Behind every successful business is an established and dedicated consumer base. This allows companies the confidence of being able to test new ideas that can take advantage of the established popularity of the business. These customer fanbases were not just built overnight however. It took a well planned out process to not just identify, but then efficiently target a selected group of people. People you feel are most likely to benefit from, therefore most likely to buy, your product/service. I have summarised the steps needed to be undertaken in order to build your target base:
This is how you're going to convince people to give you their money in exchange for the product/service you offer. If you can convince them that what you're creating will make their lives notably better, then you will be able to not just receive their purchase, but also keep them engaged for any future development your business may provide. By identifying what type of person would benefit most from purchasing your product/service, you are taking the first step in narrowing your target market down to a tee. What problems are shared by a significant amount of the general population? How can you and your company solve these problem?
For example, you might have a coffee shop that serves breakfast. You my then identify that a lot of people have to eat breakfast while on the move because of the early starts and constant rush of working in the city. Therefore, by making your service as quick yet no less quality, you will attract many of this target group. If you can successfully identify the people whose day to day lives you can make simpler, you are almost guaranteed to receive your fair share of business.
Once you have a good idea of the type of people that are likely to benefit from your product/service, the next step is to narrow them down as much as possible. By identifying commonly shared features among your target market, you are able to make your business activity specific to them. These features may include:
By analysing the various features that are shared amongst much of your target market, you are able to make your marketing super specific towards what will make them become your customer. By creating a buyer persona you can create a fake person that embodies your demographic information. This will give you a great reference point for all your future marketing activities.
Analysis of who your competitors appear to target and the reasons behind it will give you inspiration for your own target audience. The competitors with established success should be your first port of call. This will show you what is already working. It can slo allow you to identify what they are not doing, which could allow you to create your own unique take on an already successful idea. By doing this you will separate yourself from an already clustered market, giving you and edge on competitors.
The competitors that are not doing so well should also be examined as it will show you what types of targeting do not work as well. However, you might be able to identify why they did not work and build upon it to turn it into a success.
After creating your new target audience the next step is using it to build up a loyal customer base that guarantees your business sales. This involves two main steps: how you produce and market your product. Your target audience needs to be the most influential factor when doing both. Your product should be fine-tuned to match what the consumer is looking for when considering buying your product. For example, if you have decided that students are your desired demographic, you may introduce attractive discounts and deals to appeal to their budget.
After fine tuning your product to match your customers tastes, you should go about marketing to them as effectively as possible. Tell them why they want what your offering. After all, you built the product FOR them. Get their attention using techniques that will likely engage them and on places they are likely to visit (both physically and online). Using the example of students again, social media would be a great place to be visible for them. Join forces with other types of business that students are likely to visit (cinemas, bars etc.). You could offer discounts for these type of places with multiple purchases of your product, which would definitely encourage purchases.
Overall, a target market is what makes or breaks a business. If it's done right, a loyal customer base that can be constantly engaged with can be established. If done poorly, you may have wasted so much time and money, that your business may never recover.