Building a solid foundation for your business requires identifying your target market and creating the right messaging and campaigns that will speak directly to them.
Clearly understanding who your customer is and where they can be found is vital to any business strategy. I have heard some say “target everyone” but this is like throwing things against the wall in hopes something will stick. Imagine the energy, time and money that will be wasted.
It’s less painful if you take the time to do your homework and identify your true customers. Then develop strategies that will allow you to focus your time, brand messaging, advertising and marketing dollars directly to customers and buyers that will lead to profits.
The same is true in social media. Some believe that having a huge following is important, but the reality is quality of consumers is more important than quantity. If you have 2,500 followers for examples, and they are not buyers but lookers - then it will be hard to reach your goal.
Whether you are B2B or B2C you will need to develop a series of questions in order to formulate what your customer looks like. Once you put this information together you will find how easy it is to reach your target market.
- Start by looking at your current customers and find people like them.
- Take a peek at what your competitors are doing. Find out who are their customers but don’t go after the same market. Instead try to find a niche market that they are overlooking.
- Determine a demographic profile of your target market. These are: Age range, income, gender, education level, income level, family or marital status, occupation, and ethnic background.
- Determine their Psychographics profile. There are more personal characteristic of a person and they include: values, lifestyles, attitudes, Interests/hobbies, behavior, and personality.
- Find answers to questions like: Where do they get most of their decision-making information? Are they first responders or do they wait for others to try a new product first?
- Determine how your target audience will interact with your product or service. What are the benefits to this person? Are you filling a need they have or is it a luxury item.
Finally, I take all this information and create a prototype person of my target market. I give him or her a name, age, job, family, and a place to live and what problems keep him or her up at night. By having this visual in mind my team and I will now be able to effectively reach our consumers, craft the right messaging and create the appropriate advertising, marketing, PR and social media strategies and campaigns that will best reach my target market.
Some research resources to use.
Pew Internet, and Nielsen Wire both publish free reports and downloads to help with your reseach including demographics.
Do a Google search to find even more resources.