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How to do target market research

Focus your efforts on reaching the people most likely to be interested in what you offer with a good target market. Here are a few tips to get you started.

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October 29, 2022

Many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone with their marketing efforts. But the truth is, you can’t be everything to everyone.

Think about it this way: if you’re a clothing store, are you going to market to teenage girls or senior citizens? The answer is probably teenage girls because that’s who are most likely to buy your clothes. The same principle applies no matter what business you’re in.

But with the vast array of marketing strategies out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. So how do you go about finding these ideal customers? The answer is target marketing. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about target markets and how to identify yours.

What Is A Target Market? 

A target market is a specific group of people you have identified as your ideal and best customers. This can be based on factors like age, gender, location, interests, or income level. Once you have identified your target market, you can then focus your marketing efforts on reaching them. This is important because not all marketing efforts are equally effective at reaching all groups of people. 

For example, if you’re trying to reach teenagers, you’ll likely have more success using social media than traditional methods like print ads or direct mail. On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach senior citizens, you might have more success with traditional methods like television commercials or newspaper ads. 

The bottom line is that by identifying your target market, you can save a lot of time and money by using the most effective marketing strategies to reach them.

What Is Target Market Segmentation? 

Target market segmentation is the process of dividing your target market into smaller, more manageable groups. This is often done by identifying your target market's different characteristics and then creating segments based on those characteristics. 

Marketing professionals use a variety of techniques to segment the consumer market. One common approach is to divide consumers into four major segments: demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral.

1. Demographic Segmentation

One of the most common ways to define your target audience is by demographic segmentation such as age, gender, location, and income level. For example, if you sell women's clothing, your target audience would likely be women between the ages of 18 and 65 who live in developed countries with moderate to high-income levels. 

2. Geographic Segmentation

Geographic segmentation involves dividing the market based on factors such as region, climate, and density. For example, if you sell snowboards, your target market would likely be people who live in cold climates where it snows often. 

3. Psychographic Segmentation

In addition to demographic data, you can also define your target audience by psychographic factors such as lifestyle, personality, and interests. For example, if you sell organic food products, your target audience would likely be health-conscious individuals who are interested in eating healthy and environmentally-friendly foods. 

4. Behavioral Segmentation

Another way to define your target audience is by behaviors such as purchasing habits and online activity. For example, if you sell luxury handbags, your target audience would likely be individuals who have a history of buying luxury items and who are active on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. 

By understanding these different segments, businesses can more effectively target their marketing efforts and reach their target market.

small business owners research into business markets

Why Is Target Marketing Important?

Target marketing is important because it allows you to use your resources more efficiently. When you know who your target market is, you can focus your time, energy, and money on reaching them instead of trying to reach everyone. 

For example, let's say you own a small business with a limited advertising budget. If you try to reach everyone with your ads, you'll quickly run out of money with little to show for it. But if you focus on reaching just your target market, you'll get better results because your ads will actually be seen by people who are interested in what you have to say. 

How to Define Your Target Market

You've done the hard part—you've got your target market, and you know who they are. Now it's time to figure out how to reach them. When you're trying to define your target market, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Identify your current customer base.

You need to know who you're selling to before you can figure out what they want. Where are they? What do they value? Put some thought into it, and you'll be able to determine your target market.

Look at your existing consumer data.

If you already have a customer database, look at your website analytics and data that's already there. For example, if you have a website, you might look at who visits it and what pages they view or click on most often. If you're running ads on Facebook or Google AdWords, you can see which ads get the most clicks and traffic from potential target customers.

Check out your competition.

Your target market is likely already being served by your competitors, so take a look at what they're doing and saying. See how they're marketing themselves and what kind of results they're getting. This will give you insight into what's working and not working in your industry.

Research, research, research.

Next up? Research! A lot of people get scared off by the word "research," but really, it just means looking up relevant information online and seeing if there's anything that will help with your target market (or even just help YOU!).

Check out social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook for current trends in their respective industries, read articles on niche blogs, look at what similar products are selling well right now (and why), go through Google Trends over time, and search Google Maps for local businesses that might be a good fit. There's no shortage of information out there, and the more you know, the better equipped you'll be to identify and reach your target market.

Find the perfect customer avatar.

Next, research the demographics and psychographics of your customers—this will help you develop the perfect avatar for them in mind. You'll want to know what kind of person they are, how old they are, where they live and work, their income level, their interests (and passions), and more.

Then find the perfect target customer avatar: someone who fits all the above criteria perfectly! Make sure that this avatar isn't just some idealistic version of yourself—there's no point in making something if no one will buy it!

Optimize marketing strategies for increasing sales and revenue.

Once you have a good understanding of your target market, you can start developing marketing strategies designed specifically for them. This may involve using different channels such as print, online, or word-of-mouth. It may also involve tailoring your message to appeal to your target market.

Whatever strategy you choose, make sure it will reach your target market and encourage them to buy from you. With the right approach, you can maximize your sales and revenue in no time.

Target Market Examples

Now that we've gone over what target marketing is and how to define your target market let's look at three businesses that have successfully targeted their audiences.

1. Lululemon Athletica

Lululemon is a popular fitness apparel company aimed at young adults who lead an active lifestyle. The company has built its brand around community and wellness, which appeals to its target audience of millennials looking for more than just workout clothes.

2. Apple

Apart from its many target audiences, Apple has tapped successfully into a specific target market: creative professionals. Apple has positioned itself as the go-to brand for people in fields like design, fashion, music, and photography. And their marketing efforts reflect that, from their sleek ads featuring beautiful photography to their partnerships with trendsetting fashion designers.

3. Amazon

Amazon appeals to a wide range of people with different needs that’s reflected in its massive selection of products. However, they have successfully defined their target audience as busy adults who appreciate the convenience of online shopping. 

As you can see from these examples, businesses with successful target marketing all have one thing in common: they know their target market and craft their message specifically for them. If you want to grow your business through effective marketing, start by identifying your target market and tailoring your message accordingly!

target market-based business owner holding an open sign

Knowing your target market is a core requirement of any good marketing strategy!

When you know who your target market is, you can easily create marketing and advertising campaigns that appeal to your business which leads to better overall results. If you're not already targeting a specific market with your marketing efforts, now is the time to start! Armed with this knowledge, any business owner should feel confident taking their first steps towards building their own strategy!

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