How to Determine Your Target Market


The target market for your business, website or product is very important to know and understand from the beginning. Otherwise, marketing and advertising efforts may be wasted. The people interested in your product or service are those in your target market. Figuring out who lies in a particular target audience requires research and planning. Follow these steps to determine your target market.

Ask Questions

Who is this product or service for? The more detailed the answer provided here, the more closely zoned in to the target market you will be.

When determining your target market, consider the following factors:

  • sex
  • age
  • profession
  • marital status
  • sexual orientation
  • location
  • native language
  • education
  • income
  • technological expertise
  • family composition

Some of the variables won't matter for one product or service, whereas they may play a major role for another. For instance, a product or service geared toward teaching English as a second language will care more about the native language variable than a product for web developers.

Ask yourself how your product or service will benefit the people in this audience. If you can't come up with a clear cut answer here, you may need to reevaluate the members of the target market. The specifics of your product or service will also help determine the details of the target market.

Conduct Marketing Research

Once you've got a better idea of your target audience, it's time to conduct some marketing research (using a cross section of the target audience) to see how well you matched them to the product or service you are trying to offer them. Market research entails using a group of people from your target audience to find out more about their thoughts and feelings about your product or service. The group should have a healthy mix of people from the target audience for the best result.

Market research is necessary to ensure the product or service you are offering will be well received by the public. If the market research indicates that people do not like what you have to offer, you can take the product or service back to the drawing board to make adjustments based on the feedback from the research.

Depending on the product or service you are offering, you have a few different options for how to conduct this market research. Online market research can be conducted with ease, as there are many ways to set up polls to market to your network. If you have a higher budget, you consider using a market research company to help you reach a larger group of people. It can be done through a focus group asking questions and showing the product or service or through online surveys.

Other ways you can conduct market research include passing out survey flyers at local establishments (where you believe you'll find members of your target audience), asking friends and family what they think (and if they have access to people you'd like to survey), and posting flyers at local businesses.

Benefits of Knowing the Target Market

The more you know about the people in your target market, the better. You can spend more advertising and marketing dollars focused on a smaller audience more likely to purchase your product or service, rather than a larger group that is less likely to purchase. You can tailor all advertising and marketing campaigns specifically to the target audience, making them more effective for conversions.

Without a clearly formed definition of your target market, you risk spending time and money on marketing and advertising that will not provide a good number of leads and help you get a good return on your investment. Taking the time to get to know your audience is key to success in any business or industry.

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