Using market research to identify your target market allows you to lower your overall marketing costs and get a better return on your investment. While it is tempting to think that your target market should be ‘everyone”, properly segmenting the market will help you avoid overspending and wasting your marketing dollars. If you are a pet bakery for example, you are already hopefully doing some targeting – by seeking out people who own dogs and making sure your marketing materials resonate with this group. Targeting for some products is that simple – other products and services might need to do a little more work to correctly focus their efforts. How can you correctly understand your target market? These market research tips will help:
What problem do I solve?
Do you feed people who love spicy, fresh food? Walk dogs so the owners can go to work or play without worrying about their pets? Design and make cute boutique clothing for hard to fit sizes? Understanding what problem, you solve and the role you fill will help you highlight those who are most likely to benefit from your product.
Who are my current customers?
One of the best indicators of who you should be targeting and which people are most likely to buy from you is your existing customer base. What do they like, why do they buy and why did they choose you? Asking them these questions via an in-person interview or online surveys can provide some specific facts about your core base and who is most likely to buy from you, you can use this information to properly target new buyers with the same demographics, problems, and interests.
Who is my competition?
You likely know the other stores or restaurants in town or your direct competitors – but searching on both social media and Google can reveal other competitors as well. Learning more about the others in your field and studying not only how they are approaching customers but what demographics they seem to be successfully courting, can provide some valuable insight into your own marketing goals.
What is my ideal customer profile?
Creating a buyer persona that is made up from a specific demographic that is likely to need or want your product can help you decide where to spend your marketing dollars and where to focus your efforts. You should have an idea of the basics – age, gender, location, income level, employment and family status of your idea buyer, but you need to go a little deeper to truly understand them. What keeps them up at night, what do they do for fun and what motivates them to buy? Are they buying your product because it is a necessity – or is it a luxury item for them? A survey or data collection app can often yield more information about your buyers or prospects that can help you craft a useful persona for brand.
As you begin to assemble information about your buyers and prospects, a clear picture will begin to emerge. Use this data to figure out not only what marketing message you need to send, but where it needs to go (on Facebook, in a direct mail piece, an online ad or other method) and when you need to send it. (New parents could get your message at 2am, but someone who has to get up to go to work at 7am will miss it entirely).
Also published on Medium.