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Identifying Your Target Market


Identifying your target market isn’t easy, and it takes time. Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to get in front of them, grab their attention and give them a relatable reason for why they should choose your product or service. This is where it gets tricky–it is up to you to also give your customer something in return for their attention. In other words, you had better know your audience.

Who are you?
Okay, let’s take a step back. Ask yourself, as a company: what is your position in your industry, what are your values and why do you do what you do. Meet with co-workers in other departments, and ask them what the brand means to them. Discuss your company’s culture, and dig into building a complete understanding so that you can incorporate those values into your marketing strategy. Your goal here is to become well versed enough to tell your story, and genuinely exhibit who you are as a company.

Once you have a solid foundation and understanding of your company, identify what exactly sets you apart from your competitors. At this point, you should perform a SWOT analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses should be internal, while opportunities and threats should be external. Being as specific as possible when addressing each element of the SWOT analysis will greatly enhance how you understand your position in the industry.

If you’ve yet to set goals and objectives, do that here. Begin with a specific long-term goal, and then narrow it down. Identify quarterly, monthly and weekly objectives for your efforts, as well as how you define success for each. This requires results to be quantifiable, in a way that they can be closely monitored.

Identifying your target market:
Now that you’re prepared, you can begin identifying your segments. You should create segments so that you understand the often subtle differences in marketing to each specific segment. If you have data or other insights–use them. Otherwise, ask yourself who will benefit from your product or service. Explore every demographic and be as narrow as possible. Once you have a list of segments, create personas for each segment.

When you create personas you should be as specific as possible. Identify their demographics, passions, interests, worries, and goals. What are their lifestyles? What are their needs? Once you have a persona, map out your customer’s journey. The Content Marketing Institute explains that their journey is one of the most important steps in understanding your target market and how to reach them. You are tracking down their daily tasks and what they might search online. Once you understand their journey, you should have enough of an idea to identify what channels they use, and what sort of message is most effective in reaching them.

Tracking Data:
Once you begin engaging with your target market, you need to track the effectiveness of your efforts. This provides insight into what is working and what isn’t. It is extremely important to make sure you are reaching the right people in the right way. For this reason, most marketers perform A/B split tests, by delivering different messages to smaller subsets of the same segment, to determine which is more effective. When you pinpoint what is working, it should then become easier to make adjustments where necessary so that your brand remains engaged with your target market.