some extra homework and finding out as much data on them as possible. Once you do that, you’ll be able to more clearly define your ideal target market and put your marketing skills to work and bring in the right consumers who will want to invest in your products or services.