Target marketing requires researching and analyzing the interests, hobbies, and wants of your potential clients in order to focus your message and marketing budget on the specific section of the market that is most likely to buy your product or service.
Choosing Your Target Audience: Who, What, Why, And How
Determine your target market as part of the corporate planning process; keep in mind that planning is an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. Learning about your target market, like company planning, should not be something you do once and then never again. As long as your company is in operation, you must always ponder how to comprehend your ideal potential clients.
Finding your market—the segment of the population that needs and is willing to purchase what you are selling—is one of the first steps in launching a business (or expanding one). Consider this: it can be tempting to believe that your target market is anyone with feet if your business idea is to create attractive hiking shoes manufactured from sustainably sourced materials. However, in all likelihood, those most likely to buy your shoes have a few things in common: they care about fashion but value comfort over style. Even if it costs more, they would rather get something that lasts 700 miles as opposed to 200.
You can propose some hypotheses, such as the ones that college students are less likely to purchase due to your price point than those in their mid-thirties or that people who live in places with easy access to hiking and the environment are more likely to purchase than those who live in crowded urban areas. Finding out who your ideal clients are and then testing your presumptions about them are both important components of target marketing.
You’ll need to be able to pinpoint your ideal client’s characteristics, including where they reside (or shop), what influences their decision-making, how they act, and the steps they take to complete a transaction.
Who needs your goods or services? Include fundamental demographic information such as age, gender, family size, degree of education, and occupation.
“Our target consumer identifies as a man, is between the ages of 28 and 45, and has a modest family—a partner and 0–1 children. He earns slightly more than the median pay for white-collar workers.
Where are your clients located? These are the areas where your clients are located (i.e., their zip code), and make sure to find out information about the region’s size, population density, and climate. We believe that our clients are more likely to reside in suburban areas, namely in zip codes with slightly higher median incomes and in regions with consistently moderate weather throughout the year, like San Diego.
Why do your customers choose the options that they do? You can use this information about personality and lifestyle to understand the purchasing habits of your customers. For instance, if you are aware of the reasons behind your consumers’ purchases, you may determine how much and how frequently they require your goods. Additionally, think about the advantages you may provide clients over rivals and whether they are more devoted to you or your rival (and why).
“We estimate that each year, our clients purchase one new pair of hiking boots. When they find a brand that works, they tend to be very loyal, but we believe that our socially conscious mission and the fact that no one else is making shoes like ours in the US will appeal to them.
How do your clients act? All customers purchase goods to satisfy needs, but how do they view those needs? How do they feel about your offering? What sources do they use for their knowledge, and how much do they know about this requirement or how your solution meets it?
“Our customers often don’t make a lot of spontaneous purchases. They are likely to conduct multiple online searches before purchasing because they want to know how items are created. The aforementioned examples all serve as assumptions or things that you believe to be true about your potential clients. But your work isn’t finished yet. Now you have to do the job of determining whether your assumptions are accurate and, if not, revising them. Don’t allow your ego to get in the way since discovering that you were mistaken at this point is something to be happy about. It’s preferable to learn that you need to refocus your efforts (and resources) on a different demographic than to move forward with unproven or incorrect presumptions.
Doing Market Research
Determining your demographics and psychographics can be simpler (and less expensive) thanks to new technologies.
- Start with social networks first. If you manage social media accounts for your company, the majority of social media platforms offer a free demographic breakdown of your followers in the backend statistics section.
- Make use of email addresses. Services like TowerData may gather comprehensive demographic data for you if you have your clients’ email addresses.
- Use data from the census. The U.S. Census Bureau has a ton of free information at your disposal if you know the zip codes of your consumers; it may not go all the way down to the houses of your specific clients, but it’s free and a great place to start.
- Utilize your own sales data if you’re already up and running. Data from your payment processor or the history of your goods may also be useful. When do your consumers buy the things you sell? What is the typical purchase amount in your shop? When is the busiest time of day? Can you come up with any theories to explain the variations in when purchases peak and when they decline?
- Consult your clients. Customer surveys can also be conducted by phone, in person, or by email. You could be amazed at how much you can learn about your consumer base from only 5–10 solid interactions, so you don’t need a big turnout. Offer a gift or store credit if you’re concerned about finding survey respondents.
These Are the Essential Details You Need to Know About Your Target Market.
- What gender are they? Even though we live in the twenty-first century, gender identity continues to influence purchase behaviors for a variety of intricate reasons.
- What is their age? “18 to 49” is no longer acceptable. Although most millennials and baby boomers have feet, there are significant differences in what individuals choose to put on them and how they make purchases.
- What are their pastimes or interests? You can relate to people better if you learn what interests them. Even if they choose not to purchase from you, you have gained a new buddy. All people require friends.
- Where do they call home? Are your consumers (or you) constrained by geography? Are you easily accessible to them? Is parking available? The public transit system? Could you deliver? A coffee business that was sandwiched between an antique shop and a Gold’s Gym in a strip mall was once mine to buy. The majority of my 12 or so regular clients were, on the plus side, either extremely fit or skilled watchmakers.
- How do they support themselves? Knowing what your main clients do might help you provide special deals or modify your hours to suit their demands. • How much money do they make? People like to feel unique. Knowing how much—or how little—your consumers are willing to spend is a smart idea whether you’re selling gold-plated sailboats or glow sticks in bulk.
- Do they own or rent their residences? You might need to adjust your messaging to connect with your audience depending on the response and what you sell.
The important thing is to gather data and compare it to your presumptions about your target audience. What is unexpected? What unexplored potential do you see? Did you notice a pattern of complaints or suggestions that were repeated or similar?
To construct a fully realized business plan, it may also be a good idea to create a buyer persona for your company and/or do a SWOT analysis.
How to Utilize Target Marketing in Businesses
Target marketing is a crucial tool whether you’re just getting started, searching for a creative way to expand your organization, or trying to safeguard the company you’ve already established.
Take the lead over rivals in specialist markets.
There is fierce competition if you want to start a bookshop or sell athletic items. Mega-retailers like Amazon and REI won’t just hand a small start-up a piece of their pie. You’re in luck since the era of the niche market is now! Target marketing may help you establish your niche in the industry.
Case study: The wireless industry
The wireless sector is a fantastic illustration of how specialty markets and targeted marketing can help small enterprises prosper. Despite being multibillion-dollar companies, the largest wireless providers—AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint—are concentrated on the largest markets and have shareholders to answer to every quarter. They lack the resources (and it isn’t in their best interest) to staff their support centers with multilingual employees or to offer the most affordable cell phone plans.
You are aware of what they do in its place. The tiny enterprises that buy the rights to their wireless networks from them through their wholesale divisions go after the specialized markets whose needs and interests the large wireless providers neglect.
SIM Shalom offers help in Hebrew and low-cost calls between the United States and Israel to Israeli-American immigrants.
Kajeet targets parents who want to provide their young children with restricted phone lines, these features include the ability to disable the network on the phone during specific times of the day (such as during school hours or at bedtime), to block specific phone numbers or websites, and to activate GPS notifications to let parents know when their child arrives at after-school activities.
Consumer Cellular simplified plans, a selected variety of phone alternatives, an emphasis on affordability and dependability, and a connection with the AARP are some of the ways it specifically targets elderly adults.
GIV Mobile By offering to donate 8% of a user’s monthly bill to a charity of their choice, the service aims to attract socially conscious people who are seeking ways to “give back.”
Virgin Mobile Features “return to school” marketing campaigns, pay-as-you-go options with no credit check, informal website and marketing language, and an emphasis on trends aimed at young adults.
Each of these firms is defined by its ability to recognize and concentrate on target markets. Everyone is aware that not everyone will enjoy their unique product. Not everyone who needs or wants a cell phone is the target audience for their marketing efforts. The top participants in the industry aren’t meeting the demands of certain target populations that they have identified.
Nowadays, conducting a Yelp search might be all it takes to learn what your rivals are (and aren’t) doing. By examining the customer reviews of your rivals, you might find weaknesses in their operations that you can use to your advantage.
Build A Base of Devoted Customers
Just keep in mind that determining your target market is not something you do once and then cross off the list. Businesses that are already operating should set up processes to periodically get feedback from their present clients on what they enjoy (and dislike) about doing business with them.
The benefit of getting to know your clients is that they’ll become more devoted and spend more money, and you’ll be able to find new customers who are similar to them.
Case study: Sephora
One instance that comes to mind is the cosmetics and skincare company Sephora. Why does my wife virtually solely buy her skincare and cosmetics there?
When I questioned her, she didn’t mention that she always purchases beauty and skincare goods from Sephora because they are the only retailer carrying a certain product (they aren’t), have the finest variety (they don’t), or have free delivery (only on orders over $50, allegedly).
The response was that she receives “very nice” free samples with each order and that she earns reward points with each purchase in exchange for future free samples that are even bigger and better. Even better, she has access to a variety of free samples that are always changing, allowing her to pick the ones she wants.
Free samples and, as she acknowledged, nearly useless reward points helped Sephora win over a devoted following of customers.
Would this tactic be effective for everyone? No way. But on a 30-something woman who wants to feel like her favorite mascara, eye cream, or perfume is worth the high price tag, it works very, really well.
Sephora has tapped into the psychographics of its intended market. How are you going to accomplish it for your clientele? Look at the loyalty programs that your rivals and even very successful companies outside of your sector provide. To determine what your clients will find most valuable, consider the research you conducted on your target market.
You may create loyalty programs that will be effective by using your understanding of their interests, living condition, and normal employment. As you test out various programs, don’t forget to ask your clients their opinions. Direct consumer feedback is the most insightful research you can get, and it will help you cultivate a following of devoted clients.
Building a loyal client base that gives your firm online 5-star ratings and spreads the word about how much they love you depends on getting to know your consumers and offering them what they want. (You understand the types of clients you want.
The one lesson I took away from my do-nothing strategy was to never heed marketing guidance from a voice in a Kevin Costner movie. I would have realized it wasn’t even the genuine quotation if I had done even the smallest amount of investigation. Your firm won’t benefit from inaction, and it almost likely will suffer long-term consequences. A lot of zeros on the bank account, all in the wrong places, is typically the result of an all-but-the-kitchen-sink marketing strategy where resources are thrown at selling to everybody with a pulse.
Although target marketing will need some initial work, the benefits are substantial and the effort is well worth it.
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