Why Understanding Your Target Market Is So Important

Today, I’m tackling a question from one of my followers, Martin, who wrote me and said:

“Can you make a video on target market and how important it is to figure this out? Love your videos!”

Firstly, thanks for the compliment – even if maybe it was just flattery to get me to make this video for you. Secondly, certainly, Martin. I will happily make a video on target market, and here it is:

Your target market is the group of people whom you want to sell your product to, the niche population that you’re going to target with your marketing, because you believe these people are most likely to buy what you have to sell. Identifying the correct target market and being as specific as possible about who it’s made up of is imperative for you to develop a successful marketing campaign because, if you don’t, you’re stuck with the spray and pray method of marketing, which is incredibly expensive and not likely to lead you to success.

To define your target market, start with the problem you’re solving because that easily leads you to whom you’re solving that problem for. So, let’s say you sell custom-made bassinets for infants. The problem you’re solving is a lack of a place for a new baby to sleep and, naturally, you’re solving it for new or soon to be new parents. You also know that these parents value high quality, design, and uniqueness or they would just go to a big box store and buy any old bassinet. Plus, you know they’re financially comfortable or, again, they wouldn’t have something custom made, they would go to a big box store and buy something reliable but inexpensive.

If you were doing this exercise for your real business, you would want to dig in deeper and get as specific as possible in describing this ideal customer but, in the interest of keeping this video to a reasonable length, I’ll move on.

Now that you’ve described the ideal customer in as much detail as possible, you can take that info and begin to extrapolate about the demographics of the group – new parents with disposable income are probably somewhere between the ages of 25 and 40, middle or upper middle class with professional jobs, educated, etc. Then you take that demographic info and use it find market research studies or even census data that can help you narrow down how to access and attract the people in this target market as customers. For example, which neighborhoods in your city are home to young, middle and upper middle class families? Where do those parents work? How do they get to and from work? What do they do in their free time? What motivates them? Who are they friends with? Who do they turn to for advice?

All of this is incredibly important because it allows you to target your marketing in a way that is so much more specific and personal, and specific and personal marketing campaigns are the ones that are really successful for your business. When you have a good understanding of who your ideal customer is and, therefore, who your target market is, you’ll be able to get in front of those people much more easily and with a much more compelling message than you would have been able to without that understanding. And that means that your marketing campaigns will be less expensive and have much higher ROIs. No more buying ads on the local radio station if customers in your target market only listen to Sirius or Pandora or Spotify and no more partnering with the local midwife group if your ideal customer would only ever dream of going to an MD.

So, there you have it, Martin. I hope that answered your question: understanding your target market is so incredibly important because it allows you to access that market more effectively and efficiently and you can identify your target market by starting with the problem you’re solving and then doing a bit of demographic and market research about the people whom you solve it for.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, the best thing you can do for yourself is to just get started. Pick up my business planning ebook here to be guided through the whole business planning process for less than $5.
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