Target Markets & Why They Matter
As a small business owner, you only have so much time to dedicate to any one part of your business, and doing the marketing for your business can feel like a full-time job in and of itself.
Which is why it benefits small business owners to be very specific about not only what type of marketing you create, but WHOM you’re making it for. Many different people could buy your product or service; however, chances are your marketing budget isn’t limitless, so you have to be particular about where it goes.
Which is why having a target market will not only help your budget go further, it will help bring in more money.
Let’s start at the beginning: What Is A Target Market?
Target markets have several other names they go under as well:
- Customer avatars
- Target Market
- Target Audience
- Customer Persona
- Ideal Client Profile
'A Target audience in marketing is a strategy that breaks a large market into smaller segments to concentrate on a specific group of customers within that audience. It defines a segment of customers based on their unique characteristics and focuses solely on serving them'. - Alexa
Let me give you an example,
A bookkeeper wants to work with small business owners and independent contractors. They could work for any of the 25 million different small business registered in the US, but that’s too many choices.
It’s not a bad message, who doesn’t want their bookkeeping done in a timely manner? However, this type of messaging is missing a crucial thing… ‘Who is this ad for?’ ‘Who are they talking to?’. It’s hard to stand out in a crowded social media space if you don't virtually raise your hand and say ‘Hey ‘specific group of people,’ pay attention to me’!
Let’s say that same bookkeeper decided they want to work with small business electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. How would that change this ad?
In this ad, we see very clearly whom Winter Bookkeeping works with (primarily service providers). Moreover, by saying/visualizing specifically whom you want to work with, your ad is more likely to stop people from scrolling right past it.
See the difference?
Why Is Your Target Audience Important?
Your target market is crucial to your marketing success because it’s part of a broader more holistic marketing strategy. The decisions you make here affect your advertising, your operations and your product development and customer experience.
Maximize Time & Money
Just as the luxurious florist has a target audience, so does the gas station down the street that sells roses for $20. By defining the market that needs your services or products will help you to understand it better.
Your message isn’t going to resonate with the whole world and everyone on it. However, by clearly defining who you are going after you can focus your time and money on the segment of people who are most likely to need the service/product you provide.
- If your audience is always on Facebook & Instagram, there isn’t a reason to start advertising on Linkedin and Twitter.
Identifying the reasons and motivations your prospective clients have to purchase from you will help you to focus your marketing strategy.
- If your service is bookkeeping software aimed at high-end restaurants, your marketing efforts will be more successful if you market your products for chefs/restaurant owners of a certain income level. If you go after all the restaurants, you’d be wasting time because it’s not for all restaurants.
Design Better Products & Services
If you know precisely the audience you’re serving; you’ll likely start to hear similar pain points from them. If your business is to do bookkeeping for service providers (carpenters, electricians, plumbers) and you keep hearing how they’re frustrated by their tax preparer, you can start offering taxes (through Halon, you can refer your clients, and we’ll walk through the return with you and them!).
At the end of the day, you’ll be able to pinpoint the regular problems in your niche and begin to offer products or services to address them specifically. Eventually, you’ll be able to able to anticipate your markets needs, behaviors, and concerns.
This way, you’ll make your customer happier, they’ll have a better experience with you, and you’ll make more money. It’s a win-win.
Easier Content Creation
Think about your ideal customer. They have a name, an age, a family (or not) and a personality. They speak in a certain way and have pains, pleasures, desires and wants.
By knowing who this person is, you can create copy that resonates with them individually. Everything you write, from your website to your email marketing, to your social media posts… the copy needs to address your target market’s concerns and your service’s benefits as a remedy for their problems.
Let’s say you’re selling a bookkeeping cleanup package, where your target market is parents who have a ‘side hustle’/side gig. When you design and create your copy, you will first have to research the major concerns, pain points, dreams and desires that the parents have before they purchase your service. It’s best if you can interview your target market, reach out through your social channels to see if you can sit down and pick their brains a little bit (offer to buy them coffee or lunch). Without a message that resonates with the parents/business owners, you will fail to convert them into paying clients.
In a world in which people are encountering more ads than ever before, knowing your target audience is the best place to start when creating your online marketing. It helps you stand out from the noise.
You aren’t able to tailor your messaging, audiences, or content for an audience that you don’t know or made assumptions about.
By creating a target audience and marketing to it exclusively, you’ll not only grow your business’ sales, you’ll also begin to position your company as a trusted authority in your specific niche, create brand awareness with an audience that is likely to purchase and build a robust funnel of potential new and returning customers.
Now that you know what a target market is and the benefits of creating one for your business, you can begin to research how to create your own. There are many tools, resources, and tutorials available to help with creation.