Defining your target market is an essential part of bringing your product/service to life. It’s not something that you can just assume.
Take the time to research your own product/service and your potential customers. Here’s our quick guide:
1. Think about your offering
Is it a product? Is it a service? How do people interact and buy it? Does it need a website or an app? Can it be bought in a shop?
You’ve got to think about the WHAT, WHERE, WHY AND HOW of your offering. If it’s a hip new watch brand that you’re launching, for example, you’ll want to get an ecommerce site and set up a delivery system for your products to reach tech-savvy customers who pay with card on your site. On the other hand, if you’re launching a new anti-aging cream, you’ll want to strike a deal with a pharmacy chain to sell your product for you.
2. What problem is your offering solving?
Is this product/service actively solving an issue by the general public or just your target market? Think: Does an 80-year-old retired grandmother have any need for a virtualisation, cloud and hybrid-cloud IT support? Think: Does a penniless student have any need for an expensive cutlery set?
Your product/service needs be relevant and solve an issue for your target market. Think about a specific niche rather than an entire population to begin with.
3. Look at the competition
When entering a market, always look at your competition: their products, their points of sale, their advertising, their tone. Critically evaluate everything thing they do - from customer service to the paper their receipts are printed on - and think about how your target market reacts to these things.
Are your competition known for having poor customer service? Are they known for great quality and friendly service? Are they even on the map?
Note of caution: Take inspiration, don’t steal.
4. How can you reach them?
No target market is the same. You have to think about factors including, but not limited to:
Their willingness to:
- Spend/splurge on your offering
- Buy things online
- Travel somewhere for your offering
- Stay loyal or jump to a similar offering
Their level of use of:
- The internet
- Social media
Their reaction to:
- Your pricing
- Your communications tone
- The quality of web presence (design of website, app, etc.)
- The quality of your offering
Different demographics have different purchasing behaviours. It’s important to understand the lengths you need to go to make a sale. It might be as simple as using Facebook ads but it could be as difficult as selling door-to-door. Take the option that puts you ahead of your competition in the mind of your target market.
Always be thinking: Does my offering cut the mustard for the folk I want to sell my product/service to? How can I improve my product in line with their expectations?
Please note: This may need you to do some market research. Get crafty. Interview people. Ask your friends to do a short survey. Don’t go assuming things. Many Americans didn’t vote in the 2017 presidential elections because they assumed Trump wouldn’t win. LOOK WHERE THAT GOT US.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to see how often people (in your chosen region/country) are actively searching for your product/service or your competitors on Google. Google gets 3.5 billion search enquiries every day - chances are that your target audience are using the platform to research goods and services. The Keyword Planner is free and it can also give you some really valuable and insightful info for budgeting and your what your competition is getting up to on the platform.