Identifying your small business’s target audience is critical to the success of your business. Large businesses can get away with marketing something to everyone, but small businesses will falter. You will decrease your chances of success if you try to be everything to everyone, or even a little something to a lot of someones. By identifying your target audience, you can market directly to the consumers who have the most need of, and the most interest in your product or service.
BusinessDictionary defines target audience as a “particular group of people, identified as the intended recipient of an advertisement or message.”
Your target audience is ideally made up of the demographic of people who are most likely to be interested in and buy your product or service. Identifying the target audience that’s best for your small business is important and should never be skipped during the planning phases of a new business, or never re-evaluated in an established business.
Your target audience is different from your niche market, should you have one. A niche market is a narrower subset of people within your target audience, and while every business needs a target audience, they do not need a niche market. A niche market can be lucrative, but a target audience is a wider group of people who will have a similar interest in your product/service and will provide a greater return on your marketing dollars. The target audience is so critical because marketing techniques that work with one demographic may be less successful with another.
Steps to finding your target audience include:
- Identify your ideal customers. If for example, you’re interested in starting a customer service call center, your first decision will be whether you want to focus on retail customers or business customers. You need to figure out exactly what kind of small business you are going to open, and while you’re deciding this, you will hopefully stumble upon your target audience.
- Identify your own experience and skills. If you’ve come from a ten-year background in customer service in the retail sector, you can build a business that caters to the retail market exclusively. By excluding the business market in your marketing schemes, you are allocating your marketing dollars in a more profitable area.
- Profile current customers. Whether your business is already established or not, there are most likely customers already buying comparable products/services to yours. Research these customers. Develop surveys for them, attend events with them, find databases online and check their social media hangouts. You may discover that larger retail businesses have an in-house customer service call center, and smaller businesses do not.
Fill a need. Now that you’ve narrowed yourself down to retail, small business market, you will see where there is a need. Smaller retail businesses are more likely to need a third-party customer service call center. This is your target audience.
Would you like to keep reading? Here is another informative Blog on The importance of Market Research