The decision to become an entrepreneur is exciting — and congratulations on joining the ranks! As a Romain Berg member, you will get to know that we are in this together in the realm of business operations — and we are excited about our partnership!
There are many subtle nuances in building your business from the ground up, and one of the most common and important questions one must ask is who my clients are — and where do I find them. Exploring your specific target market is crucial in your business development plan.
What defines a “target market”?
The term target market indicates the market you target your product or services to. Pretty simple, right? Not quite.
You see, you already have your business idea developed, so you aren’t going to build it around a particular market, but the other way around.
Shopify defines the target market as “A target market is a group of consumers or organizations most likely to buy a company’s products or services.” You may be thinking that your product or service is for everyone, so universal and great that humanity, in general, has a great need for it.
While that may be true, and your audience may be vast, that’s not indicative that you still don’t need to find your target audience.
Who is your consumer?
Your product or service is versatile and innovative. It is a game-changer. However, is your next-door neighbor, the local technology company, or entertainment producer going to use it? Or some other industry or demographic?
Narrowing in on who truly needs or wants your product or service is key to further developing your marketing plan to identify your target market. As we mentioned, you could have a product or service that could be for nearly everyone. Ensuring that you target specific groups or subgroups within your niche market will help make sure you don’t overspend on a marketing budget.
One of the best ways to narrow down your true, core audience is to remember why you are offering this product or service to begin with. Would you be a client? If so, what is it that draws you as a consumer? Finding the common denominators will allow you to discover your audience and thus market to them directly.
Research makes all the difference.
We know you have already spent a great deal of time and energy in researching your niche market to create a solid business plan.
We also know you must wow your investors with reliable data and traction demonstrating product-market fit to help determine the proper path of success in growth. Part of this integral research should encompass your niche market.
There are many moving parts to this research to the discovery process. Just a few will be:
- Who is using your product and service currently? You’ve likely already been building a base and successfully marketing to some existing customers. Execute some solid research surveys with them and your list of potential customers to determine where your triggers of success are and your areas of opportunity. Most importantly, are the dogs eating the dog food?
- Look at all the graphics. Demographics, geographical regions, and psychographics all lend to the formulation of a specific marketing plan. Data collection from these and other areas like current market trends and search engine analytics strengthens your formula.
- Who is your competition? No one likes a copycat, and that isn’t what’s being suggested at all. We know your business is unique and that Romain Berg celebrates innovation! However, evaluating your competition to find out where there may be holes in their marketing, leaving spots for you to fill, could be vital to success.
Compare and contrast.
Now that you have done great market research into zeroing in on who your audience is, you should be able just to start your marketing game, right? Not quite yet.
Gathering all this data was a valuable and important use of your time and resources, but we need to narrow it down even further.
Compare the demographics to the geographic areas. Then evaluate the needs of those even further.
Determine from there if different groups fit different criteria needs within your niche. Consider outliers like personality types of your profiled audience and whether there is truly more than one audience.
Do not discount important tools like Google Analytics for SEO and SEM. Counting invaluable data collecting tools will help keep your marketing plan on target in the perfect market for your niche. It also enables you to compare and contrast what has worked for your current consumers to implement your new consumers’ appropriate strategy.
Social media will play a big part in growing your market — regardless of your product or service market. There is a platform out there that will work for all lines of business in today’s economy, so utilizing their benefits is a large part of developing and cultivating your target market. Please do plenty of research on which platforms (likely multiple of them) will benefit your business best.
Market maintenance is important.
You’ve got a solid plan in place, and you started implementing it. Your consumer and client base is growing. Word of mouth is spreading, and things are going well. Your goals are being met with achievement, and you are feeling great!
It’s important to understand clearly, however, that the market — whatever market you are in — is constantly evolving and fluid. This ebb and flow of every market means that you will need to be flexible in your particular market evaluations. These evaluations will need to occur often and thoroughly — we suggest a quarterly review and an annual deep dive.
As part of these regular evaluations, make sure you are surveying your growing audience to ensure your target is still on point and valid. Prepare to make changes to your strategies depending on the market and your audience’s needs.
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The Twin Cities, and far beyond, benefits well from the influence of Romain Berg and members like you. The collaboration of events, speakers, and informative content between our members and us can help your business operations flourish and thrive.
Make sure to make as much as possible out of this awesome collaboration by staying in touch regularly!