For any business, whether small or large, once you have decided on your product or service, often the next step is deciding who you are going to sell too. Many businesses, however, don’t take the time to break down their target market successfully. This can be difficult, but with the right approach, you will be on your way to success by reaching out to the audience that will be most interested in your product or service. Break it down into three simple steps to get you and your company thinking about how to identify your target market segment(s):
- Keep it simple, break it down
Just like you can’t successfully write a paper without an outline, you can’t jump into selling a product or service to people without giving some thought to who would best be served by what you have to offer. Go ahead and get a piece of paper out, or open up a word or google document and list out different segments you might be interested in. If you are having trouble coming up with a list of segments, keep it simple. Forbes suggests segments like gender, income, age, but there are also segments like geographical region. Think of this step as the drafting process.
- Time to Research
Once you have your ideal target market segments written down, take the time to learn just about everything you can about your ideal market. Do they have the same median income as your ideal target market? Just because you think they might make a good market doesn’t mean they will be a good market. I suggest you create an excel spreadsheet or chart with a breakdown of different audiences to not only keep track of everything easily, but also to be able to reference your notes quickly in the future. For example, young women below the age of 30. After completing this process, you should be able to determine where your resources will be best used.
- Decide how you are going to separate yourself from the competition
Now that you have either a clear idea or better understanding of who you want to market to, now you can start to think about how you want to market to them. A great way to do this is to go back to your research and see review habits of your target market. How and where do they like to shop? How do they consume news? What is their preferred method of communication? Social media is going to become essential in how you decide to separate yourself from the competition. For example, Snapchat is very popular with young millennials, but Facebook is becoming more popular with baby boomers. This stage will also help you design your marketing plan, and allocating your resources to promote your business services or product effectively.
What are some of the ways you and your company work to identify and manage your target market segment? Do you have any resource recommendations? Let us know below!
Author: Sophia Niemeyer
Sophia is a recent college graduate from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota with a degree in Communications Studies. During her time in college, Sophia became interested in marketing and the effect it has on social media. Currently, she works as a freelance social media and writing consultant for NISM as well as for Award Baking International. While doing her freelance work, she is actively pursuing a job in social media and public relations. In addition to her professional career, Sophia plans to start her own fitness business, working on her certifications in yoga and Zumba to help others find a healthy, and active lifestyle.