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Eight Questions to Help You Find the Target Market for Your Business
To help your business succeed, you need to market. To market more effectively, you need to focus your efforts on your target market. To find your target market, you will need to do some research. Take an objective look at who your current customers are and also at those potential customers you want to be selling to, and ask yourself these eight questions.
1. What problem does my product or service solve?
The first step in determining your target market is to understand exactly why your potential customer is looking for something like your product a service. Ask yourself what problem you can solve for them. Also ask yourself what type of person would be willing to pay for your product or service as a solution to their problem.
2. What type of customers have already purchased from me?
Looking at the statistics of who has already bought from you can help you narrow down your target market. Look for trends in gender, age group, financial status, marital status and shopping habits. All of these criteria can help you piece together a picture of your ideal customer.
3. Are my marketing efforts narrow enough?
It is easy to market and advertise to the general public, but this will seldom get you the results you are looking for. The majority of those people have no interest in what you have to sell. You usually want to reach out to smaller groups of potential customers that are actually interested in the product or service you have to offer.
Doing surveys, interviews or small focus groups can help you narrow down to groups of people who are interested in your business.
4. Am I making any assumptions based on my own personal knowledge?
When determining your target market, your own experience and knowledge can sometimes muddle your idea of what an ideal customer is. It’s best to let research lead the way and take assumptions out of the equation. This is where your surveys, interviews and focus groups can really come in handy and help you understand your target market better.
5. Which retail strategy gets me the most business?
The retail strategy that proved to be your biggest money maker can give you an insight to your target market. Do you sell more products in-store or online? Are most of your customers local or global? Answering questions like these can show you who your loyal customers are and how to best sell to them.
6. How are my competitors marketing?
Evaluating your competition and their marketing strategies can help you define your own target market. Of course you don’t want to copy their marketing tactics exactly, but looking at how they market and who they seem to be marketing to will give you an idea of your industry’s ideal customer.
7. How easy is it to find my customers?
As you delve deeper into determining your target market, you need to determine whether or not you can effectively reach those people. Study your target demographic and their purchasing patterns. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, also look into your target market’s geographic location. You can use this information to determine if the people that live closest to your store are the same people who want to buy from you. If you are solely operating online, learning about your potential customers, shopping habits can help you reach those customers.
8. Do my marketing strategies give me room to expand?
As your business grows, so should your marketing. Over time you may have to redefine your target market and change your marketing ways. Are the tactics you are using now ones that will allow you the flexibility? Is there room to grow as your customer base grows? If you want to grow your business – and who doesn’t — you may need to rethink your marketing plan.
The best way to succeed at selling your products or services is to market directly to those who are genuinely interested. Figure out who your customers are, what they need and how they shop to give a good idea of whom you should be focusing your marketing efforts on. By arming yourself with as much information about your ideal customer as you can, you can push your sales rates into overdrive.
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