As a business owner or marketing manager, defining your target market is one of the first things we know we should do, but is often forgotten or remains stagnant over the years. The problem with this is that as your business grows and your customers change, you risk losing focus on those who need you most.
Once a year, usually in the Fall, I like to review my year-to-date performance and outline my strategy for the next year. Part of that process includes a look at my target market. It helps me gain clarity of who my audience is, whom I wish to reach and what my ideal customer looks like. It’s not easy and sometimes it can be a tough pill to swallow but it’s a critical step toward evolving your business.
I find it’s easier to start with customers’ needs first and then get into the demographics. It seems like if you start with demographics you fall into the trap that “everyone is my customer,” which we know is just not true. Starting with their needs will quickly weed out adjacent and other irrelevant segments that would most likely not be a very good fit for your business.
Here is a simple Target Market Worksheet to consider.
- What are my customers’ needs?
- Who are my customers?
- Economic Level
- Buying Habits
- Where are my customers located?
- Where do they live?
- Where do they shop?
- Projected size of market?
- How does my business meet their needs?
- What is unique about my business?
Of course, you will want to customize this series of questions to meet your needs, including any industry specific criteria typically considered relevant to customer segmentation. That being said, don’t feel constrained to industry standard segmentation schemes. Ask your market what’s important to them and completely redefine your target market if needed. Get specific, find your niche and get excited about the idea of speaking to them in a more meaningful way.
What do you think? Is defining your target market a worthwhile exercise or just a waste of time?