Imagine the dissatisfaction that comes with creating a product that no one needs – this is what happens to organizations that do not have enough knowledge about their target market. Identifying your target market is essential for every organization as it influences business decisions and the overall product conception and development.
Without knowledge of your target market, your entire product conception and marketing process can best be described as a square peg placed in a round hole – it simply wouldn't fit. In this article, we would share practical tips to help you identify your target market effectively.
A target market refers to a specific subset of individuals and/or organizations that need your product or service and are most likely to patronize your business. This group can be niche-based or extremely diversified in nature depending on the product or industry.
You can also think of your target market as an aggregation of the demographic segments which your product or service appeals to. The relationship between an organization and its target market is usually symbiotic because the target market has a need that your product or service satisfies.
Knowledge of your target market is one of the most crucial elements of market success. Naturally, everyone cannot be interested in your product and so, your job is to find those who are and ultimately get them to make a purchasing decision in your favor.
Cosmetics includes a wide range of products from skincare items to makeup and beauty items. These are items that predominantly appeal to women and women are more likely to purchase beauty products than men; even though some men are interested in cosmetics.
Hence, from a generic point of view, a typical cosmetics business dealing in make-up items and other skincare products will primarily have women, aged 18 and above as its target market.
Over time, men have shown keener interest in sports and sports betting than women. Therefore, businesses looking to provide sport betting services should, in a general sense, have men as their target market. Other demographic variables like education and employment can also influence the mapping out of the target market.
Typically, organizations dealing with alcoholic beverages tend to appeal more to men and this makes men the target market. Hence, it is not out of place to see men play the role of central characters in adverts for alcoholic beverages.
Organizations that manufacture baby food have a niche-based target market comprising new or expecting mothers. This target market is usually reflected in the product adverts and the overall brand image for these organizations.
The target market for coffee-manufacturing businesses is adults; both male and female. Coffee contains caffeine and other substances that can have damaging side effects for children and so, it is unrealistic for coffee industries to have children as their target market.
It is no surprise to see confectionery businesses target children and families as their primary market. Children typically have a sweet tooth and enjoy confectioneries like sweets, chocolates, and biscuits.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have young and middle-aged individuals as the primary target market as these are individuals who prioritize having an online presence for conversational communication. Snapchat targets individuals below the age of 25 (18-24), most of which are still in high school and college and preferably females.
The toy manufacturing industry has children and parents as its target market. Children are the end-users of the product hence, the product must appeal to them. However, parents have the purchasing power to make a buying decision and so, the toy company must emphasize the value of its product to them.
Sometimes, a product or service can appeal to different groups within a marketplace. In this case, the organization needs to identify the primary and secondary target markets accordingly to maximize revenue and profitability.
Your primary target market is the market segment that is most likely going to purchase your product or service. It follows that this is the market segment that largely dictates organizational marketing strategies, promotions, advertisement, and revenue allocation.
Many times, the primary market is the group that has the largest revenue and profit potential, and it comprises consumers whose pain points are directly relieved by your product or service. These are consumers that guarantee repeated purchases because your product meets an essential need.
Your primary target market is also made up of leads that you can easily convert to paying customers with limited resources. This market segment often yields attractive returns on investment and they prove useful for organic brand publicity.
The secondary target market refers to the second most important category of consumers who need your product or service. The primary and secondary target markets can be interdependent such as in situations where products appeal to both parents and children.
In some cases, the secondary target can influence the purchasing decision of your primary target market. For instance, children can ask their parents to choose a certain confectionery item over another in line with their personal preferences and vice versa.
Since primary and secondary target markets are not necessarily mutually exclusive, it is easy for you to create inclusive marketing campaigns for both of them. A toy-manufacturing company, for example, can create an ad that appeals to the needs and preferences of both the parents and their children.
When you know who constitutes your primary and secondary market categories, you would have a better knowledge of their behaviors. This ultimately has a positive effect on your customer experience as you would be able to adapt marketing strategies that work for each market segment.
While identifying your target market is essential for success, it can also be challenging especially when your product appeals to a wide range of consumers. Here are a few tips that will help you easily identify your target market.
Start by listing out all the features of your product and then, match each feature with a specific pain point of the target market. You can take this a step further by conducting a product evaluation survey that allows consumers to provide feedback on different product features.
Without demographic segmentation, it is nearly impossible to understand what your consumers want. Common demographic variables include age, gender, marital status, employment status, income levels, religion, race, occupation, level of education, geography or location, and ethnicity.
To understand consumer psychographics, you will need to pay attention to their values, interests, and disposition to social issues. You also need to pay attention to the behaviors and lifestyles of your consumers. With this information, you can easily determine how your product will fit into the lifestyle of your proposed target market.
For example, if you are a beef-processing business, it is irrelevant for you to have vegetarians as your target market. This is an example of how lifestyle choices affect how consumers perceive your product.
As you get familiar with the needs of the market via your market research survey, you would be able to identify the market segment that offers the most prospects for your business or organization; that is, your target market. You can conduct market research using Formplus forms.
Earlier, we asserted that a target market is a collection of demographic segments. After mapping out your target market, it is necessary to further categorize this subset into different segments using one or more demographic segments. This makes it easier for you to understand the needs of the market.
Customers can be placed in demographic segments based on their age, gender, level of education, or income levels. For instance, the target market for a coffee-manufacturing business can be further categorized based on gender so that you have men and women.
Splitting your target market also helps you to identify the most important preferences of your consumers and this information ultimately influences your product conceptualization and improvement. Also, customer segmentation plays a crucial role in product marketing strategies for organizations.
Formplus is a data collection tool that helps you to gather information from your target market easily. By creating and administering your product/pricing survey or questionnaire on Formplus, you can insights into the needs of your target market and make the right decisions.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create a survey or questionnaire with Formplus.
Identifying your target market goes a long way in determining the success of your business. This helps you to optimize your business processes, determine your competitive advantage, adopt the right marketing strategy, and effectively utilize your resources to generate more revenue.
As your business scales towards profitability, your target market is likely to expand, which is why you must track market preferences and behaviors as they evolve. You can use Formplus forms to monitor market trends and stay up to date with your target market.
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