Many online business owners have amazing products and well-designed online stores, but some lack a clearly defined marketing strategy. And, one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy is to define who your target customer is.
Rather than hitting all the birds with one stone, it is better to determine which birds (customers) would most likely buy your products and become loyal customers. It will also save you a lot of money, time, and effort in the long run. Okay, let’s get down to business.
8 Steps to Define Your Target Market
1. Ask the 5Ws and 1H
To help you define your target customers, you can start with the basic 5Ws and 1H- who, what, when, where, why, how. To break it down, you can brainstorm with your team to identify:
- Who are your existing customers? Who are your ideal customers?
- What are their interests?
- When do they decide to buy?
- Where do they usually buy? Where do they find your online store?
- Why should they buy your products? Why do they buy your products?
- How do they make a purchase? How to sell your products?
There are many other questions to define your target market, but that is a pretty good start.
2. Take a Look at Your Existing Customers
To determine your target market, you can also take a look at your existing customers. According to Bizfilings, you can define your target market by learning more about your current customers. Furthermore, you can use segmentation to divide these customers into segments so that you can effectively reach out to them based on their behaviors or characteristics.
3. Make a Buyer Persona
Hubspot Academy listed how you can make a buyer persona or identify your ideal customers using the following key points:
- Background i.e. role, company information, family,
- Demographics i.e. age, gender, income,
- Identifiers i.e. buzzwords,
- Common Objections
- Goals and Challenges,
- How you can help your customers,
- Quotes from existing customers.
Moreover, another useful tip from Bizfiling is to look at the lifestyle information about individuals- behavior, hobbies, recreational activities, lifestyles, beliefs, values, religion, life stage. It also stressed economic factors as buying trigger for customers- discounts, samples, advertisements, free trial, personal buyer/seller relationships, incentive programs.
4. Make a Basic Profile of your Target Customer
Another helpful tip is to give your target customer a name, how he or she looks like, and a basic profile or description.
After exhausting your opinions and ideas, you can better identify your target customers, and plan how to market to them. Remember, to refine and filter ideas in order to sort out which is your most ideal target customers to focus your marketing efforts on.
Remember to check whether your customer profile best represents your target market.
5. Identify the problems of customers that you can help them with
Marketing Donut outlined that the starting point is to understand the problems that you solve for customers; from which, you can pinpoint who is most like to suffer from these problems. Moreover, it also stressed to reflect internally as to what your expertise is and what makes your company and products stand out in the market.
6. Recognize the primary motivating factors of customers in buying your products
Online marketing guru Neil Patel also said:
“Identify the motivations of your target audience and from there you can identify your opportunities to help them and improve your position on the way to your ultimate goal.”
7. Look at what your direct competitor is doing
You can also look into what your direct competitor is doing in order to replicate and implement their best practices in your own marketing strategies.
8. Determine the major influencers of your target consumers
Forbes highlighted that there are specific people or sources who/which customer’s look up to and who/which influence their buying decisions. It may be those that they deemed as experts, celebrities, icons, trusted brands, credible online news sites, politicians, and immediate friends or family.
Monitor and Evaluate your Marketing Efforts
Defining your target market is important in business; without it, you will be like a person searching in the dark and not knowing what you are looking for.
After you’ve defined your target buyer persona, the next step is to monitor and evaluate your marketing strategy to assess its strengths and weaknesses, and the areas that need improvement. It would be better to check if your marketing strategy is working every month or every quarter depending on your discretion. Be flexible to adjust your marketing strategy in line with your business goals.
Now that you have a better picture of who your target market is, it’s time to incorporate it and develop an effective marketing strategy for your online business.