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Target Market Identification: Best Practices

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These days it’s easy to market a product. You can subscribe to customer-centered marketing tools such as Alchemer solutions to better understand the business niche you’ve chosen to invest in. In no time you will be privy to data that will fast track your command of a particular market segment.

You do not have to be completely reliant on a third-party service provider as well. The internet offers you information galore, all at your disposal. You can acquaint yourself with marketing strategies that might not exactly fit in your business plans, but will nonetheless prove beneficial, at least in terms of educating yourself as an entrepreneur.

For example, did you know that you can actually turn customer testimonials into effective marketing tools? That product placement happens to be a viable marketing option, at least if you have money to burn? Or how you can improve your product’s image via a YouTube video? These are just some of the routes you could follow to reach your target audience. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Before you explore the marketing options available to you, first you must identify your target audience. This step is crucial to the entire process. Do it right and the rest will follow. Mess it up and your business will suffer. Here’s how you should go about it.

1. Seek out the problem

Every product aims to address a specific problem. Here problem does not refer to the literal meaning of the word. It’s problem in the marketing sense. What you seek to address. If you are putting up a spa, the problem you are trying to solve is providing relaxation to stressed-out people.

Now, who are these people? You have young professionals hustling from Monday to Friday, nine to five. You have working parents, raising children, in need of some pampering. These demographics comprise your target market.

2. Put a face to your target market

You should not stop with identifying the general characteristics of your target market. Those young professionals and working parents should have a face. How much do they earn? Which neighborhoods do they reside in? What other hobbies do they pursue? These details will help you tailor-fit your marketing efforts better.

3. Identify your primary market

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Most products do not cater to just one market segment. As in the example mentioned earlier, the spa business in question targets both young professionals and working parents. Between these two segments, which is your primary source of business?

Perhaps it’s young professionals. They have more time to visit the spa, for that matter. Also, they have more disposable income, since most of them are single. Knowing your primary audience will help you navigate through your marketing efforts in such a way that you do not neglect your bread and butter. That is while still catering to other clients outside your primary market.

4. Get to know your existing clients

All businesses should aspire for expansion. And the first step for that to happen is for you to widen your market reach. You can do that by studying your existing clients and customers. What is it about your brand that they like? How did they hear about your business? What are the main benefits they derive from your products?

The answers to those questions will allow you to explore possibilities in terms of who else could benefit from what you offer. With your existing clients’ background, are there similar markets you could tap?

Be consistent with your customer surveys. They might add to your overhead expenses, but they are worth every penny.

5. Keep abreast of your competitor’s target market

It’s not cheating. It’s research. You should not be satisfied with what you know. You should be interested in what your competitor knows as well. Your competitor, offering the same products or services as you, might have unlocked a new market segment that has a lot of potentials. You need that information too.

To nail your marketing efforts, you got to learn from the best. Brands like Nike, Budweiser, and Apple have it all figured out. Even if you do not have the same resources as these brands, you can still emulate their marketing practices by scaling them down to suit your needs.

For example, while Budweiser buys Super Bowl ad spots, you can buy exposure for your home brewed beer at the next local sporting event in your city. It only takes a little imagination.

So long as you know who you are selling to, you’re on the right track. Keep on it and don’t lose focus.

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