11 Steps to Figure Out Your Target Market

Published: 11th May 2010
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Will your business succeed or fail? Your customers will ultimately determine the success of your company. That said, before launching your start-up, figure out who your target market is. With a little market research, using a simple strategy, you can discover what your potential customers want and what will make them want to buy. 

FedStats, "Statistics of U.S. Businesses" from the Census Bureau and the Small Business Administration's Office of Economic Research are all internet resources that you can use to to learn more about your customer base, so that you can cater to their interests and needs.

In addition, your local library can be a terrific data bank, including comprehensive sources such as the Lifestyle Market Analyst, the Marketers Guide to Media (published by Adweek), the Official Guide to Household Spending and the Marketing List Source - just to name a few.

How does your market like to shop, and where do they buy? If you know some customer traits, like how much money and free time your market has, you can use this information to find out the answer. Which activities your prospects do in their spare time and their interests outside of work can tell you where their real interests lie. This will determine how your advertising and marketing budget is best spent.

A small amount of time spent doing market research beforehand can save you literally thousands of dollars in ineffective promotional tactics. Get into your customers' shoes! Get to know their concerns so you can deliver specifically what they're looking for. This is also a great strategy to get a competitive advantage over your competitors.

Some of the questions you want to answer about your market:

1. Are you targeting retail, residential or commercial markets? 
2. Are the people you are trying to reach male or female? 
3. What is the average age of your target market? 
4. What is their average family size? 
5. What is the average income bracket? 
6. Where does your target market congregate and where do they normally shop? 
7. Where are they located geographically? 
8. Do your potential customers live in apartments or houses or rural areas? 
9. Which radio stations, tv shows and magazines do they get their information from? 
10. What type of work do they do? 
11. What are their interests outside of work? 

Once you have a detailed and accurate description of your target market, you are ready to start on product development and ad campaigns that will match the interests and needs of your market. 

Have you heard the famous quote by John Maxwell? "People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care." Market research and understanding your target marketing can be a great advantage to your business.

Market Research is the first step of 20 in the "Business Start-Up Checklist", which you can get for free from HomeBusinessCenter.com.

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