Every business owner would naturally focus their time and effort on creating a product or service. At first, sales are the main goal, and they would come from those really interested in your creation but there are ways to generate genuine interest and grow loyalty, that is when digital marketing sounds like a perfect strategy to showcase on your website not only the product but who you are, what you do and how does it improve your current and potential customers’ life.
Defining the digital marketing strategy itself is another aspect you should take seriously since no matter the strategy you use, whether it is email marketing, paid ads, SEO, content marketing or you decide to combine them all, this is how you will reach your audience and what you share on your website is the message and the image you want them to have of your business.
Before you decide the content you want to share with your target audience, it is important to actually know who will be part of it and the characteristics that define it, this is why we talk about target marketing, an interesting process where not only you will understand better by the end of this article but also will help you achieve business goals by changing your marketing strategies according the information your customers data base provide.
What is target market?
A target market (or audience) is simply the people who would be more likely to buy your products or services based on certain characteristics, particular consumers’ needs the products was created for, even your competitors and their offers should be considered when applying strategies to target market.
Think about the valuable information that your current customers offer, even if you have not been in the market for too long, you will be surprised of the details that define your potential customers just by observing the ones that have already bought your products or hired your services, try to find similarities, what they have in common, their interest. Some useful resources to collect this information are website analytics tools, social media and email marketing analytics platforms, some aspects you probably want to consider can be: age, location, language, spending power, hobbies, careers, stage of life. In case your company is not intended for customers (B2C) but other businesses (B2B), there are also some aspects to be considered such as business size, location, budget and the industries that are into these businesses. This is the first step to building your customers’ data base and I will explain later how to use this to increase your sales.
A matter of motivation.
Another step in determining your target market is understanding the reasons why they buy your products. Identify what motivates your customers to visit your website, make a purchase, refer a friend and probably make a second purchase? This is something you obtain through surveys and customer testimonials you can share with customers through your website, blog and social media.
Once you understand your customers’ motivation, you will probably want to know what exactly about your product makes them come back for a second purchase, this is understanding more than just the features of your products and what makes them effective, you have to focus on understanding the benefits and advantages your customers consider it brings to their life when they buy it.
Analyze your competitors.
At some point, analyzing your competitors and their target markets. Since you cannot access their data base, paying a little more attention to your competitors’ strategies would give you enough information on how you should start or adjust your own targeting strategies. Their websites, blogs and social media channels content would be a good guide on certain details you would be interested in knowing about your customers.
Social media is an easy way to understand the tone and to see what kind of people is checking this information. Marketing strategies may be similar to yours, check what needs they address and the most effective strategies to engage their customers. And last, check their websites and blog to possibly learn the quality and benefits competitors offer in contrast to your company.
Defining your target market is not only finding general characteristics in your customers, in fact, you would be surprised of the many aspects that would make them similar but different at the same time. Once you collect all the information using the sources previously mentioned, you will obtain customers types that will be part of your data base grouped according to their shared qualities such as geography, demographics, psychographics and behavior. When it comes to B2B companies, you can consider the same factors applied to businesses.
There is also another strategy that would help combined with segmentation. Creating buyer personas or imaginary customers that would reproduce your customers’ behaviors would help you gain a better understanding of your segments’ needs and lifestyles. The key to these imaginary customers is that they would react as real customers would.
How to use your data base?
Once you’ve collected all the data based on your customers’ characteristics and you have done segmentation you will probably need to keep all this information on paper which means writing a statement is a good advice.
If writing your statement sounds like a challenge, here are some aspects to consider, keywords that would narrow the options, characteristics that would define your audience:
— Demographic: gender, age
— Geographic locations: where they come from.
— Key interests: hobbies
Now try to combine the information you have collected into a clear statement.
Some examples of how to write your statements are as follows:
— “Our target market is men on their 30s and 40s who live in the United States and enjoy outdoor sports.”
— “Our target market is women on their 30s who live in Canada and may have developed diabetes during pregnancy.”
— “Our target market is men on their 40s who live in New York and love fresh and organic food.”
As you can see, before you think you are done with your statement, think twice, writing a good statement would ensure your marketing strategies and content are consistent which would be determinant, useful and provides the opportunity to adapt your business mission if needed.
Test your targeting efforts.
To effectively define our target market, making extensive research is needed, observing is important and understanding the audience is one of the first things to do, although it all sounds easy, take your time, you don’t need it to be perfect the first time, that is when adaptability plays an important role, your own customers will respond to your strategies and with this information you will know what to do and what not to do so you generate that interest in your product or service, remember customers’ interests change over the years as technology, trends and generations change.
To test your targeting efforts, you could run a social media marketing strategy where clicks and engagement would help you see how successful the strategy is. A quite common marketing tool is email marketing, thanks to these emails you would be able to analyze the performance of your marketing campaigns.
The good news is that adaptability is the key to achieve your goals, based on your marketing strategies including your market target statement, you could adjust or revise it whenever it is needed. The more targeted the content, the more effective the campaign.
We have reviewed one of the most important aspects when you run a business, probably the reason why it would last in the market and basically the reason why your product is created or your service is offered. People who get to know your product or hire your service may do it just because there is something in it that meets their needs, the reason why they would come back or refer a friend to it depends on several factors such as the customer’s experience, the quality of the product/service, how catching they find the information your business is sharing in the website and the benefits your business represent in their life. To effectively reach a wider audience, targeting your audience using flexible marketing strategies, collecting information and creating your data base, keeping in mind this would be adjusted as technology, competitors, trends and your customers change in time, would help you write a state to define your target market based on similar characteristics they share.
It is important to highlight that once your statement is written, this is the audience our research defined as the people who would most likely pay attention to your company, the website and buy your products or services, these are the people you are writing for, your website, blog, social media and even email marketing content will be carefully studied to catch and keep their interest, build loyalty and start growing your audience.