Business 101 – Identify and Focus on Your Target Market
Part of running a successful business is matching your products or service with the right audience. If you operate a wedding dress boutique, for instance, you’ll want to focus your marketing efforts on newly engaged women, simply because this demographic is most likely to purchase your products. By identifying your “target market,” you’ll have an easier time generating sales, leads and ultimately turning a profit.
So, what’s the best way to identify your target market? If you asked ten different small business consultants, you would probably get ten different answers. However, a good starting point is to look at your current/existing customers. In other words, who is currently purchasing your products or services? Ideally, you should already be collecting this data, as demographic data is invaluable for optimizing a business’s return on investment (ROI). Even if you aren’t collecting demographic data, though, there’s no reason why you can’t start now. Pay attention to your customers and take note of their demographic.
In addition to looking at your existing customer base, you can also gain perspective on your target demographic by looking at your competition. Granted, it’s doubtful that you’ll be able to access their “data,” but you can still check to see who is purchasing their products or services. Assuming your business is closed related to theirs, it’s a good idea to focus on a similar target audience — for obvious reasons.
Consider Your Product or Service
Of course, you should also consider your product or service when identifying your target market. Take a step back and ask yourself: what need does my product or service full, and for whom does it fill this need? There are always exceptions to this rule, but most products and services have a very specific purpose, for a very specific demographic.
Demographic Data to Collect
Here’s a short list of some of the demographic data that you should attempt to collect for improved marketing and advertising campaigns:
- Education level
- Zip code
- Marital status
- Income level
Using the data above, you’ll have an easier time matching your products or services with the best possible audience. Keep in mind, however, that your target audience may change over time. This is particularly true in cases where your business’s product or service changes on a regular basis.