It’s a well-known fact that over half of all new businesses fail. The number one reason? Most new businesses are not in touch with their customers. That is, they fail to identify a target group or their marketing strategy is too broad.

The secret to success is in the specifics. But how do you narrow your focus? That’s where we come in. We’re going to outline a simple step by step process you can use to identify your target group so you can increase those sales immediately.

Step 1: Outline the Benefits of Your Product

Before you look at any data, you have to know what your product does. Analyze the perks that your customers will enjoy if they buy from you. You could even list the benefits of the perks.

For example, let’s say you run an online tutoring service. One of the advantages is you give a child a stress-free learning environment. The benefit is that the child is now more confident in school.

With this example, we also have a general base for our target group: parents. That’s still too broad, but at least we have a starting point.

The other way to get a general idea of your audience — look at your competition. See what products their customers are buying, and who’s buying them. List what your product offers that the competition doesn’t.

For example, let’s say you’re in the coffee grind. An excellent way to scout the competition is to go to their store. Take notes on what customers buy. What’s the most popular drink? How old are the customers? Does this shop offer WiFi?

Answering these questions will let you know what works and what doesn’t.

Step 2: Narrow Your Target Group

When you have a basic understanding of who might benefit from your product, it’s time to hone in on them. Demographics play a big role here. You can separate your customers into several categories based on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income Level
  • Education Level
  • Marital Status
  • Occupation

While you don’t have to consider every group, picking two or three will help you narrow your focus.

Remember the online tutoring service? The general target group for that product is parents, but you can narrow that down to parents with children of a certain age. Let’s use 5-18. That age group can then be broken down by grade level, and you can adjust your content marketing to fit each one. You can get even more detailed by offering courses for non-English speakers and market to them as well.

But be careful. You don’t want to go too far. Make sure enough people fall into your target group or else you won’t sell to too many people.

The other thing to consider that will narrow your focus is psychographics. Here you’re looking at the personal characteristics of your target group such as:

  • Personality
  • Lifestyle
  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Attitude
  • Values
  • Behavior

Let’s go back to the coffee shop. You’re near a college campus, so your primary customers are likely students aged 18-22. Since they lead a busy lifestyle, marketing your shop as a place to relax would appeal to them. You could even adjust the interior design of your store to reflect this tactic. For instance, using an Asian zen theme. Most college kids also have a lot of homework to do, often on a laptop. You could offer free WiFi, and market your shop as a place to work too.

Step 3: Get to Know Your Audience

Now that you’ve identified your target group, you need to get to know them. You can understand your audience in several different ways. Let’s look at a few.

1) Surveys

Surveys are an excellent way to gather demographical data. It’s pretty simple, too.

You can create surveys for email using tools like Survey Monkey or incorporate it into your Facebook marketing campaign. The metrics obtained from these studies allow you to see the positive responses to your product. You can also find out if you should change up your strategy.

2) Forums and Blogs

Another way to get to know your target audience is to go where they go. Forums like Quora or Reddit are where customers go to ask questions or vent problems. By visiting these sites, you can see what everyone’s talking about.You can also view how your product will answer their questions.

Use blogs in conjunction with forums to understand your audience. Most often, blogs contain articles relevant to your particular market. Analyzing these posts, as well their comment sections, will give you an idea of what appeals to your target group. If you’re feeling confident, you can even contact the blogger and have them review your product. In this way, you can gauge audience reaction and start a dialogue with them.

3) Your Network

Maybe you have a friend or a co-worker that falls into your market. You can ask them questions such as “would you use this?” or “do you have a need for this?”. Have them try out your product for a few weeks. See how they use it and for what. They may offer insight that you never thought of. The primary goal is to get as many diverse opinions as possible that way you can prepare for every possibility.

Step 4: Market Your Product

Now that you’ve identified your prospective customers, you need to let them know about your product. Choose marketing strategies that appeal to them (i.e. social media, email, blog posts, etc.). If you’ve done everything right, then you can sit back and watch the ROI rise to the skies.

Conclusion

Business isn’t a walk in the park. You won’t succeed if you hide in a cave away from the world. By knowing your target group, you can ensure sustainable profits and a satisfied customer base.

Do you have another way to identify audience targets? Or do you have any questions about starting a business? Leave a comment below. We’re always looking for more ways to help you.