How to Define Your Target Market

Bringing a product or service to market is much more than building out the product or service itself. The notion “if you build it, they will come” isn’t a sound strategy. To increase conversations that lead to sales conversions, you need to target the right businesses and individuals who are likely to purchase your product. In short, you need to define your target market. But how? It starts with research.

Product or service benefits

Take a closer look at your product or service. It was built and defined with a specific intent — typically to solve a problem or address a need that you’ve identified. For example, you could ask yourself:

  • What problem does my product or service solve?
  • What want or need does my product or service meet and for whom?

You can’t build your target market definition off these data points alone, but they do provide good baseline information into not only your intention for the product or service, but also the knowledge you have garnered to this point about the problems and/or needs that your product or service addresses. Keep in mind that the original intended use of your product may not be the only one. There may be additional uses or solutions that your product may be associated with that you have yet to discover!

Current Customers

If you have an existing product with at least a handful of customers, you’ve already got a gold mine of information. These are individuals or businesses who have seen value in your product or service and made that conversion to paying customer. What can you learn from this group of people that will help you target additional similar prospects? Start by asking questions like:

  • Who are my current customers?
  • What industries are my customers in?
  • What are some key demographics of my customer base (e.g., age, gender, job function)?

Also explore the buyer journey with your existing customers to learn more about how they learned about you, what type of communication they preferred, what their pain points were, and more. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your customers for some of this information, if appropriate. The more you know about your customers, the better you’ll be able to replicate the outreach to attract more prospects. You also will be able to use this data to inform lead searches, narrowing down the pool of prospective buyers to only individuals or businesses who match your chosen criteria. This information also will help you refine your messaging and offers.

Website and social media analytics

Website and social media analytics hold a treasure trove of information that you can use to better understand your existing audience. For example, you can explore who’s visiting your website, what they are looking at, and how they are engaging. Social media provides an additional dimension to your existing audience by providing insight into who is following you, liking or engaging with your posts, mentioning your content, and more. You also have the added benefit of being able to review their profile for added context. Digging into this data will provide valuable insights that will enable you to better define your target market.

Analytics tools can help you sift through relevant information including traffic sources, average time on site, bounce rates, device used, location, and more. You can use this information to help build your target market profile.

Social media platforms are another place you can find out more about your target audience. Pay attention to who engages with your posts (e.g., likes, shares, and comments). Make note of which posts garner the greatest engagement. Are they informational how-to videos, articles, humorous memes, inspirational messages, promotions, or something else? Since every social media platform is different, looking at analytics on each one is a good way to find out about a wider audience. And since each platform has its own basic, built-in analytics dashboard, you can get insight on your followers and those who engage with your posts.

Competitive analysis

Your competitors are likely going after similar prospective buyers, so it’s important to look at not only their messaging and tactics, but also their customer base as well. Doing some market research on your competitors is key for targeting your audience. You don’t have to go after the same audience (though you may wish to), but it’s valuable information to see how competitors in similar verticals position themselves, what their messaging looks like, and how their customers are responding to it.

So, how do you find out your competitor’s target audience? First, look at their website: do they have industries listed? Testimonials? Is there content geared toward specific industries or contact points, like CEOs or sales professionals? They’ve likely done market research themselves to find out who their audience is; why not use it to inform your own market research?

Another place to look is their social media. Although you can’t tap into their analytics tools, you can check out their posts and see what type of engagement they’re getting. You may have to dig a bit deeper and check out the profiles of individuals who seem to be engaging the most with their posts. If using LinkedIn, for example, you’ll likely look at the person’s professional title, current company, industry, and activity. These informational breadcrumbs create a clearer picture of your target market and main buyer personas.

Looking to grow and scale your business, but don’t have the time (or team) to focus on marketing and sales? Let Roikings be your sales team! We have the experience, skills, and tools to thoroughly research your market, define your audience, and craft compelling messaging. Not only will we generate leads for you, but we’ll help you manage and develop those leads while you focus on your business.

Contact us today for an appointment.