What is a Target Market and How Do I Find Mine?

Target market” is one of those terms you’ll hear thrown around a lot in the business world. You might also hear it called a target audience or ideal customer. Put plainly, this is a demographic of people who could potentially be interested in your goods or services. And the reason it’s important is because these are the people you will “target” with your advertising efforts. Just knowing what a target market is doesn’t make a difference, though, unless you know how to find it and what to do with it. Following are several effective ways to do this.

Use surveys

Surveys are extremely useful tools in finding a target market. To do this, you can use a free survey maker to develop your questions and post them on social media groups or email to current customers. It’s appropriate to ask questions about age and gender as long as you allow them to decline to answer. The other types of questions you ask will depend on what you’re selling and who you’re asking. For example, if you’re dealing with existing customers, you already know they like your product. You just need to find out who they are and if they have anything in common. You might find that the majority of your customers are single moms, but you also attract a decent percentage of 70-year-old retirees.

On the other hand, if you’re sending your survey to people you’ve never dealt with, such as through social media or a mailing list, your questions will be different. Instead, you’ll need to find out which ones of them would be interested in your product and why. Common interests, gender, lifestyles, personalities, values, incomes, and education levels are all good areas to consider.

Evaluate your product

Even though you’re probably closely acquainted with whatever it is you’re selling, it’s still helpful to take the time to thoroughly analyze it. Make a list of each feature of your product. Then, beside that, figure out how that feature benefits people. Get as specific as possible with this exercise and try to pinpoint exactly who the feature benefits as well. You can also use this information to develop more in-depth questions for your surveys.

Analyze your social media interaction

There are many tools available to help you analyze your social media channels. Facebook Insights, for one, is a free tool for businesses to use to better understand your audience. It gives you information like people’s ages, gender, lifestyles, job roles, and household sizes. It also tells you about their past purchases and how frequently they use Facebook. Most other social media platforms have similar tools, and most require business accounts like Facebook does.

Monitor your competitors

Another effective way to find your target market is to monitor your competitors. And social media is also a great tool to use for this task. First, if you don’t know who your competitors are, they should be easy to find with a quick Google search. However, it’s important to remember that not everyone who sells what you’re selling is a competitor. If you offer a service to a certain geographic region, someone who offers it in another area is probably not your competition. Of course, their activity can still be useful in some cases if they’re successful.

Once you’ve found some of your competitors who seem to rank well in Google, see if you can find them on social media. You can then do a little innocent stalking to find out who is following them and what they’re talking about most. It’s not quite as easy to determine the demographics of their followers, but you can still find out certain things about them, like what they seem to respond well to and various groups they belong to.

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