With this cutting edge competition, it’s always very essential to have a clear view on what your target market should be. The fact cannot be denied, everyone in the broader market cannot be targeted. You can segment your target audience according to industry, set of people or age group. It can also be a particular region you may want to target.
Who in the business doesn’t want to increase their customer base, what do you think is important for increasing your customer base? The answer is very simple; you just need to have a clear vision of your best-fit target audience. Setting up a target market can also make way for small businesses to compete with larger peers by focusing on niche market. Most of the people often go with generalized market segmentation. Like their target can be anyone interested in their services, some target small business owners, house owners or house wives.
Targeting your buyers doesn’t mean that you have to refrain from others to buy your services. Rather it gives you a chance to concentrate to specific market or audience that is more likely to buy your products or services. This way is considered much more effective, efficient and affordable way to reach the targeted audience. Having a clear view of target audience, it makes easy to determine where and how you can market your company.
Here are some tips for determining your target audience (in B2B scenario)
- Analyze your products or services: – Jot down the list of your products or services and put down the benefits of the products or services. Through these benefits it will be easy for you to come up with the list of people or industry that will need your products or services.
- Horizontal or Vertical – is your product/ service for across all industries or has specific value propositions in certain industries
- Generic or Point : does it cater to an overall business requirement (e.g. ERP) or specific function
- Department or Organization wide – continuing above point, do you cater to a broader audience within an organization or cater to a specific department
- Role fit – do you cater to pain areas of a generalist/evangelist (e.g. General Manager, Vice President, etc.) or executive role (e.g. CEO, CFO, etc.) or specific role (e.g. Network Administrator, Information Security, etc.)
- Global or Local – can you server specific local market, broader global market or mix of both as required
- What are complementary and supplementary offerings available in the market – this would give a clear direction of your potential target and your positioning
- Analyze your current customer base: – While analyzing your current customer database one question is very important that you have to ask yourself. The question goes like why do your customers buy from you? After you seek an answer to it you can definitely look for the common interests and characteristics. Also you can find out which ones among the crowd brings you more business and can other people like them can opt for your product or services. For e.g. what’s the most common revenue ranges or employee range or industry segment, etc. This is how you can determine ‘sweet spots’ to hit with your business proposition.
- Keep an eye on your competitors: – If you want to make space for you in the market, it’s very necessary to have knowledge about what your competitor is doing be it new acquisitions, mergers or new launch of products or services. Through this you can find out who are the target markets of your competitors, their current customers. In that list you should check out for any of your own ‘sweet spot’ (as evaluated above) as well as other clear niche categories.
- Rethink on your target market: – Once you decide your target market, go back and think on it will the people fit into your criteria, are your products or services affordable to them, is your target market easily accessible and can you put across your message to them. It’s also imperative to honestly answer the questions ‘can we match the expectations of this kind of prospects’ or ‘Can our solutions match fulfill their requirements’. If the answer to this is ‘yes’ – you have arrived at your conclusion in defining an ideal target market for you.
And once you decide your ideal targets, what’s next? You would require a starting point (read accurate and relevant database). Think SMARTe!