Once you have a product in your hands, who do you sell it to? You must identify your Target Consumer. It’s virtually impossible to market to every single person out there! You would be spending huge amounts of money and most would be wasted because they aren’t the people who are likely to spend money with your business anyway. Get your product (or service) in front of the right people to grow your customer base and build a loyal following.
So how to do you find this ideal target consumer or market? Identify the wants and needs your product is addressing. All consumers buy a product because they really like it or they must have it because it solves a pain point for them (i.e. they need it).
The best way to explain this is with an example.
If your business sells sun protective clothing for children, what are the needs and wants you are addressing? Here is a list:
- Stops children being sun burnt.
- Don’t have to apply sunscreen to those areas of the body.
- Cool patterns and designs. (some consumers may just want these clothes for their kids regardless of the health benefits)
- Quick drying materials.
From the above list you could definitely start thinking about your target consumer. Here is an example of a profile you might assume from the above:
- Young kids are not buying their own clothes, so the main buyers would be mothers of young children, approximately 28-40 years old.
- They’re more likely to choose sun safe beach/outdoor clothing.
- They enjoy spending time outdoors with their children (this might give you ideas for blogs, social media content around outdoor activities to do with your kids).
- They’re fashion conscious.
- Cost is not a huge driver for their purchase, as they want to ensure the products are safe and deliver on their advertised benefits.
You could run some cost-effective or even free research to understand more about the demographics of your target consumer, but this is a good start. With this information you can find out where these consumers hang out. I’d start with Facebook groups for Mums who perhaps live in seaside suburbs. Join the groups and interact. Some groups might allow you to conduct surveys. Find out who is most likely to buy your product, what areas do they live in, how many kids do they have, what jobs do they or their partners have? The more information you have the better.
It might feel like you are narrowing down to a very niche group. This doesn’t mean you can’t market to people outside the group (assuming you have the budget to do so). Having a niche target market just makes it easier for you to direct your marketing efforts to those who are more likely to become loyal customers. Imagine if you find out that your target market actually are more likely to have above the average number of children! You could, for example, send out an email campaign offering a ‘family discount’ if they buy 2 or more items.
Start with needs and wants. Perhaps there are pain points that you had, which prompted you to start your business in the first place. The more you know about your target consumer the easier it is to speak their language. Focus your content on things they enjoy and will relate to. It will also make it easier to get feedback for potential future product lines and product improvements.