How to Find your Target Market
Perhaps the most fundamental aspect of digital marketing is finding, knowing, and reaching your target market. Almost all other parts of digital marketing, whether it be the content you create, the channels you use, or the ads you run, are directly related to these fundamentals. In this article, we’ll go over exactly how you can conduct target market analysis in order to identify your target market, which will have huge effects on the rest of your digital marketing campaign. Having a specific target market will be important to your marketing campaigns, because in today’s world, there are so many large companies that are dominating large parts of the market. As a small business, you can capitalize on this by targeting a niche market and provide better products or services to this niche than the big ones can provide to the masses.
Learn from Current Customers
Even if you haven’t conducted formal market research yet but you have been in business for a little while, you can learn a ton just from your current customers and what has worked for you so far. You can analyze data and conduct surveys to gain valuable insights for your business.
If you have the capabilities, try to analyze the demographic data for who has already bought your product or services. Information such as age, gender, geographic location, and others will give you a picture of who your customers are.
In addition to demographic information, you can also collect more qualitative data in the form of surveys. By sending out a survey to customers who have already purchased, you can find out what drove them to purchase and what they like and dislike about your product.
Ask questions such as
1. What do you love about our product/service?
2. What made you decide to choose our product/service over the competition?
3. How did you hear about our product/service?
4. How would you recommend us to a friend?
5. What would convince you to purchase from us again?
Surveys are not the only way to learn from your customers. Engage with customers on social media and look at their comments, you will often find useful information. The insights that you gain from your existing customers will help drive the narrowing down of specific target markets later in the process.
Analyze the Competition
As a small business, it is difficult to compete with larger corporations in their market space. Depending on the industry, corporations may have a near monopoly on certain market segments. It is important to analyze the existing market to determine where there may be gaps that can be exploited. It may also be useful to check the competition that is in a similar space to see how they are marketing to their target market and how you can apply that strategy to your own company.
Below is an example market space chart, you can see the areas in which different companies are occupying the space. Look for opportunities in the empty spaces.
Create your Ideal Customers
When you have gathered sufficient information on your customers, you can use this information to create personas of your ideal customers. When you have a defined persona of a customer that you would like to target, it makes it much more clear when trying to decide what kind of content to create, what topics that your buyers care about, what marketing channels these customers are most active on, and what the tone and personality of your brand should be.
A well-crafted buyer persona can basically be a bio of an example person in the target market that you want to infiltrate. Include both demographic info such as age, income, etc. as well as psychographic information such as values, personality traits, lifestyle choices, and hobbies.
Below is an example of a buyer persona for a running shoe company.
Name: Jim Rollins
Geographic Location: Boston, MA
Interests: Running, Racing Competitively, Watching Professional Track and Field
Values: hard work, achievement, challenge, status
Personality Traits: Very competitive, energetic, enthusiastic, focused, liberal
Motivations to Buy: Wants the very best performing shoe for his competitions, while at the same time trying to stay healthy.
This is just a light example, but just from this information, it is likely that an advertisement or content featuring a professional runner, potentially from the Boston area, will appeal to Jim greatly.
You can have more than one buyer persona for your company, and you can even have multiple buyer personas for the same product, but it is important that you take steps to address all of the potential target markets in order to maximize your reach and sales.
After you define your target market or markets, it is up to you to determine the best ways to appeal to them. Setting up your target markets is one of the first steps in the marketing process and is extremely important to take seriously. The time you spend figuring out your customers will pay off in the end so I would recommend spending lots of time researching and finding your markets.