June 28, 2021

December 4, 2020

How to Define Your Target Market

Strategy

June 28, 2021

How to Define Your Target Market

Strategy
Your target market is a group of people on which you are focusing efforts to sell your services or products. But how do you identify your target market?

The post below will outline some steps that will help define your target market and get you in front of the ideal customers for your business. The goal of this exercise is to save you time and money when marketing to your ideal customers then retain those customers.

June 28, 2021

How to Define Your Target Market

Strategy
Your target market is a group of people on which you are focusing efforts to sell your services or products. But how do you identify your target market?

The post below will outline some steps that will help define your target market and get you in front of the ideal customers for your business. The goal of this exercise is to save you time and money when marketing to your ideal customers then retain those customers.

What is a target market?

First, let’s define “target market.” Your target market is a group of people on which you are focusing efforts to sell your services or products. We will talk about how to define and identify these people in this post. As we get started, you’ll notice that we encourage you to focus, then focus more to eventually define your ideal customers.

Why is defining my target market important?

The goal of defining your target market or audience is to build relationships with those people so they’ll patronize your business instead of your competitor’s. The goal is to build trust and eventually a relationship with the people who want to buy your particular product or offering. It’s also important to consider what target market will produce the most money, so that you can keep your business financially successful. If you build a strong relationship, you will retain those customers longer than the life of the sale. These become your repeat customers. It is extremely less expensive to retain customers than to spend money gaining new ones.

Once you have identified your target market, then it’s time to revisit some things you think you may already know or have defined about your business. This gives you a good gut check to make sure that you’re heading in the right direction. Perhaps at this point, you may realize a pivot in your industry or category could produce better results.

Define your industry

The first step in casting a narrower net around potential customers is to define your industry. Let’s say you define your industry as “automotive.” This can cover a lot of different areas: auto repair, auto sales, auto detailing, etc.

If you determine your industry is automotive sales, the next step is to define it down further to a particular category. It’s likely that you already know your industry, but this could be a good time to challenge your current business model to see if there’s potential for a pivot.

Define your category

Ok, so you’re in the industry of automotive sales. What do you sell? Cars and trucks? Motorhomes? Motorcycles? Are they new or used?

Let’s say you decide to go with the category of “motorcycles.” Now, it’s time to dial it down even further.

Define your market

What type of motorcycles do you sell? A particular brand? Road bikes? Off-road dirt bikes?

Let’s say you’ve decided to specialize in off-road motorcycles. This gets you to a very defined, focused market.

Now, the next step, is defining your target audience so that you can speak directly and most effectively to the people who you want to buy your dirt bikes.

Test and challenge your assumptions

At every level, it may feel obvious to identify what you are. The trick is to take the time to research the potential options, develop hypotheses and test their viability. YouTube started in the dating category. But after seeing how customers used the website, it expanded to the content sharing category. A relatively small adjustment in either of these three levels could produce results. Here are a few things to think through at every level:

1. Follow the Money. Is there more opportunity that you could address in industry, category or market?

2. If it is working, don’t fix it. Focus on the wins and move more energy in that direction. If you are winning in an industry, category or market, don’t change it. Instead, double down and try to own that space. It always pays to be number one.

3. Is there a space with less competition? More competition generally makes the cost of doing business higher and it is harder to get the attention of new customers. Can you pivot to a space that has less noise? How can you bring value to that space?

4. What are your customers saying? Don’t fight your customers. It should go without saying, but this comes up all of the time. If they say you are an off-road motorcycle shop, listen to them. Take the time to interview a handful of customers to validate your positioning.

Define your audience

During this exercise, we start with a simple question: “If you had one dollar to spend on marketing, who would you want to target?”

This may seem simple, but it hits on a couple of important points. First, it highlights that your target market can’t be everyone. If you try to appeal to everyone, your brand will become diluted and it’s likely you won’t really appeal to anyone. Second, it encourages you to visualize who that ideal customer is.

During this exercise at Hardy, we challenge our clients to think of a real person. What does that person look like? Is it a man or woman? How old are they? By visualizing a real person, it helps to further plan on how to reach them.

Create personas

During our branding process, we create personas to define our clients’ best customers. Creating personas not only helps to visualize your ideal clients, it also challenges you to think about what you need to do to satisfy and delight them.

We help clients define what these personas or ideal customers need, at a minimum, to be satisfied when they do business with you. Then we push it a step further and ask, “How can you exceed their expectations?”

This exercise provides our clients with an actionable plan and real examples of how they can delight customers in an effort to build trust and lasting relationships. When they’re done, they have a clear picture of their target market and how to reach them.

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