Finding and reaching your target market with a message (or messages) that resonates with them is the difference between succeeding and failing. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell to anyone who comes into your store or visits you online. It just means you get better results when you consider your target market in developing all aspects of your marketing strategy. Today, we’ll cover how to define your target market, reach them, and approach them to get the best results possible. So, hang onto your seats, and let’s get started.
What is a target market?
A target market is a segment of the entire population that shares characteristics that make them different somehow from the rest of the population. For instance, they might share certain values, lifestyles, or even simply demographics. A target market for Rogaine, which treats male pattern baldness, is men who experience baldness and see themselves as looking better with their hair. This target market combines both demographic variables (i.e., age and gender) with psychological variables, in this case, a desire to look a certain way. The rationale for choosing one or more target markets is that those in the target market(s) are more likely to buy your products than the rest of the population because they see the value offered by your product. Marketing to the entire population is wasteful, except in rare cases when there’s broad demand for your products, generating lower conversion rates than when your efforts focus on your target market(s).
The process of target marketing involves three related marketing tactics:
- Segmenting the population
- Targeting those segments that offer the most potential for your business
- Positioning your marketing strategies (product, price, promotion, and distribution) to appeal to your chosen market(s)
Defining your target market
Defining your market refers to identifying the characteristics that make a consumer group attractive to your brand. A good target market is one that:
- represents a significant opportunity in terms of size, growth, and purchasing power
- is distinct from other groups and the population as a whole in one or more characteristics, including psychographics
- is reachable through some marketing channels, i.e., subscribing to a particular print or broadcast platform. We’ll talk more about this later when we discuss reaching this market.
- see a meaningful difference between your products and those marketed by others
A survey or another research tool is a great way to define your market. Segmenting the population into more homogeneous groups can use observational methods, although a cluster analysis provides a more scientific approach to finding groups within the market. In the cluster analysis shown below, 2 clusters result from inputting data from your population across a series of queries. Note that the clusters aren’t clean, displaying some overlap, and show outliers who don’t really belong to either cluster. This is normal, so don’t worry if you end up with such a plot.
Once you have clusters, the next step is identifying factors that differentiate between them. This may include demographic or geographic differences, but you’re also likely to see differences in attitudes, behaviors, and values between members of the 2 clusters. The end result of this process is developing personas for each target market like the one below.
You need a persona to represent each of your target markets.
After you define the target markets that represent the best opportunity (or best opportunities) for profit, you must position your products to appeal to these markets. Use all the tools at your disposal because the better the fit between your positioning and the wants and needs of your market, the more success you’ll have.
Another aspect to consider as you work toward positioning your products is developing a brand personality that appeals to those in your market.
Products are your first line of defense when it comes to differentiating your brand from others on the market. Although promotion might come to mind when you think about positioning, the products themselves make the difference between products consumers see as “for them” and those they envision for others. Apple, for instance, develops cutting-edge tech that younger consumers view as the products for them.
Price determines who can afford your products. Many brands use a tiered pricing structure to offer their products at various price points to expand their target market while others market under different labels, with each designed for a different target market based on price.
Place or distribution also varies by the target market. For instance, in some parts of Europe, consumers prefer specialty stores rather than supermarkets and big box stores. Distribution, thus, varies by geographic preferences. The same is true for distribution tactics in other target markets.
Promotion is what most folks think about when they consider the role of target marketing in performance. And this marketing aspect is the most visible when it comes to positioning. Your promotions must appeal to your target market by using images and messages they identify with. For instance, if your market includes a group of younger consumers, you should use images that look like them and engage in behaviors common to the group in your advertising. You must choose outlets for your advertising that reflect places where your target hands out and trusts.
Reaching your target market
1) Use social media
One of the most effective ways to reach a specific market is to use social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have billions of users, which means you have a huge potential audience for your business. To maximize your reach on social media, it’s essential to create engaging content that encourages users to share your content with their friends and followers. One of the great advantages of social media is your ability to target specific groups of users. For instance, Facebook uses groups as a self-organized means to reach select consumers (LinkedIn does the same for business users), while Twitter employs hashtags as a means to target your posts. This allows you to selectively great groups of users who represent your best options.
In addition to sharing great content, you should also include paid advertising on social media as a way to target content toward specific users. Facebook and Twitter both offer highly targeted ad platforms that allow you to target your ideal customer specifically, thus reducing your overall costs. By investing in social media advertising, you can significantly increase the number of people who see your marketing messages while still narrowing your reach to those in your market.
2) Translate your ads
Another great way to reach a wider audience is to translate your ads into different languages based on the languages spoken by your target market. This is especially effective if you target international markets or groups of domestic users who prefer to communicate in a different language. By translating your ads, you ensure more people understand them and can take action on your offer. By producing ads in their preferred language, you also show cultural sensitivity that appeals to lots of users.
Many online translation services, like het-vertaalbureau.com, can help you translate your ads quickly and easily. Once you translate your ads into your desired languages, make sure to test them out in different markets to see which ones perform the best as you find regional differences in language and translating idioms and other aspects of your ads.
3) Use targeted advertising
Targeted advertising is another great way to reach a defined market with your marketing. Beyond social media advertising, targeted advertising allows you to specifically target the people who are most likely to purchase your product or service. This type of advertising is very effective because it ensures that your ads are seen by people who are actually interested in what you have to offer. Google Ads, for instance, uses keywords as a means to determine who sees your ads, but the platform recently added demographic, geographic, and psychometric options for targeting.
Many different platforms offer targeted advertising, so it’s essential to do your research if you want to find the one that best suits your needs. Once you have found a platform that you’re happy with, make sure to create engaging ads that capture the attention of your target audience.
4) Host a giveaway
Hosting a giveaway is a great way to reach a wider audience with your marketing. People love free stuff, so hosting a giveaway is an excellent way to get people’s attention. When you host a giveaway, be sure to promote it heavily on social media and other online platforms. This helps you reach the broadest possible audience. Choosing a giveaway that appeals to your target market delivers the right users to your store or website.
In conclusion, reaching a targeted market with your marketing isn’t all that complicated if you put in the work. There are many different ways to get your message out there, and the key is to find the approach that best suits your needs. By making use of social media, translating your ads, and using targeted advertising, you can significantly increase the number of people who see your marketing messages.
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