Here Are 5 Tips to Help You Find the Right Ones
Define your current customers. Who are they? What are their defining characteristics? Do they have things in common with each other? Why do they buy from you?
If you’re the spreadsheet kinda person like me, log your research to make it easier to spot patterns. Lucky for you, I’ve already created one! You can download my “Target Market Selector” here. Please add or remove columns to make it work for you, but it should give you an idea of the types of info to collect and analyze.
Analyze your products and services. Are they high-end and expensive? Are they low-end and inexpensive? Somewhere in between? Are they specialized, hard-to-find items or a commodity? Do you have a lot of variety or a limited selection?
Expensive, specialized, rare items will appeal to older people who have money. Inexpensive, regular old easy to find items will appeal to lower income and possibly younger people. You need to understand what you’re selling before you can move on to the next three tips.
I’ve created a log for analyzing your competition, too…it’s in the Web Startup Toolbox that you should already have. The “Niche” column is intended to summarize their target market. Knowing who they target can help you identify your own market.
Identify your target market demographics. Using your current customer data, your product/service analysis, and your competitive research as guides, identify the demographic characteristics of your ideal customer.
Demographics refers to things like: Age, gender, location, income, education, marital status, occupation, ethnic background, etc. I’ve created a “Target Market” tab in the “Target Market Selector” to log this info.
Identify your target market psychographics. How might you define the lifestyle of your target market? What are their personalities, attitudes and values like? What are their interests and hobbies? How would you characterize their behavior?
The “Target Market” tab in the “Target Market Selector” also has a place for this info.
Once you have your target market data in hand, you can use it to hyper-focus your sales and advertising efforts. If you’re selling offline, choose events where your target market might be and target people who meet your demographic criteria. Online ad channels like Google and Bing allow you to specify some of these demographics. Facebook goes a step further and allows you to specify psychographics, but it only works if you know what they are.
I’m not suggesting you turn away customers if they come a-knockin’. What I AM suggesting is that you make the absolute best use of your marketing dollars so you don’t waste them on people who aren’t likely to buy from you. And the only way to do that is to clearly understand who your target market is.