• What to Know About Your Target Market

While finding customers for your small business is good for growth, finding the right customers is essential. The right customers are the ones who will stick with you, share their experiences on social media, refer you to their friends, and write reviews of your business. The right customers will engage and provide feedback to help you refine your services to the best they can be. These “right” customers are your target market. They are the perfect fit for your business that will help it to thrive.

What to Know About Your Target Market

Why Learn About Your Target Market?

If your marketing plan focuses on satisfying and growing your target market, your business and customers will face mutual success. Knowing your target market will help you to determine what marketing methods to use for attracting new customers, and how to add additional value for retaining loyal customers.

You may think you know who the best fit for your business is, but you may be surprised at the results when you break things down. Below is a list of questions you can ask yourself to help you identify and get to know your target market as well as how to cater your marketing efforts accordingly.

Information to Gather About Your Target Market

Below are some key questions to ask yourself about your business and customers to help you better understand and more effectively reach out to your target market. Information in your head can appear differently and trigger different ideas when visualized on paper, so write down your answers so you can revisit them after and brainstorm additional ideas.

What categories do they fall into?

Every business will have multiple categories of customers, but think about specific demographic information like gender, age, location, occupation, marital, and socioeconomic status. This will help you to consolidate and refine accordingly so you don’t end up with too many categories. Make note of some of the similarities between these categories in order to identify marketing efforts that will be successful for all.

What do they do in their free time?

Knowing their hobbies and daily activities can help you determine what kinds of products they will be most interested in, and the ways you can get in front of your customers. For example, if you are a fitness instructor and your target audience likes to make healthy recipes, you may want to consider posting flyers at a local health store or providing recipes on your website. Knowing what your target customers like to do can help you to increase your visibility and add more value to your business.

Where do they live?

Are they in slower-paced residential neighborhoods with community centers where you can hang flyers? Or are they in the city, checking their phones while on the train whereby you might be better off with a social media post? Knowing the environment your target market resides in will help you identify the most effective way to capture their attention.

Where are they coming from?

In addition to where they live, think about where are the members of your target market are coming from when they visit your store. Do families come to your ice cream shop after their child’s baseball game, or do couples come in after a nice dinner nearby? Knowing your target market’s lifestyle will help you to consider where your target customers are coming from, which will help you cater your products accordingly, such as with a “grand slam discount” or a “home run hot fudge sundae.”

How are they getting to your business?

Do you get walk-in customers because your business is in a busy pedestrian area, or are most of your customers driving in? If your target market is on foot, you’ll want to invest more time and energy into your storefront appearance and purchase sidewalk signs. If your customers are driving in, you might instead try a billboard nearby or a catchy sign in your parking lot.

Knowing how your customers arrive at your business will also help you improve and refine your content. For example, a more specific “hop in the car and come on down” might resonate more with your target market than simply “stop by today”.

When do they purchase from your business?

Knowing when your target customers are engaging with you can help you to interact with them in a more customized manner.  For example, if you are a hairdresser and your target market comes in the morning, you may want to offer coffee and set a pile of business cards or coupons at the register.

There might also be a specific day, month, or season you bring in the most customers. This is relevant to seasonal businesses and to businesses that are based on specific needs, like wedding planners and photographers. Finding out when your target audience is most interested and most likely to make a purchase will ensure that you are maximizing your marketing efforts.

Why do they buy from your business?

What problem is your business solving for your target market? What benefit is your business bringing to their lives? What passions or values do they have that make your business resonate with them? Find out these specifics and cater the language of your marketing content around them. You can increase the appeal of your advertisements, blog posts, and other media by appealing to what is important to them.

What are their channels of communication?

What channels does your audience use to learn about and function in the world around them? Are they social media users? You may want to come up with a more structured social media marketing plan or try out a referral program. Are they more inclined to Google something? Paid search advertising might be worth your while. Consider your current marketing efforts, what you’re currently doing to promote your business, and what’s working to bring in new customers and clients. If one of your efforts is paying off more than another, consider putting more time or money into that channel.

Your target market is the group of people from whom you should be learning, and on whom you should be focusing your marketing efforts. Catering your marketing plan to them will help your business to succeed and will amplify your efforts in getting your name out there. Knowing and building your target audience takes a bit of research, reflection, and time, but it is the key to marketing your business to an interested crowd and attracting more customers. It is also an ongoing process that will enable you to maximize your marketing efforts and add the most value.

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