Target Market Identification – How to Figure Out Your Perfect Target Market

by Maximilian Claessens
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Target Market Identification - How to Figure Out Your Perfect Target Market

Your target market consists of the people most likely to buy your products or services. Unfortunately, for many businesses, finding their target market can be difficult without the right research. Target market identification is a crucial first step. Once you understand your target market, you can begin coming up with ways to market to them, making them more likely to convert because you’ve tailored your ads and marketing strategy to appeal to them. 

Understanding your target market is one of the most important parts of your business. When you understand who these potential buyers are, you can create a better product and marketing that suits their needs. Here’s how you can identify your target market. 

Consider the Problem

Your products or services solve a problem; it’s why you created your business. Therefore, when identifying your target market, the first thing you should consider is your customers’ problem. For example, if you sell pet products to help keep dogs’ teeth cleaner, you know your target audience consists of pet parents who have difficulty brushing their pet’s teeth. But target market identification is not always that easy and does not stop here.

Define Characteristics

If you’ve already started selling your products or services, you already have some data on your target market. First, list out the characteristics of your average customer to help you identify similarities between them. For example, you may find that your customers are from the same age group or similar backgrounds. 

You can find many different characteristics (also called segmentation criteria), including:

  • Lifestyle
  • Income
  • Location
  • Hobbies

Your ideal market might have a high income, own pets, or have purchased their own homes, depending on your business. Once you’ve listed out these characteristics, you can start to see patterns emerge that help you in target market identification. For example, if you run a home security company, your target market might all have high incomes in low-crime areas. 

Identifying Primary Market

One thing each of these products and services has in common is that they still have a primary market from which most of their revenue comes. The primary market is the individuals who:

  • Get the most benefits
  • Have the greatest need for the products and services
  • Have the ability to pay for products and services
  • Spend the most money on the products and services
  • Are located in a particular city or state

Knowing the type of consumers who make up your primary audience can help you identify your target market so you can effectively market to a large group. For example, a local lawn care company relies on people in the surrounding area for a recurring source of revenue. Many companies lean into using specific automated tools or platforms to better understand their market. 

Study Current Customers

As we’ve mentioned, you already have tons of data on your current customers. If you use an SEO strategy to bring more traffic to your website, then your Google Analytics accounts will provide you with even more information. Learning more about your current customers can help you determine what your potential customers are most likely to buy and the actions they’ll take on your website. This may get a large step closer to your target market identification.

Do Market Research

If you have the budget, consider doing market research to learn about the people who might be interested in your products or services. There are many companies out there that you can pay for market research. However, you can also put a survey on your website to help you learn more about the individuals who visit your website and how you can serve them better. 

Market research can help you learn about your potential target market’s income and disposable income so you can accurately price your products and create deals just for them. 

Look to Your Competitors

If you’re not positive about your target market, look at your competitors. Everything from their advertisements to their website can tell you who they target. For example, you can identify if a company targets a specific customer segment, such as homeowners, pet owners, or professionals. Not only that, but you can keep an eye on their marketing campaigns to understand their current customers. 

One place to start is their social media pages. You can use the Facebook Ads Library to see if your competition has been advertising on Facebook. If you find ads, you can look at the ads and draw your conclusions about who their target market is. 

You can also look at their organic social media posts and check the comments. You can learn a lot about a company’s audience by how their audience comments on their posts. Not only that, but you can use the imagery and copy on the posts to determine who they are specifically targeting. 

Hopefully, your competition is also doing influencer marketing. Social media also provides you the opportunity to find the influencers that competitors are working with. Once you find an influencer promoting your competitor’s products or services, you can dig into the influencer’s followers to learn about the different types of people interested in buying your products. 

Talk to Customers

The last step towards target market identification should be simple: Talking to your customers and communicating with them can help you learn how to effectively advertise to people like them. For example, if you determine that a large portion of your customers are pet parents, you can start advertising pet products to them using email marketing. 

When separating your audience by interests and other characteristics (have a look at further segmentation criteria you can use), remember to market to them differently. For example, you can use email marketing to segment your audience by a certain characteristic, such as age or location. If you can, try breaking up your audience into multiple segments so you can effectively market to each of them better. That means instead of sending out the same email to everyone, you’ll send a few different emails to different groups.

Identifying Your Target Market

Identifying your target market is time-consuming, but it’s worth it. If you skip identifying your target market and going straight to advertising to a broad market, you are wasting advertising dollars. Unfortunately, wasting money on advertising to the wrong people is a mistake that many businesses make each year. Luckily, this risk can be mitigated by doing the proper research and spending the time and resources necessary to learn how to market and advertise to the right people. 

Once you identify your market, you can begin targeting them effectively, which means getting a higher return on investment for your advertising and marketing spend. The more effectively you advertise to different groups of customers, the more sales you can expect. 

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