As a small business owner, you can’t afford to try and be everything to everyone. (Sorry, but Jacks and Jills of all trade just don’t tend to be that successful with their marketing efforts.) Rather, you must first take the time to precisely define your target audience — your niche market — in order to best present your products and services in ways that mean something to your buyers.
Continuing our series on our keys to successful marketing, a process we’ve created to help clients develop a precise content marketing strategy that begins with identifying their unique marketing message and ends with tracking the results achieved.
The Keys to Success consist of the following five steps:
Defining your target audience can help you build a strong brand, establish you as a leading industry expert, retain current customers, and ultimately generate more sales for your company. More specifically, you’ll find that it helps you:
In order to truly define your target audience, we suggest asking yourself the following five questions:
If you’ve been in business for any amount of time, you should have a pretty good idea of the problems you are solving for your customers. If you are brand new to your business, ask yourself: What was the inspiration behind stating this company? What problem arose out of research that your product or service solves?
Study your current customer base to understand exactly why they are buying from you. What are their common characteristics? Who brings you the best business? From here, you can paint a descriptive and specific picture of your target customer. Break them down by demographics — age, gender, location, household income, job industry, relationship status, hobbies, etc. — defining them in as many ways possible. Then step back and see if this is the group of customers you truly want to be targeting.
Study your competitors to figure out who they are targeting. Is there a niche in the market they aren’t reaching? Determine how you are different and what makes you poised to solve the problem at hand. If you aren’t able to answer these questions, perhaps you are offering the wrong product or service, or positioning it incorrectly.
List out all of the features and benefits of your product or service. Where do you have particular areas of expertise? Go back through that list and circle all of the ones that are unique to your business or the things you can do better than your competitors.
Take a deeper look at your features list, and a new list of all of the people who have a need that the features of your product or service can fulfill. Become very clear on the specific demographics of your target audience:
Once you have this demographic data nailed down, consider also the psychographic data of your target audience. This includes:
Once you’ve gone through the process of answering these questions, it’s finally time to define your target audience.
In concise manner, write out who you specifically intend to target with your products and services, striving to connect these three components:
Once you have a rough draft of your target audience, go back and analyze your thought process. Ask these follow-up questions:
Once you’ve accomplished this exercise, it’s time to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy — the next post in this series. Lucky for you, writing the words, capturing the images, and developing just the right strategy for your target audience is our favorite part!
Let the team at Keyhole Marketing know if we can help you in any of these areas.