How to Define Your Target Market

by Kamilla Sterling-Parker

When it comes to digital marketing and effective marketing techniques in general, the finest in the industry will generally tell you that marketing isn’t all that difficult. All you have to do is stay up with the latest trends and experiment on a regular basis.

However, if you’ve ever tried to tell a story online, you’re well aware that digital marketing may be more akin to rocket science than a stroll in the park at times. Setting up a digital powerhouse that converts, sells, and spreads the word about your business is a complicated and time-consuming process that requires consideration of numerous critical elements.

Determining your target audience and market is one of them. Do you have a good understanding of your target market and audience? If you don’t know the answers to these questions straight away, you’re probably not getting the most out of your digital experience.

Worse, if you responded “everyone” or “a huge group of individuals,” you may be in for far more serious difficulties than you had anticipated.

Why? The trouble with the digital world is that if you want to reach everyone, you’ll probably wind up reaching no one.

You may now be considering some of the major dogs, such as Amazon or Alibaba. Isn’t it true that they practically target and sell to everyone? That’s correct.

However…

Let’s look at Amazon’s situation. From 1994 to 1998, they focused only on selling books online. Even now, more than two decades later, that seems like a fairly specialised audience in our book. To put it another way, Amazon began with a defined target market, and the online behemoth only began to develop massively once Bezos established a successful and well-run business. And, after more than two decades, that technique won Amazon the right to target almost everyone with an internet connection once more.

So, do you see where we’re going with this?

We hope that at the end of this piece, you will have a better understanding of how critical it is to identify your target market and audience in order for your company to succeed in the digital world.

Discerning Target Markets


A target market, by definition, is a sector of potential customers that a company seeks to serve with its particular services or goods.

In brand development, product development, service development, and overall marketing activities, defining your target market is critical. In most cases, your target market will also include the end-user of your product or service.

This is an essential component of every company plan. You must select a particular group of individuals and begin selling to them in order to get your items out there and start creating a reputation for yourself. If you don’t, you risk producing a number of goods and service packages that are aimed at everyone but truly fulfil the needs of no one.

As a result, your items may never leave the store shelves.

When it comes to segmenting your target market, you have numerous options and strategies to choose from.

You can divide your market into segments based on demographics, location, and/or psychographics.

Take, for example, one of the world’s largest corporations, McDonald’s.

They’ve managed to establish (and serve to) a variety of target markets and consumers over the years.

Take a peek at their menus to begin. You’ll see a lot of similarities across the board, but you’ll also notice regional differences in different regions of the United States, not to mention throughout the world.

They, on the other hand, have well-defined strategies for catering to their respective consumer groups. Take a look at how they promote their brand to kids. You have designated play spaces, meals with toys, and other amenities. As millennials have grown to become the largest generation in the United States, the company has updated its menu to include healthier alternatives in order to keep up with current trends and customer expectations.

Concerning Target Audiences


In marketing terms, “target audience” is a more specific phrase than “target market,” and it refers to the group of individuals you’re trying to reach through marketing communications. It’s a group that has the ability to embrace your brand’s vision and message.

Simply defined, these are the individuals to whom you will promote directly, even if they are not the people who will buy your goods.
You must acquaint yourself with your target audience, understand their wants, desires, and who they are in order to become effective in connecting with them. You will have the opportunity to teach them on your products/services and the benefits of doing business with you by learning about them and getting to know them.

Target Audience vs. Target Market
By now, it should be obvious that these two words are quite close, if not identical. However, there are a few significant distinctions between the two, which can be seen in the practical consequences that each of these words will have on your company.

Every decision a small firm takes is influenced by its target market. You tailor your services and goods to your target market’s requirements. Everything from packaging to price, as well as organising the entire sales process around the target market’s purchasing habits, should appeal to your target market.
On the other hand, the target audience will only have an influence on certain marketing decisions.
In certain situations, your target market and target audience are the same person. In this scenario, the group you designated as your target market is the audience you target with your marketing message.

We understand that it’s a little confusing, but here’s a nice example that could assist. Let’s assume there’s a yoga leggings company whose target market is single ladies between the ages of 24 and 34. These females enjoy going to the gym and are interested in yoga or other forms of exercise.

In this case, the target market and target audiences are virtually identical. To make things even more particular, marketers may choose to reach out to their target market using Facebook or Instagram advertising.

If this is the case, the target audience may be further specified as Facebook/Instagram users who follow certain brand pages or accounts, have recently made online purchases from similar companies, and reside in specific areas of the nation.

Things can get very particular and intriguing, as you can see.

Targeting’s Importance and Power
If you’ve spent any time in the digital world, you’ve undoubtedly seen numerous techniques that imply that casting a wide nett is the greatest approach to get people to know your product.

This is understandable; nevertheless, the most successful firms understand the importance of making themselves visible to the customers who are most likely to acquire what they have to offer.

This is why focused advertising generally outperforms non-targeted advertising.

Aside from that, having a well-defined target market allows you to build a product or service that is properly customised to the wants and desires of your consumers. You’ll be able to get largely favourable comments as a result of this. You may also develop a marketing campaign that properly analyses your potential consumers’ every need, interest, and even emotion if you have a well-defined target demographic.

You’ll see greater conversion rates and a stronger brand presence both online and offline if you can generate the proper marketing messages that actually resonate with the individuals you’re trying to sell your goods to.

Identifying Your Prospective Clients


We’ll go through the market categories you should be targeting to attain your maximum potential in this part.

Take a look at the main benefit that your company is able to give.
Your target market will emerge if you get this properly. Your ultimate objective is to meet your consumers’ wants and wishes, and understanding what to create is the first step.

Simply said, you must respond to the following questions in a clear and definitive manner:

What problem are your items supposed to solve?


What are the needs that your products/services address?
What wants are they able to satisfy?
So, rather of focusing on the characteristics of your items, attempt to concentrate on the benefits they will give to the people who will purchase them.

Don’t talk about the high-quality materials if you offer gym equipment; instead, focus on how you assist people become active and lose weight.

Do you recall the very first iPod commercial? Apple didn’t advertise it as a gadget with 1GB of storage. They instead promoted it as “1,000 tunes in your pocket.”

You should have a better sense of who needs your products or services once you’ve identified these benefits.

Getting a better understanding of the target market


You now have a good notion (or at least a rough idea) of who will benefit the most from your products/services. As a result, it’s time to focus in on a smaller market and be more specialised.

Define your market’s demographics as a starting point.

This is a subset of the population that may be classified by age, marital status, employment, education level, income level, gender, and other factors.

Next, attempt to define the psychographics of your target market’s individuals. Concentrate on psychological characteristics such as behaviour, lifestyle, hobbies, values, and so on.

After you’ve completed these steps, you should have a distinct buyer persona.

Make an effort to avoid making assumptions. You may believe that your product or service will be a huge success on the market. You can’t just assume that; you’ll need to do some research. This entails both testing and study.

Why?

The unfortunate reality is that while many individuals may tell you that they would gladly buy your product, the quantity of customers who actually buy it is what matters in the end.

While research is unquestionably beneficial, developing a minimal viable product is equally essential to determining whether or not there is a genuine market demand for it.

Assessing Market segments.


Now that you know you’ll be able to sell your goods, you must decide whether or not this is a market worth servicing.

To do so, consider the following questions:

Is the market sufficiently large to assure long-term viability?
Is the market segment financially capable of purchasing the product?
Will I be able to keep my current customers or will I have to continuously seek for new ones?
What about the rivalry?
Is there any kind of competition?
If not, what is the reason?
If this is the case, why should the consumer choose us over them?
Is this market easily accessible?
Conducting research will be useful, but it will not get you all the way there. You’ll need to perform genuine tests to acquire clear answers to these queries.

Other helpful hints


Before we wrap off our discussion, here are a few ideas to assist you in better defining your target market and audience.

Use Google Analytics to learn about your visitors’ age group, gender, which keywords they used, which sites they visited before yours, and how much time they spent on your website pages if you’re currently selling. This will offer you a better understanding of their internet behaviours, which can help you create more focused advertising.
Conduct interviews with customers: Is there a more direct approach of learning about your consumers than to just ask them? Interviews may be conducted in person, over the phone, by email, polls, and online surveys, all of which can be conducted on your website or social media sites. Use forms with necessary fields for particular categories if you’re doing it on your website (like age, for example).
Inquire with your sales team: They’ve undoubtedly fielded a slew of inquiries from potential consumers and have plenty of experience dealing with repeat clients.
Examine your rivals: We’ve previously touched on this, but try to be as comprehensive as possible. Examine their websites, social media pages, postings, and advertisements. Look at who they’re going after. Better better, track down one of their clients and enquire as to why they choose to do business with your competition.
Putting Everything Together
Defining your target markets and consumers is critical to your company’s long-term viability and success.

You must do the required research to determine who your company serves and why they should select you.

Remember that attempting to target everyone might be fatal. When there are too many shifting targets, the likelihood of missing them all rises substantially. It may be more difficult to really get them in your marketing crosshairs when you only have a few of them, but it will be much simpler to focus entirely on them.

Also, don’t forget to test!

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