How to target a market is one of the most common questions we get from clients. We all know that our product or service (in most cases) is not for everyone, but how do we clearly define who the target market is? Once we know who they are, how do we go about getting ourselves in front of them?
This post will help you identify your target market, understand targeted reach and give you 5 tips on how to reach your target market.
Identify Your Target Market
Many new products and services are born from an idea, a passion or sometimes just by accident. Usually it is to answer a consumer need. Maybe you have had a personal experience where something was lacking from the market, or you have a talent that can be easily turned into a business or maybe you see a service and think “I can do it better!”
Naming that consumer need is our biggest clue in being able to identify our target market. If we are answering a consumer need, we can then look at the characteristics of those who fit into that group of consumers.
But what if it is unclear what this consumer need is? Or if you aren’t sure which consumers would be interested? We can look to identify our target market by utilising market research (see our post on Market Research). We can survey groups to quantify who our offer appeals to and then look at the characteristics of those groups, or we can review research that has been done before (for example www.abs.gov.au) to analyse who our target could be based on the data that has been collected.
We can also identify our target market by looking to our competition. Who do they target? How do they target them? You may even want to begin to think about why they target them? Understanding your competition can give you ideas by observing who they are targeting and also by analysing who they are not, which may represent an opportunity for your business.
Once we have identified our target market we can begin to classify them based on (see our post on Analysing Market Research):
- Are they male or female?
- What age bracket do they tend to fit in?
- What is their income?
- What level of education do they have?
- Personality factors
- Lifestyle Factors
- Brand loyalty
- Value of Quality
- How they shop
Our aim is to have a picture of a typical consumer or consumer groups. Clearly understanding your target market is the first step in planning how to reach them.
Magazine publishers are probably one of the best practice industries for identifying and communicating target markets. See in this example how NME clearly define who reads their magazine.
Understanding Targeted Reach
Understanding targeted reach is being able to identify how many people in your target market are going to see the marketing or promotional opportunity you are offering. Many clients send us emails offering them advertising space in a magazine, online directory, goodie bags and more; they all want to know the same thing “Should I do this?”
When you know your target market, it is much easier for you to assess these opportunities, because what you are now looking for is the reach; that is the percentage or number of your target market that will see your message.
For example, when you are told an online newsletter goes out to a subscriber base of 50,000, you are immediately impressed. That is a large number of people to view your offer. But, without being able to estimate how many readers are in your target market, the number has no relevancy.
You need to ask questions based on what you know about your target market: “What percentage are women?”, “What percentage live in Adelaide?”, “What percentage have a dog?”. The questions you ask are dependent on your business and the consumer you need to reach.
Use the answers to reassess the original number and then assess your targeted reach and cost per view (see our post on Calculating your Cost per View). Do you now deem this a suitable insertion to reach your target market?
5 Tips to Reach your Target Market
1. Connect with those that already reach your target market
When you have a profile of your target market, you can then start to research the types of media they interact with, look for
- Online communities
- Facebook pages
- Radio Stations
Approach these media outlets and find out what advertising opportunities are available. If they have already captured the attention of your target market, you can then reach out with your marketing message.
2. Connect with complementary, but not competitive businesses
We can’t very well ask our competitors to promote our business, but we can look for complementary businesses.
If you make artwork for children’s rooms, consider contacting other businesses that target your market, for example children’s clothing, children’s furnishings, or children’s toys. Approach these businesses and suggest exchanging advertising on each other’s websites or in each other’s newsletter, helping you both to reach more of the target market.
3. Improve your SEO
Another way to reach your target market is to ensure you are there when they go looking for your product or service online. Understanding the keywords that your target market use when searching (see article on keywords) will help you create your website, to ensure you match your content to how they describe your product or service.
4. Talk in the language your target market understands
Looking at the profile of your target market, make sure you talk in a language that they understand. Only use jargon or complex words if it is appropriate to your target market.
Appreciate what motivates them to purchase; is it price? Is it quality? Is it service? Then ensure you write your marketing message to match.
5. Utilise PR
In our first tip we talked about looking for advertising opportunities within the media that your target market is connected with. Another key way to reach your target market within that media is by undertaking public relations (PR) strategies.
PR is a very broad area of marketing and for the purposes of this article; we are only going to discuss a narrow segment.
You can engage media to talk about your product or service by writing (or having written on your behalf) Media Releases (Check out Handle Your Own PR). If successfully pitched, these Media Releases can lead to articles in the newspaper, in magazines and more. these are at no cost to you and often hold more power with your target market, as they are not seen as marketing messages and gain the credibility of the source they are published in.
Also subscribe to media callout services such as www.sourcebottle.com.au to keep on top of any PR opportunities that you could use to promote your product or service.
Making a consistent effort to reach your target market will ensure over time you grow your business and also maximise your marketing spend. Do you know who your target consumer is? How do you communicate this to others?
Until next week, R is for Reaching your Target Market and also for finally resuming the A-Z of Marketing.