What is the best way to find your target market?

target-market-08112015When you decide to start a business or to launch a new product or service, an integral step is identifying your target market. If you understand who your target market is you can then shape your business strategy to appeal to that audience.

Let’s take a look at some techniques to help you accurately focus on the people most likely to become your customers:

Identify the problem.

A good first step when you start a business is to figure out the problem that your product or service addresses. If you can identify the problem, then you can figure out who needs that problem solved. Namely, your potential customer.

Take for example a housecleaning business. The problem you address is cleaning homes for people who cannot or do not want to do these jobs. Those people could be older people who cannot physically do their own housekeeping or families where both parents work. These individuals are your target audience.

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Define the characteristics of your customers.

Another step towards identifying your target market is to list the characteristics of your typical customer. The characteristics you focus on do not have to be personal. For example, look to lifestyle, earned income, disposable income, geographic location, or hobbies. Making this list can help you more accurately zero in on your target audience.

Find your primary market.

Even though your products and services may address the needs of a variety of people, your business still has a primary audience. Your primary audience are the people who have the greatest need for your products or services, gain the most benefits, or who buy the largest quantity on a regular basis. Your primary audience should be the primary focus of your energies.

Examine your current audience.

Take a survey of your current customers and identify their common characteristics. This will help you learn who your potential customers could be. Try to discern why your customers buy from you and which customers are your most loyal. This will provide you with a profile of your target audience.

Look at your competition.

Take a close look at what your competitors are doing. It can help you figure out your own target market. Keep track of your competitor’s marketing campaigns, advertising, websites, and social media pages. There is a possibility that your competitor has identified a marketing opportunity and is exploiting it. You can use that knowledge to your advantage as well.

Who is buying and why are they buying?

It is important to understand who is actually buying your product or service and why. This issue goes beyond knowing which customers need your product. Instead, you need to delve deeper to find out who is making the purchase. For example, many adults feel that they need to go on a strict diet to lose weight. Out of those, only a segment may be interested in a food home-delivery service. If you can understand this more nuanced population, you will have an even clearer picture of your target audience.

Remember, to be successful when you start a business, you must focus on that target audience of customers most likely to buy from you and buy the most. Hopefully these tips will help you narrow your search.

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photo credit: Eyes