How do you identify your target market

This is how you identify your target market

Guest articles

In order to build a business, you need to market the product or service to a specific audience. Without narrowing your focus to any particular customer, you miss out on being considered a specialist or worse, spending marketing dollars to reach a large audience and not make a big impression. To truly connect with or retain a loyal customer base, you need a specific message that resonates with them. Otherwise, you will lose the ability to sell your products and services.

In order to determine the right target market for your small business, you need to conduct market research to learn more about who may be needing your product or service. Your company can conduct market research through primary or secondary research methodology. Once you find out who your target market is, you need to learn more about them as individuals and where they spend their time online.

What is primary research?

Primary research is any research that a company carries out from scratch. Once the original data has been collected through one-on-one interviews, focus groups, phone calls, surveys and analysis, it is considered primary research. Through the various forms of primary research, your company has the opportunity to prove its brand identity and its marketing messages. You will also make connections to potential targets while getting valuable information at the same time.

  • Individual interviews: Your company can choose one of 100 customers (or whatever you choose) to visit your website or enter the store for a one-on-one interview. You can build a relationship with an interview between a representative from your company and a customer. You show your customers that you are interested in them. By sitting down with someone face to face, you are giving them the opportunity to provide valuable feedback and teach them more about how and why people shop there or use their products or services.
  • Survey: By creating and distributing a survey, your company can collect data related to your target audience right online, which is quick. Along with your survey email, add the option to visit a landing page or even mini-site before reaching the people who would like to catch up on their time. Offer an incentive to complete the survey, e.g. B. a gift, a coupon code or a discounted product, and many will be happy to answer your survey.
  • Focus groups: Focus groups can help your company gather the same types of information that you would get from a survey, but in greater depth and with the benefit of face-to-face interaction. Participants can see and touch products, which is very nice. You'll also feel like your company is genuinely interested in hearing your feedback if you give people a chance to connect with other attendees and spend time thinking about your brand - it's a win / win that a long-term customer can achieve.

Here are some typical questions to ask your potential target customer so they can learn more.

  • How do you spend your free time?
  • Which values ​​are most important to you?
  • How do you prefer to interact and communicate with companies?
  • What are the most common issues you encounter when purchasing XX?
  • What factors contribute to your purchasing decisions?
  • How can your company's product or service help them?
  • How do they most often access the information in the news?
  • Where do you spend most of your time online?
  • Where do you like to shop online?

These questions will give your company a better understanding of why your customers would buy or buy from you and what motivates them. As you learn more about their decision makers, personalities, and concerns, you can be more effective in building your company's brand message and value proposition.

Desk research:

Unlike primary research, desk research has already done part of the process for you. It uses data collected by outside organizations (such as market research companies or government agencies). You use the data collected from external sources and draw your own conclusions from it. Desk research can help you learn more about your competitors and your industry in general. Seeing who your competitors have identified as your target market and how they are positioning your brand can aid your marketing efforts. Your small business may not be for everyone and therefore you don't have to try to market yourself to everyone. Identify your target market and meet the specific requirements of your ideal customer.

About the author:

Sarah Saker is a small business coach and freelance writer specializing in small business process development. Contact Sarah at for help with writing or training.