Knowing your target market is absolutely vital when developing your product or service, and it helps to know who you need to sell it to. Major brands are constantly re-evaluating their target markets to stay on top of changes and developments. Apple, for example, recently shifted their focus away from the average consumer who use their devices for entertainment purposes, to focus on the business professional who wants to use their devices to make their job more effective and efficient.
But how do you go about identifying your target market? Where do you even start? The simplest place to start is asking yourself these four questions:
- Who will be interested in my product or service?
- What will make them spend money on my product or service?
- How much will they be willing to spend?
- Am I being realistic about the number of people that will be interested?
Who will be interested in my product or service?
The more specific you are in answering this question, the more accurately you will be able to pinpoint your market. If you identify your market as “parents”, or as the standard Facebook “18-65 year olds”, you are being far too vague. You want to go into as much detail as possible. A good initial list of criteria will include demographic information like gender, age, marital status, race, etc. After you have this information, go into behavioural detail like their hobbies, their interests, their lifestyle choices and their personalities. Once you have established these things, you will have a clearer picture of who will buy your product.
What will make them spend money on my product or service?
Take a step back and look at your product or service objectively. Why would people pay for it? Will you be an online-only business to cater for people who work 8-5, or will you have an office or store for people who prefer to spend money face to face? Does your product or service solve a problem for the buyer, and what is the nature of that problem? Does your offering add enough value to the buyer’s life to warrant them paying you for it?
How much will they be willing to spend?
The answer to this question will greatly determine how much you will be able to charge for your product or service. If you are targeting high-earning professionals who own a holiday home in Clifton and only travel business class, you can safely assume that they will not mind paying more for a good quality product This doesn’t mean that you should overprice your product or service. It simply means that your target market will attach more value to quality than to price.
If you are targeting middle to lower income individuals, they will probably be more budget conscious. This doesn’t mean that they will be willing to sacrifice on quality. It simply means that they will have to look at their budget before spending money on nice-to-haves like entertainment and fashion items.
Am I being realistic about the number of people that will be interested?
When you are starting out it is very easy to assume that everyone will be interested in your product or service. Because you are excited about what you are offering and the value it will add, it will be hard to imagine that someone will not want to buy it. Being enthusiastic about your business is great, but to be on the safe side, work on conservative figures. Contact people that fall in your target market and ask them how they feel about your product or service. Ask them if they would be comfortable paying for it, if they have friends who would be interested, and if they have suggestions on how you can improve your offering. Questionnaires, personal interviews and focus groups will provide you with the market research you need to launch your business successfully.
Once you have answered these questions, you will have established who you are targeting and will be able to fine tune your advertising and promotions and even your product or service to ensure that you lure in paying customers.
Battling to define your customer? Need a new marketing strategy? Contact us today for a free consultation.