So, you’ve finally launched your business online and are ready to share it with the world—congratulations!
You’re now ready to plan your takeover. But first, you need to determine who you will be marketing your business to. Who is your target audience?
Have You Defined Your Target Market Yet?
In most cases, you would’ve needed to define your target market in your business plan. Unfortunately, this process isn’t as simple as saying “everyone.”
After all, that’s not very specific and will end up as a wasted effort.
The reason is simple: you can’t appeal to everyone because you can’t answer or meet everyone’s needs. This means that you’re essentially targeting no one.
Why A Specific Approach Is Necessary
But wait—what about global industry leaders such as Amazon? Everyone knows about them, so surely, the market to everyone, right?
Well, let’s take a step back.
When Amazon went live in 1994, they only sold books—and only online. As a result, they catered to a niche audience. Simply put, they had a clearly defined target market and audience.
Once the business had grown to become a well-established and successful company, it began to expand. This experience led to Amazon becoming the global brand that it is today.
So, what does this mean for your business?
Firstly, you need to start small and focus on what you can offer that your competitors can’t.
Develop this area of your brand in order to become a well-known industry leader. Once you’ve built a reputation that people trust, you can start taking on the rest of the world.
Every industry giant has to start somewhere, and that’s what you’ll need to do. There’s no cheating your way to the top.
Defining A Market
Let’s start at the beginning by looking at what a market is, and why you need to determine who your target market is.
A market is essentially a gathering spot for consumers, and your market consists of consumers interested in what you’re selling. For example, you wouldn’t market a Kylie Jenner Makeup Kit to a group of 40-year-old men; you’d market it to teens and other young women who use makeup.
This means that when it comes to your product or service, you need to understand the kinds of people that would have an interest in buying it. These are the people who you should be targeting with your marketing efforts.
The more specific your approach, the better your results.
By understanding who your market is, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing approach to be relevant to their current interests or needs. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll buy your products. Your efforts are simply a tool to improve your odds of securing a sale.
Is A Market Set In Stone?
Unfortunately, in the same way, that our world constantly changes, so do our markets. This means that marketing efforts that may have worked a few months ago may not be effective now.
Let’s take a look at fast-food restaurants. In most cases, these companies split their menus according to certain preferences. In addition, they occasionally update the said menu to meet market demands. For example, McDonald’s is now selling salads to keep up with the health-conscious generation.
In the same way that fast food franchises need to update their menu, so do you.
If there is a change in your market, you need to be aware of it and adapt as quickly as possible.
Flexibility is key to remaining relevant.
We’re not saying that you need to reinvent your business, but a simple change of your offering may go a long way. You may also find that you’re now appealing to a different age group altogether, which means that you’ll need to update your marketing strategy to meet the demands of your new target market.
Target Market Vs Target Audience: Is There A Difference?
Your target market is the group of individuals that your product appeals to and will be the ones using it. Your target audience is the group of people who will be more than likely to buy your product. With that in mind, they’re not necessarily the same people.
For example, look at Lego. People usually associate Lego with children, as they’re the ones who would use the company’s products. However, they don’t really have the power to make the purchase, their parents do.
This means that their parents are the target audience, and your marketing strategies will need to appeal to them too. You’ll need to convince them that the latest Lego products are suitable for their children.
Your target market and target audience have the potential to be the same group of people too. For example, women are usually the target audience for high heels, and they’d be the ones wearing the product as well.
Targeting Your Market
There’s a common misconception that reaching everyone will help you cast a wider net, but that’s not the case. When casting a net, fishermen know exactly what they’re looking to catch at that specific time, based on the area and their past experience.
You need to take the same approach with your marketing.
Imagine you have a yoga studio that caters to women in California. You could look at targeting adult women, but that’s a bit too generic. You could look into targeting women between the ages of 18 and 25, which is a bit more specific, but it’s still vague.
Something like “23-year-old women interested in yoga and fitness in California” would be most effective as a target demographic.
Try to incorporate as much detail as possible to ensure that you’re able to reach the right people. Sometimes, market research may be necessary to ensure that you won’t be wasting your efforts and budget.
The Specifics Matter
When finding your ideal target market, you need to understand your product and the functions it serves. You also need to understand who will benefit from your offering, and why they would be interested.
Once you’ve defined this demographic, you’ll be able to find your ideal market and boost your business’s success.