You have endless hours trying to create a product or offer a service that is untouched by the others in your industry. But the work doesn’t end there. The hustle to introduce it to people who are unaware of its possibilities begins. There are a gazillion internet users out there, but the truth is, that not all of them are your target market. In fact, your ideal buyers form a very small segment of the addressable target market.
While it is relatively simpler to advertise to a general market segment, the results are often not in the business’s favor – be it B2B or B2C. This is where the importance of identifying the right target market comes in. It doesn’t just ensure that all your resources are being allocated in the right processes, but also helps maximize the marketing ROI when done right.
Knowing to whom and when to market your product or service is the only way to ensure results and it requires implementing strategic processes than just relying on intuition for marketing. Because…
“If you try to market to everyone, you’ll end up marketing to no one.”
9 key steps to identifying the right target audience for your business
Prioritize your efforts
The first and foremost step every business needs to take when trying to identify the target audience and create a tailored marketing strategy is to prioritize their efforts. What needs to be taken care of before and what can be done after a certain defined period of time can help you focus better.
1. Identify your product market: Determining what market needs your product or service fulfills, is the first step to prioritization. You need to know is most likely to use your product/service. This should include aspects like their age, gender, location and buying power. For example, a college student and a first-time employee might have the same needs of basic amenities but might have different budgets allocated to the same. While one might want to indulge a bit more on comfort after coming from the office, the other might want to save on accommodation luxury for other activities.
2. Create a funnel: Creating a multi-staged funnel helps you arrive at a more focussed target market for your product/service. It will help you identify the market opportunity that lies between those who will be interested in your product and those who have the resources to buy it. For example, the general funnel bucket could be the gender of engineering professionals in the market. Your second stage could be their age and the third could be their job titles. This helps you identify and focus only on those who are more likely to convert on your offer.
The modern marketing funnel that a marketer needs to keep in mind for this step being (source):
3. Determine the core values of your product: Once you know what your product can offer and have a funnel in place, the next step is to determine who is most likely to be interested in the core values of your product/service. For example, if your business offers digital campaign analytics for social media, you might focus on targeting digital marketers and not offline advertisers. While another feature of yours that helps identify market trends might be something you want to use as a value proposition for the offline advertisers.
Gather market data
With a number of digital platforms available, there is abundance of data today. But identifying the right target market includes making conclusions from these volumes of data based on business objectives. Here are a few things to keep in mind while gathering marketing data for your product/service:
4. Identify potential market via surveys: The key to collecting the right demographic data are surveys. You can either conduct one via email blast campaigns or newsletters or find a marketing agency to do the same for you. This will help enable you to correlate the responses with your product or service for specific target participants – who later become your target market.
5. Conduct competitor analysis: If your business offers a product or service that is similar to what another business does, look into their data. What demographics of the addressable market are engaging with them, what are their social triggers, are they getting positive or negative reviews from customers, etc. There is a large amount of existing marketing data that you can use to create a macro view of your ideal customers. You can then move on to streamlining more data and adding survey insights to create the micro view.
6. Leverage from machine learning: Irrespective of the number of surveys you conduct or how closely you analyze your market competition, it is practically impossible to keep up with the ever-changing digital trends. Companies like Wigzo offer machine learning tools that help you narrow down your target segments further to have one-to-one communication with your ideal buyers. Since you’re always up-to-date with their changing needs, it helps you craft value proposition that they are most likely to convert on.
For that Extra Edge
It’s about time to stop being caught in “getting closer to your customers” guessing game. Businesses should now provide that something extra to its customers and go from just throwing darts blindfolded, hoping something hits in order to target the right audience, to actually making a rapport with users.
7. Partner with Other Brands: Find a brand that compliments your business and share an audience with another company in order to provide more efficiency to your services. Wigzo partners with ecommerce giants such as Magento, Shopify etc. Similarly, form agreements with brands and services that are likely to provide an edge to your business and make your clients’ journey smoother and much more accommodating. Additionally, it is also a good idea to partner with companies that make it possible for you to place the name of your brand alongside your partnered company.
8. Participate in Events: It is affirmatively a good idea to stay aware of the local community events happening around you that you as a brand can participate in. These events can include—seminars, festivals, conferences, conventions etc. where you can showcase your products or services. By doing this, you can find targeted audiences and also, as a perk, sometimes, potential venture capitalists who may be willing to invest.
9. Re-evaluate your Marketing Efforts: Now that you must have a better idea of how to identify your target audience by now, it is good to consider re-evaluating your marketing strategies and business plans. To stay completely shoulder to shoulder with this fast pacing time, you should re-evaluate your business plans every now and then and never lag behind.
Once you know who you’re targeting and with what value propositions that your products/services can offer, you to create a personalized marketing strategy to approach your prospect customers. Ditching your sales pitch and making data-backed decisions for your campaigns is the only way to sustainably acquire customers and grow in the market.
What is the one trick or tip you implemented while identifying your target audience?
Identify and target your audience with personalized marketing campaigns using machine learning, and marketing automation with Wigzo. Start your free trial today.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Apr 12, 2016, and has been updated regularly since then for relevance and comprehensiveness.