Understanding Your Target Customer

Identifying your target market and your ideal customer is essential to creating a sales and marketing approach that gives you the best chance of success. If you don’t know who that target market is, and what your ideal customer wants and needs, it is hard to develop both the products and services that meets those needs as well as the sales and marketing approaches that are likely to succeed. You have to know what your customers want, need, love and hate, trust and distrust and why. If you want your messaging to be effective and your brand to be enticing, you need to know your customers.

“Know your customer.” 

Know Your Target Customer

As entrepreneurs, however, it is not as if we have large marketing budgets where we can do large scale surveys, market research or focus groups. In light of that, here are a few techniques you can use to hone in on who that target market is and how you can best serve their needs.

  • Create a Mock Persona. This persona is basically a fictional character who exhibits all the traits an “average” member of your target audience is expected to have. Include factors like age, sex, education level and income, as well as disposition factors like temperament, sensitivity or curiosity. Get as detailed as you can.
  • Conduct a Quantitative Survey. Take advantage of some of the free or inexpensive survey tools online to survey some potential audiences. Don’t focus the survey on just what you think may be your target market – open it up to a broader set of individuals to make sure you are not skewing your results. Use multiple choice questions that can give you hard statistics that can teach you about your audience’s habits.
  • Conduct Small-Scale Qualitative Surveys. Complement your quantitative research with qualitative research — the data won’t be as objective, but you’ll learn more detailed insights on your audience’s psychological makeup. Target a small sample of audience members, and use open-ended questions to get long responses you can interpret. Again, ask questions relevant to your brand and product like, “What does the following phrase mean to you?” or “What do you feel when you see this image?”
  • Learn from The Competition. Established competitors have likely already done market research in developing their products and service. Learn from them and pay attention to the tones and themes of the marketing messages they use when attracting customers. It is likely to give you some insight into the customer’s profile. In the process you may even find something about customers that you can exploit to your advantage.
  • Watch the Social Ecosystem Around Your Customer. Learn what your potential customers are saying through social media and other online channels. You can do this via social listening software or by tapping into groups and conversations in the most popular social media forums. Find “pockets” of your customers and listen to what they are saying. You would be surprised how much you can learn from one Facebook or Linked In group.
  • Watch How Customers Interact with Your Brand. You can use social listening software again, and tap into Google Analytics to examine user behavior on your site. Evaluate how your target demographics are interacting with your brand: Do you get lots of blog comments and social shares? Use this data to fine-tune your approach.

None of these individuals techniques by itself is designed to pin down your average customer. What you are looking to do is to look at your average customer from multiple lenses. Craft all these different perspectives into one consolidated view of your customer. Once you have, you will be able to better tailor your sales and marketing approaches to meet the needs of this audience.

Follow Us on Social Media

Where do you go for answers?

Try It for Free

Our Learning Community is the one stop shop for the intelligence you need. Instead of countless hours searching for answers, we’ve organized what you need to know across all of the business and personal issues you face. You’ll get answers from 100s of learning modules, tools and templates, vendor reviews and a vibrant community of your fellow entrepreneurs. Try it for free!