If you want to sell anything you need to know who you should be selling to. This is called your ‘Target Market’, and if you target your products towards the correct market or group of people, they are more likely to buy from you.
Finding out who is your target market, is a fundamental part of building your business. If you get this wrong, it can mean wrong decisions, errors on your pricing, it can cost you a lot of money or be the end of your business.
It’s unrealistic to think that everyone is your client, so ask yourself:
Who are my customer? Who will buy my product?
Once you realise that not everyone is going to be your client, it’s time to become clear about who is your client. Perhaps you have a speciality that you can offer a certain type of person, or there is a special niche that suits you best. Focus on this speciality or niche first, you can always expand later.
People buy for there simple reasons
- To satisfy a basic need
- To solve a problem
- To make themselves feel good
So which category does your product or service solve the problem to? Answering this will help you to know how to market you product or service accordingly.
You might find you fit into one or two of the categories. We create websites for small business, we are satisfying our clients need to get their business online, and also helping to solving the problem of getting more clients through social media and marketing.
Next step is to breakdown to find your exact target market by using market segmentation.
A good starting point is to ask yourself, to begin with, are you going to be selling to an international market or national? The likelihood is that you will begin locally, then expand into new areas as the business grows.
Your then need to researching the demographic area and divide the area into market segments:
- Age: children, teens, young, middle, elderly
- Gender: male, female
- Education: high school, college, university
- Income: low, medium, high
- Marital status: single, married, divorced
- Ethnic and/or religious background
- Family life cycle: newly married, married for 10 – 20 years, with or without children.
You then need to divide the market into groups based on social class, lifestyle and personality characteristics. As each product or service some one buys depends on their character and pattern of living. This is a brilliant guideline to help you work out who will be buying from you.
- Lifestyle: conservative, exciting, trendy, economical
- Social class: lower, middle, upper
- Opinion: easily led or opinionated
- Activities and interests: sports, physical fitness, shopping, books
- Attitudes and beliefs: environmentalist, security conscious.
If you are going to be working with and selling to companies, then you need to remember that the reasons a company will want to work with you, are different from individuals.
Company’s buy with the following in mind
- To increase revenue
- To maintain the status quo
- To decrease expenses
You might find your product or service fits into one of these business categories, therefore you might be better to focus on businesses as your niche.
Your Target Market
Now you have segmented your location and studied demographics and peoples behaviour, you can sit down and work out your ideal client. If you have been in business for a while, your ideal client might not be the person you are use to working with, so be honest and think about the perfect client.
It’s good if you can write out a description of your client. For example: “My target customer is a middle-class man in his 40s or 50s who is married and has children, and is environmentally conscious and an interest in automobiles.”
After doing your research you should be able to see how big your target market is in your location. You should know how many clients you have already sold to that fit this description. You should also be able to gauge their habits to know where the best place is for them find out about your product or services. If you know they active online, a Facebook or Google campaign might be the perfect way to advertise to your target market. Or perhaps flyers in your area would be the best way to grab the attention of your new found target market.
This process can be done as many times as necessary for each product or service you offer, and over time will need to be repeated the process to be kept up to date.
The process might seem long and complex, but its much better to do this toward the beginning of your journey, than loosing money in advertising to the wrong market.