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You will need to do the work of studying customers’ likes, dislikes, hopes, fears, and everything in between.
This information will provide the foundation on which you will build your marketing strategy.
Please do not give in to the temptation to skip this step of the process of building your business, as one could argue that you cannot succeed without it.
Create A Client Avatar
One of the most strategic and impactful things you can do to enhance your knowledge of your target market is to develop a client avatar.
This client avatar is also an Ideal Client Profile or a Buyer Persona.
This personal profile describes the characteristics of the customers who are most attracted to the product or service that you offer.
Having this will help guide the marketing process to know exactly what your ideal customer looks like.
Since this process goes into great detail about your potential customers’ interests, you will be able to craft relevant and impactful content tailored to your buyer persona that will convert to sales.
Each piece of content that you create will be tailored to this individual.
Outside of markets with a single supplier, you will have competition.
Competition can be a good thing and a bad thing.
It is good in that other people are successfully doing what you want to do, but bad in that these people have a market share that you would like to grow your business.
Take the time to know your competitors and capitalize on the fact that others have walked the path that you are seeking to walk and learn from what works for them.
Having competition also helps to confirm that there is a market for those particular products and services.
For example, many people want to pick up a quick meal on the way home and not have to cook. There are tons of fast-food restaurants out there, all hoping to help tame those hunger pangs.
In particular, take a look at what strategies competitors are using to appeal to their target audience.
- Are they working?
- How do customers feel about the strategies?
- Which of their approaches are yielding the most benefits?
After doing this investigation, make preparations to apply strategies that are appropriate to your budget and goals.
Lead with Benefits
In developing your marketing plan, there must be diligent consideration given to your product or service’s benefits.
You also need to know what differentiates your products from your competitors.
If you have not started to market your product, it is wise that you spend some time discovering or creating a unique selling proposition (or point) (USP).
A unique selling point simply outlines what it is about your product or business that will influence customers to choose you over your competitors.
Understand Customer Behavior
If you already have customers, congratulations! Having customers is something to celebrate. You have taken an idea from the phase of conceptualization to reality, which is a big deal.
Your work now consists of studying why people are attracted to your products.
Yes, you know the demographic information – how old your customers are, where they are from, and their social status, but what is it that they really like about your business and your product?
To discover this, you can tailor questionnaires with a mixture of closed-ended and open-ended questions so that your customers can supply you with useful information.
When you know why they choose to patronize your business, you will know exactly how to continue to appeal to them and win more customers like these.
Create A Brand Positioning Statement
A brand positioning statement outlines the place your brand seeks to hold in the marketplace. It includes information on who you will be targeting and the benefits of your brand.
This statement is communicated in a brief paragraph.
Take a look at 12 Positioning Statements given as an example in this article.
This statement is not necessarily something that you will be sharing with the outside world. It is used internally to guide the actions and decisions of the company.
It will keep you on track when determining what marketing strategies to employ to increase sales. It also helps to keep the personality of your company consistent for you and your employees.
Ask Your Audience
In learning more about your target audience, you can develop research tools.
These research tools can include questionnaires that ask specific questions about the target audience.
If your business is an online operation, you may need to provide incentives to motivate your target audience members to participate.
A free platform that can help you to do this is Google Forms. Another useful tool is SurveyMonkey. If you have a robust CRM like KEAP, you can automate the process of sending forms and collecting data.
Have a System to Track Your Findings
Survey platforms such as SurveyMonkey provide you with the opportunity to analyze the data collected and review a report.
This makes the process of analyzing the responses of your audience much more manageable. Do not let the data from your research sit on the shelf.
Put these findings into action and make the necessary steps to adjust your operation accordingly.
The Importance of Primary and Secondary Research
Primary research speaks to research that you do on your own without consulting others.
This research includes observation, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
Secondary research speaks to the investigation of findings from prior research.
Secondary research includes analyzing articles, reports, and interviews conducted by others, among other things.
Both forms of research are critical to mastering your target audience and knowing what decisions to make for your business.
It is wise to use a blend of these forms.
Primary research will help to understand your particular business trends, while secondary research may give you a view of the bigger picture.
Constantly Evaluate Your Audience
Researching your audience is not a one-time event. Given the fact that the world and those who live in it are constantly changing, there will always be new ways to approach and appeal to your customers.
With this reality in mind, constantly observe and evaluate your audience. Do this frequently and always be ready to adjust to your audience’s direction within realistic boundaries.
Social Media Behavior
Social media provides the perfect environment to observe and study your target audience. On social media, you will see people posting what they like, supporting their interests by engaging posts, following who they find to be influential, and who provides them with content they deem worthy.
Study your customers’ activities and potential customers on social media and use this information to fuel your approach to reaching your social media plan.
Understanding your target market is a critical part of running your business, whether entirely online or having a brick and mortar store.
Knowing our target market and truly understanding their pain points and how to solve them can be the difference between running a successful business and having to close your doors.