Defining Your Target Market

Who is going to buy your product? Not “who” specifically (we all know you’re going to be able to convince your family and friends to partake of your wares), but what kind of person is going to be interested in what you have to sell? Or more simply put, who is your target customer?By focusing in on a type of customer, you are going to be able to better market your product. A simple example is if you’re selling hearing aids, you’ll want to target more elderly couples. Sure, you may have a middle-aged person, or maybe a few teens, but your target market would me senior citizens. That being said, you’d probably want to focus more marketing dollars on newspaper ads than on pay-per-click advertising.But the first step of defining your target consumer is geography. Your business will take a wholly different approach if it’s mostly online and welcomes nationwide customers, as opposed to a local business that’s only intended to serve a smaller area.The next step is to figure out demographics: age, gender, marital status, education, income, ethnicity, etc. Then take into account more lifestyle-oriented factors: religion, social class, activities, interests, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, etc. There are thousands of combinations you can make with all these factors – a teenage male who loves hockey or a middle-aged married female working on a college degree – and you need to figure out which of your products apply to which of these kinds of people.Some details may not matter; there may be no correlation between jewelry (assuming you sell jewelry) and pet ownership. But going through this process will help you focus your efforts on the market that most needs your services and, perhaps, it will also give you new ideas (like pet-themed jewelry).Write out who your target market is. There may be a few different groups of people, but try to limit it. Yes, you may have the random customer buying your product who doesn’t fit your target market (and, if you can, you may want to get in touch with them to see why they bought it; maybe there’s a better target market out there you didn’t realize) but you’ll want to direct most of your energies to a dedicated demographic.Once you’ve got an idea of your target market – something you should continually reevaluate – it’s time to get them to your store. And now that you’ve gathered all this information, you’ll know if you need to focus your efforts on online advertizing, traditional marketing, direct mailers, flyers, or other methods – or a combination thereof.Gathering information about a target market and focusing your efforts on them is going to make your business more efficient and bring you greater success.

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