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How to Define Your Target Market

Having a target market gives even small businesses the opportunity to effectively compete with larger companies. Targeting everyone is a waste of money, resources and time. Defining your target market does not mean that you exclude people who would likely not be interested in your product.

What it entails, is the use of your advertising dollars and brand promotion ventures to capture the attention and interest of those who are definitely interested in what you have to offer. Marketing your product to a specific audience is a more affordable and effective method of reaching potential clientele and generating business.

Identifying and Defining your Target Market

Here are some guidelines to help you define the target market for your project.

Step 1. Evaluate your current customer base. Take a look at your present customers and look for traits and behaviors that are common to the group.

  • What are the characteristics of the group and what common interests do they share?

  • Which of these customers bring in the most business, and is it possible there are potential customers out there with a similar interest that you could serve?

  • Is there a real potential for you to upsell?

  • Which customers did you work well with?

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

You can also find out about your target audience by conducting a Facebook survey among your fans.

Step 2. After finding the answers to those primary queries, you need to turn your attention to your competitor. Find out what is their target market and get some information on their current customer base as well.

Your aim for doing this is to find a possible niche market that your competitors may have missed. Do not try to go after the same market they are targeting. Aim to get an advantage instead of engaging in a direct competition for customers.

Step 3. Turn your attention to your product or the service you offer. Make a note of the feature(s) of each product or service along with the benefits they offer the customer. Make further note of the additional benefits that the primary benefits brings to the customer.

For example, you designed a fabulous website for a furniture company. Customers find the website easy to use, professional and very attractive. A well designed website attracts more customers and maintaining customer loyalty. Ultimately, this means more money for the business.

Follow this up with a list of potential clients. You may choose to target businesses that need to increase their client base, but as that is a general target audience you can use it as your base. This can be narrowed down by conducting a market research.

Step 4. Use specific demographics to describe your target customer. This would include, name, age, location, gender, likes and dislikes, income level, educational level, marital or family status occupation and ethnic background. It is important for a designer to pay attention to the demographic profile and any changes that may occur in their geographic market. These changes can determine your future.

Also take note of your target’s location in the adoption curve. Are they an innovator, early adopter, early majority or late majority?

Step 5. Add the psychographics of your target to the description. These will reflect the personal characteristics of your target. Make a note of their personality, attitudes, values, interests (hobbies), lifestyles, and behavior. Information on your target market may be available online through researches others may have conducted, in magazines, in blogs or in forums. Check How to Design for Your Target Audience.

Make projections of how your product or service will fit the lifestyle of your target, and at what point they are likely to use the product. Also determine the features that will be most appealing to your target and the media they use to obtain information. It is important that you gain an understanding of how your targets think and operate.

Step 6. Now that you have identified your target market, you will need to evaluate your decision.

  • Did you gain enough people to satisfy your criteria?

  • Will your target audience benefit from your products and services and will they really see a need for what you are offering?

  • Do you really understand what influences the decisions your target makes?

  • Are your products affordable?

  • Will your message reach your target and how accessible are they?

Try not to narrow down your target market too far, but rather make allowance for more than one niche market. Decide if you will use the same or different message for each niche. If one message can be used for each niche then you may have narrowed your target too far. Numbers are important so if your target market is too small you will need to reevaluate. Striking the perfect balance is essential to the process. Check Designing Websites for a Better Mobile User Experience.

Once you learn how to define your target market in design projects, and have established your target market, you will find it much easier to structure marketing messages that will resonate with them. Defining your target audience will not only save you money, but will also yield better returns on your investment.



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