Simply put, your target market is your customer. The success of your business relies on how well you understand and respond to your customer. In order to understand your customer, you should first get to know their demographics and their psychology.
What is your customer's gender? How old are they? Where do they live? What is their annual income? What kinds of jobs do they have? Are they business owners? Are they in college? Are they married? Do they have children? Do they have pets? Do they own a car? Do they ride bicycles or use public transportation?
Do they like to shop online? Do they like to shop in person? at the mall? at flee markets? at craft fairs? at trade shows? at farmer's markets? Are they concerned with shopping local? or buying recycled products? Do they buy handmade? What are their hobbies? Are they crafters? What books to they like to read? Do they like to exercise? If so, would they go to the gym? a yoga class or just go for a jog in the neighborhood?
These are a ton of questions and I am sure you can come up with questions of your own. The answers you get from these questions help you define our target market. A well defined target market helps you develop our product. In Marketing on a Budget, we discussed that let your customers tell you what they need. They help develop your products into valuable solutions for their specific needs.
Knowing your target market helps you develop a business plan. In What is a Business Plan, we learn that investors want to know who is your customer. They want to see if your products and target market are a good match. In other words, they want to know if you've done your research. In Retail Start Up, we see how knowing your customer can help you decide what kind of shop to open and where. For example, some people don't shop online, while others live by it.
Our target market also helps us with our marketing strategy. For example, Facebook allows you to choose the gender, age, location and even the interests of the people who see our posts. If you choose wisely, you can get post clicks and likes on your Fan Page, and increase your chances of making a sale. You can also decide if Facebook is even the right place for your business to advertise. Maybe the right place is at the gym, or on a blog you know your customer reads.
There are tons of free resources that can help you learn about your customer. If you have a Facebook Fan Page, Facebook keeps track and sorts all of your customer's demographic information. You can learn lot about your customers on the insights tab of your Fan Page. If you have a website, you can use Google Analytics to glean demographics and also learn about your customer's interests. Some websites have a built in features that helps gather this information as well. You can also conduct surveys on your website or in person.
So, how do you learn more about your customer?