Just who is my customer?

As an entrepreneur, this is one of the many questions ringing through your mind, especially if you’re on the verge of starting a new business. Knowing who your customer is benefits you in multiple ways. You’ll be in a better position to design an effective sales and marketing strategy and find ways to give them the best service and shopping experience.

But how do you identify your target market? Is there any science to it or it’s about making educated guesses?

Well, there’s a way to know your customer. Continue reading for tips that’ll help you zero in on your target market.

Understand Your Product or Service

Ideally, you should get down to creating a product or service after you’ve developed an intricate understanding of who your customer is. This way, you’ll easily identify the problem they’re facing, after which you can embark on creating a product or service that solves this problem.

However, this isn’t always the case. Often, you’ll create a product or service hoping that it will find its customers in the market. After all, Steve Jobs once said consumers don’t know what they want until you give it to them.

If you took the second approach, understanding the nature of your product or service is the first step to finding your target market. For example, is the product a consumer good? Is it an industrial product?

If it’s a consumer good, you’ll know that you should be targeting individual customers. But if it’s an industrial product, you’ll that your target market comprises of businesses or organizations.

From here, it’s easy to narrow down to a specific category in your broad target market. Look at your product’s uses.

For example, if your product is designed to kill household pests, your target audience narrows down to homeowners. Tenants will also be buying your product, but your ideal customer is a homeowner. And if your product is a phone case, your target audience are phone owners but you will need to narrow to what kind of phone they own, which model they have and so on.

Analyze Your Existing Customer Base

If you have already started a business, it’s not right that you don’t already have a target market. Continue like this and your business will certainly fail.

The good news is you’re in a better position to identify the target market. The assumption here is that you already have a customer base. If that’s the case, analyzing your customer data can give you a pretty good indication as to who your ideal customer is.

Obviously, you’ll find that customers from all walks of life are purchasing your product. However, you’ll also find something that’s common among most of your existing customers.

Here are the factors you should consider when analyzing customer data:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Location
  • Education level

If you run a physical store, it’s easy to determine the gender and average age of customers coming to your shop. If you run an online business, there are sign up forms that can help you collect and analyze this data.

In fact, there are customer analysis tools that will do everything for you at a click of a button. Their effectiveness, though, highly depends on the amount of customer data in your possession.

Nature of Your Business

The nature of your business can dictate who your target customer is.

If your business is a store in your neighborhood, it’s clear you’re only targeting customers near you. But if you take this business online, the geolocation of your customer base expands, depending on whether you want to ship products statewide or nationwide.

Conduct Experiments

Learning who your target customer is takes time, but there are methods that’ll give you fairly accurate insight within a short time. One of these methods is conducting sales or marketing experiments.

When your product is ready to go market, don’t start selling it yet. Instead, hand a couple of pieces to your family members. Ensure you’re giving everyone from the old members(boomers) to the younger ones (Gen Zers). Ask them to use the product for a while and give feedback on their experience.

Believe it or not, their feedback can help you know how your ideal customer will be. Some members won’t find the product useful, which is fine, because it probably shows they aren’t the target market. Others will be super excited about the product, and others will have lukewarm feedback.

Those who are most excited about your product are probably your target audience.

You can also run the same experiment on a large scale. Distribute your products to hundreds of people in your neighborhood. The instructions are the same: use and provide feedback.

Keep in mind that when running such a large-scale experience, you should have reliable means for your product testers to provide feedback. A website or social media page dedicated to the task will help.

From the information you gather, you can predict who your customer is. You can also use the information to refine the product or even create a suitable packaging design. If your target market happens to comprise of millennials, this article by SmashBrand will enlighten you on how the millennial mindset influences packaging design.

Run Targeted Digital Marketing Campaigns

Digital marketing platforms are a useful resource when you want to identify your target customer. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter give you the tools you need to target customers based on a wide range of factors, from geographic to demographic.

The idea here is to run experimental campaigns. Use a combination of geographic and demographic factors for different campaigns and monitor the results. The campaign that yields the best results should be a reliable indicator of who your target market is.

Know Your Target Market

It’s a big mistake to be in business if you don’t know your target market. This is akin to driving at night without headlights. You’ll crash.

With this guide, you now have all the information you need to know your target market. Go for it and keep reading our blog for more insights.

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