Defining Your Customer

by: | August 4, 2011

Your target market is defined as: a group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise. This means directing your marketing to the group of customers most likely to buy your product. Figuring out your target market will help you spend less money on marketing while having more effective campaigns.

Most businesses try to market to everyone thinking that way they’ll get the most people to buy their products. The problem with this approach is you could be missing your target market’s language entirely. For example, if you sell lawn supplies, but you’re trying to sell to everyone, you could be alienating your target market by speaking the language of people interested in knitting and cat shows.

Describing your target market

Figuring out who your target market is the first step. I’m going to walk you through the process here. Don’t skimp on this part, it defines the rest of your marketing. I’m going to use the example of a lawn supplies business and describe our ideal customer.

1. First, picture your ideal customer. If you were standing in front of him right now, what would he look like? What would he be wearing? How old is he? I’ll call our ideal customer Bob. Bob is a middle-aged homeowner. He’s slightly overweight and losing some of his hair, which is going slightly grey. He’s conservatively dressed in a T-shirt or polo and khaki shorts or pants.

2. Now you’ll want to describe what he does for a living, his hobbies and where he lives. This will influence many of his buying decisions. Our example, Bob, has a middle-management job and would be considered middle class. He’s interested in cars, tools, and loves to grill.

3. Next, you’ll want to describe your target market’s interest in your service or product. This is where you get to the meat of the conversations you’ll be having with that customer and how to influence their buying decisions. For example, our target, Bob, has a garage full of tools, but he doesn’t use them as often as he thought he would. He also doesn’t want to work too hard on his yard.

How to use this description

When your customers feel like you’re talking directly to them, they’re much more likely to buy from you. Now that you’ve described your target market, how do you talk directly to them? First, and most importantly, you can talk to them in their language. You can then tailor your message to things that would interest them.

For Bob, you might tailor your message to how you have supplies that could make mowing his lawn faster, or how to make his lawn greener without extra work. You could highlight certain products that he’ll be most interested in.

Once you start to market to who is most likely to buy your products, you’ll see your marketing suddenly be more effective and your sales rise. What does your target market look like? Find out.Marketing Zeus

Posted in: B2C, Banner/Display, Campaign Development, Content, Direct Response, Email

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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