Sniper Scope – Increasing Sales by Defining Your Target Market

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Marketing Strategies | Comments Off

Sniper Scope – Increasing Sales by Defining Your Target Market

I made the same mistake that a lot of first time business owners make. I thought I wanted everyone to be my customer. After all, the more customers I reached, the more money I made, right?

Wrong.

In reality, I only wanted to attract the people who could benefit from the services I offered, who I could actually help, and who were willing to pay the asking price. By trying to go after anyone and everyone, I attracted people who didn’t fit all of the criteria. Either they wanted my help but I couldn’t help them or they were willing to pay for assistance but they didn’t need the exact services I provided.

These types of situations could have been avoided I had simply taken the time to define my target market.

What is a Target Market?

A target market is a group of people, usually defined by a set of demographics such as age, gender and location, who are most likely to buy your product or service. Put another way, these are the people who have a problem and need your product to solve it.

For example, say you’re a web designer who sells custom-made websites. Your target market would be people who want a professionally designed website. Now that’s a pretty big group of prospects, but you can narrow it down based on the characteristics of your product. If design websites at a cheap price, then your target market are people who want budget-friendly design services.

How to Define Your Target Market

Since I already had a product to sell, I needed to do some reverse engineering to identify my target market. I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down my service offerings, SEO article writing and virtual assistant services. Then I thought about the type of problem my services solved for the people who needed them. I saved people time and money by taking on tasks they didn’t know how to do or wanted to spend time doing. For example, I provide them with search engine optimized content for their website which frees up their time and energy for the other things they would rather be doing.

When I first started blogging, I had chosen “blog tips” as the topic of my blog. The problem is that not all bloggers need article writers. The majority of personal and professional bloggers create their own content. My target market was people who needed a constant stream of content but didn’t have the time, knowledge, or inclination to create it themselves. This meant online magazines, affiliate marketers, and serial niche builders. That category is still pretty broad, but I’ve since narrowed it down somewhat.

When identifying your target market, you don’t have to hit the bull’s eye on the first try. As long as you land somewhere close, you can fine tune your customer profile until it matches your product offerings.

Defining Questions

To get a general idea of who your target market is, ask yourself the following three questions.

  • What does my product do?
  • How do people use my product? Or what problem does it solve?
  • Why type of person or company would need what my product does?

Like me, you’ll probably end up with a large group of people. To trim it down, apply some demographics to your target market.

  • What gender is more likely to use my product?
  • What age group would find my service useful?
  • Where does my customer live? What type of place is it? What are the people like in their community?
  • What economic resources are available to my target market?
  • Who can afford to pay for my product or service? This question is especially important if you are selling luxury or high priced items.
  • How often would they need my product or service? Knowing this will help you price your product accordingly.

For highly specialized products, you want to get even more specific:

What type of lifestyle does my target market live? Are they environmentally savvy? A jet setter? A stay at home mom?

What are their religious views?

What are their political views?

How savvy are they with technology?

What stage of their life are they in? Are they retired? Just graduated college? Experienced a job loss?

The internet is very useful for finding information on your target market. The more specific you can get, the more targeted you can make your sales message which means more sales conversions. In a follow up article, we will talk about how to use the information you gain to market to your ideal customer.

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