Sometimes you may have a great idea for a business or product to start, but have no clue as to how other people would react to it.
Would others think it’s a good idea? Would people buy the product?
By identifying your target market, you are able to answer these questions and gain more insight on how to turn your idea into a sustainable business.
Every startup and business goes through the process of identifying a target market as it is one of the first steps of establishing a strong foundation for a business concept. This helps gain an understanding of the customer base and the kind of person who would use the product or idea.
There are 5 steps to identifying your target market:
- Analyze Your Product or Idea
- Look at Your Current Customer Base
- Choose a Demographic
- Identify Your Competition
- Choose your Target Market and the Problem to Solve
Once you identify your market, it will be much easier to choose how you will raise awareness about your product or business, which will allow you to have a more focused and strategic marketing plan.
5 Easy Steps to Identifying your Target Market
Analyze Your Product or Idea
This step is useful not just to identify a target market, but also to solidify an idea/product and its purpose. Sometimes your idea may pivot into something that could be more successful and tangible.
List out what problem your idea or product soloves, how it does it and why people would want it. Then, you can identify your client base.
For example, if your business mows lawns, this is what a product/ idea analysis could look like:
- Idea/Product/Business: Lawn Mowing Service, LawnMowers and Co
- Customer Problem: Grass needs to be cut to meet HOA requirements
- How it’s different/ why would people want it: It’s a monthly subscription where we provide an unlimited amount of lawn mowing services
- Who it benefits: Homeowners who don’t want to do it themselves
- Solution: Homeowners get their grass cut weekly to meet HOA requirements
Look at Your Current Customer Base
People who already use your services or product can tell you a lot about your future customer base. Look at the demographic of your current customers to help you predict the demographic characteristics of your future ones.
Ask questions such as “is there a general common denominator when it comes to interests, hobbies, or occupations among my current customers?”
“I think kids come up with the wackiest ideas. That’s been my learning experience from all this. Is that never, ever stop being curious about what kids think, or what your users think and if I’m being general about it, what do your users think, what ideas do they have, or what you could be doing next.”
Choose a Demographic
Now that you have an idea of who would be interested in your business, you can narrow down to who exactly you can market to.
- Age & Gender
Once you have these overarching demographics chosen, you can narrow your focus a little more and look at things such as: lifestyle, behavior, attitudes, values/ beliefs and even personality to start creating your buyer personas.
Who’s Your Competition?
You can learn a lot about your market by looking at who your competitors are targeting. While you can target the same market and demographic, you can also look to see if there’s something they’re missing, and learn from their mistakes.
A great way to analyze your competitors is to visit review sites to see what their customers liked or disliked about their product or service. You can also find more tools to identify your customers’ insight.
Choose your Target Market and a Problem to Solve
Once you have made a decision as to what your general market is, it’s important to really analyze and narrow down your decision.
Find out if the size of your market is sustainable, meaning if there are enough people who will buy your product or service. Then you can start focusing on specific marketing strategies.
Target Market vs Target Audience
You may hear target market and target audience used interchangeably. While similar, there are some key differences between the two:
- A target market will be a more broad and general view of who you are targeting. It usually refers to a group of people .
- A target audience is a subset of your target market, and is more narrow in focus. The audience is exactly that-the audience. The target audience is the specific group of people within your target market that your ads are tailored for. In other words, they are your viewers and potential customers that interact with your marketing strategies.
On its face, finding and researching about your target market can seem intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you are just starting out. Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be!
Breaking down these steps and critically thinking about who would be interested in your idea or business will simplify your research and provide clarity to any entrepreneur.
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About Raitchele Cornett
Raitchele (Hi-Chel-Ee) is from Curitba, Brazil, and grew up around entrepreneurs and business moguls.
Raitchele is a Boise State Alum and MBA Student with a passion for entrepreneurship.