5 Questions to Identify Your Target Market

To sell someone on something, you must first understand them, which means you must first walk a mile in their shoes. Before you try to mount a marketing campaign, you should first learn how to identify your target market. Thinking you can sell to everyone is a surefire way to sell to no one.

Once you’ve clearly identified your target market, you’ll be better positioned to understand your niche, which in turn will tell you what you need to do to attract it to your merchandise.

What’s in it for Them?

Or said differently, what are your key product attributes? What problem does your product solve? Create a list of the features of your company or product. For each feature, make a list of all of the benefits it provides as well as the benefits of those benefits if applicable. Once you have a firm grasp of your benefits, make a list of the people who are likely to appreciate them the most. This will give you a rough idea of your market, but there’s still a bit more to do before you focus it sharply.

Who Are They?

Now that you have a general idea of whom you should be talking to, gather some demographic information to narrow it a bit more. What’s their average age? Where are they likely to be found? What is their gender identity? How much money do they make on average? What level of education have they experienced? Are they married, single, in a committed partnership? Are they professionals or laborers? What specific work do they do? With what ethnicity do they identify?

How Do They Learn About the World?

As you’re strategizing how to build an ecommerce website, it’s important to know if your customer reads books, watches television, spends a lot of time on social media, prefers streaming video to broadcast television or sees films regularly? Do they go to plays, dance recitals, or enjoy other forms of live entertainment? The answers to these questions will give you insights as to how your product can fit into their lives. This will inform the style of messaging you employ, the delivery methods you engage and the overall look and feel of your website.

How Do They View Themselves?

What are their primary personality traits? What attitudes do they hold about themselves, the world around them and others? What are their core values? What are their interests? How do they spend their free time? Do they have specific hobbies? What is their lifestyle like? Are they prone to luxurious pursuits or more down to earth? With what behaviors do they identify? Are they overly proud or humble? Do they crave attention or prefer to remain in the background? How will your product or service fit in their self-images?

Is the Market Big Enough?

Now that you’ve narrowed your focus so precisely, the next consideration should be whether there are enough people with the desired traits to support your endeavor. If there are a lot of people, the next question should be: can they afford to pay what I need to sustain the business? If not, are there any changes you can implement to make your product more affordable for the bulk of the people for whom it has relevance?

Does Your Marketing Plan Work?

Once you have all of those questions answered to your satisfaction, test market your product to a small sampling of people for whom your research has indicated your product should hold appeal. If the response is favorable, you’ve successfully learned how to identify your target market. If it isn’t, go back and revaluate your findings to try to find the disconnect. If there isn’t one, consider tweaking other aspects of your offering to see what you need to do to get your target market to engage.

Testing this way before committing to a full-blown campaign will save you time and capital, as well as increase your chances of success.

About The Author

Aleksandar Tomovic
Editor in Chief

French photographer (of Serbian Origins) lives and works in Los Angeles. Known for his celebrity fashion editorials and recognized around the world for his european esthetics and american efficiency.

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