Gather market research by studying trends, distributing surveys, interviewing potential customers and holding focus groups so you can get an idea of who buys what you sell and their reasons for buying. If you already own your business, you can solicit testimonials from customers and examine any product or service reviews you received in the past. The goal of this research is to identify characteristics of your ideal customer. While you’ll likely get customers who differ in some ways from your ideal customer, when marketing and developing new products, you should keep your ideal customer in mind because he is representative of your target market.
As a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, it’s essential that you adequately define the target market for the product or service you’re selling. In fact, understanding your target consumer can determine whether you see profit and growth in the years to come. Because of this, creating a target market profile, which outlines demographic, psychographic, geographic and behavioral information about your target consumer, can help you plan product launches, marketing campaigns and develop a positioning statement for your company and its products or services.
Things You'll Need
- Survey tool
Create an identity for your target customer by coming up with a full name, as if the target customer is a real person who may walk into your store or visit your website for products and services.
Use a word processing program to create a document so you can begin to outline your target market profile. Create the following headings, “Geographic,” “Demographic,” “Psychographic” and “Behaviors." Bold each heading and leave space in between each, so you can insert the information you gather during your research.
List details of where your target customer lives under the heading “Geographic.” You can list a specific city and state, discuss the climate and indicate whether he lives in a relatively big city of in a small rural town.
Identify the demographic characteristics of your target customer by listing her average age, marital status, income, level of education, number of children and occupation.
Determine the psychographical characteristics of your target customers by describing their lifestyles. You can disclose their morals and values, interests and their attitudes. You can include hobbies, like sewing or playing basketball, as well as religious affiliations and professional association memberships in this section.
Identify the behaviors of your target customers. This information might include how a target customer gets his information; whether from friends, family or clubs and organizations he’s affiliated with. List why this customer purchases your product; some common reasons are price, prestige and brand loyalty. Determine what your target customer’s ultimate goal is in life, whether it’s to be a successful investor, a highly involved mother or to take a trip around the world.
Create your position statement in two to three sentences, by briefly describing how your products or services stand out from the competition and why customers opt for what you’re offering, instead of buying from your competitor.
- "The Successful Marketing Plan: A Disciplined and Comprehensive Approach;" Roman G. Hiebing and Scott W. Cooper; 2003
- Entrepreneur: Know Your Target Market
- Site Reference: How to Create Your Target Market Profile
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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