There is no more important task for an entrepreneur than defining a target market. Focusing on a target market instead of spending marketing dollars on a larger sampling of prospective customers saves both time and money as a much more efficient approach for improved sales results. After a target market is identified, then business management can start marketing research.
Defining Your Target Market
There are several proven methods for defining a target market. Gathering information from the current customer base about customers’ age, location, family status, income level, ethnicity, occupation, gender and education captures the marketing research necessary to shape a clear picture of who the target market is for your product. Other personal characteristics worthy of identification to further understand your customer’s mindset as a purchaser include lifestyle, values, hobbies, values, personality and lifestyle.
Certain questions answered reveal why and how a target market decides what to buy. Finding out why your product or service is appealing to your customer is a must? What do they like best and least about the product? What media do they frequent for information? Do they search online? What types of events do they attend on a regular basis? This is the kind of research that provides marketing management with the data required to create a media storm of provocative marketing material focused like a laser on the prospective customer.
Creating a Media Storm That Generates Results
Common sense dictates that the best way to attract a new customer is to give them the information they want, about the benefits they seek, at a time and place they are likely to visit to find these answers. For example, if it is discovered that a company’s prospective customers are most likely to shop online for your product, then it is imperative to market online. The buying habits of your customers must be understood before designing an effective marketing campaign.
The second factor to consider when creating a media storm is to be sure that the message being communicated is clearly stated and will create your media storm satisfy the questions of prospective customers. If your target market is interested in getting good gas mileage in their next car purchase and the media message is focusing on safety instead, then the primary marketing message misses the mark for maximum results. While safety is important to many car buyers, those seeking to spend less at the pump may keep looking for other cars if they aren’t aware that your product delivers good gas mileage.
Success in business is dependent on giving the customers want they want. As simple as that statement sounds, businesses often lose revenues to competitors when they fail to clearly define their target market and reach out to them with a compelling message. Advertising means nothing if the message never reaches the target market. For this reason, it is crucial to get the message in front of the customer. Older customers are less likely to spend as much time online and might respond to TV ads better, while the twenty-something crowd might be better reached online. Comprehensive marketing research should reveal all the customer data necessary for creating a compelling marketing strategy.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.