5 Tips on How to Define and Reach Your Target Customer
First, consider the 80/20 rule: It’s likely that 80 percent of your most profitable business comes from 20 percent of your core customers. Ideally, you want to identify who those 20 percent are so you can target your marketing and advertising to potential customers who are similar to them. The key is to identify who these core customers are and then determine where they are. Ask yourself, “Who is my ideal client?” Are they a man, woman or child? How old are they? Relationship status? What does their lifestyle look like? Likes? Dislikes? Hobbies? Education? Job? Income? Remember, “everyone” is not your target customer.
Decide who your best customer really is and then identify the best way to target them with your message. Consult these tips to learn how to define and find your ideal customer.
1. Research consumers’ demographics. Determine your ideal customer’s age, gender, education level, income, marital status, family life cycle, ethnic and religious background. Each type of consumer spends money differently and requires different messaging based on these basic factors. For instance, a 65-year-old African American male with a master’s degree may receive a message differently than a 14-year-old Caucasian female.
2. Research consumers’ psychographics. Determine your ideal customer’s lifestyle. Are they conservative or trendy? Do they enjoy traveling? What type of car do they drive? Consider their social class (lower, middle or upper). Are they trend setters or followers? Look at activities, interests, attitudes and beliefs. Determine hobbies, media/music preferences, interest in politics or social issues. Messaging and delivery will be vastly different to reach a gamer, as compared to an opera-obsessed Boomer.
Once you determine your ideal consumers’ demographics and psychographics, compile this information into a customer profile. Then determine where the best places are to reach this group.
3. Find a niche market. Determining a niche market provides an advantage in target marketing because this narrowly defined group of individuals with specialized interests and needs may have a strong desire for what you offer, and the group may be small enough that competition could overlook it.
“A niche market enables you to target your sales messages with great precision. The more narrowly you define your niche market the easier it is to cater to the specifically defined interests of people in that market.” – Bob Leduc, author of Low Cost Marketing Secrets.
4. Listen to and participate in niche communities. Real-life focus groups exist every day online via forums, blogs, wikis, branded communities, and social networks. Listen to and participate in these communities to learn more about your specific target customer. Find a platform that aggregates responses across social, video sharing and micro blogging sites (i.e. www.socialmention.com).
5. Use community resources. One innovative way to use the resources in your community is to tap into university consulting groups. These student groups can help with ongoing research needs, such as conducting focus groups, target market research, new market entry analysis, and social media best practices. Through a capstone or thesis, students often work in teams to carry out a project for a company. Rather than solving a hypothetical case, students can solve real issues while your business benefits from available, low-cost, fresh talent.
Another resource is your brand’s Facebook fan page. Find out who your customers are and about their interests by interacting with them and asking for feedback. Use Facebook Insights to acquire a report on the demographic information of your fan base (age, gender, and location).
The end result of this process applied to a strong marketing campaign will ensure you achieve your goals. Follow these research strategies and ensure your target market is specific enough that you are able to develop messages so direct and focused that customers believe you’re talking specifically to them.
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