Identifying and reaching your target market :-
Segmentation and targeting are the most important tools for any business to develop and grow.
A basic explanation of market segmentation and targeting would mean rooting out the most relevant group of customers, whose needs your product can satisfy.
When you have a product or service to offer, the second most important step, the first one being creating the offering, is to establish who your customer is. What need does your product offer and whose requirements will be fulfilled by your product. Once you have answers to these questions you are ready to directly target this group and create a profitable business.
The process of segregating the market is simple.
Create your offering :
Conduct substantial market research to segment the mass market into various segments.
Target the markets most relevant to your product.
Position your product as a need fulfilling offering within that target market.
In common marketing language, the process is referred to as STP.
The market :
The market can by and large be viewed as a group of people who have similar needs. A fundamental concept that one has to remember while understanding a market is that it is external to your business.
Focus on your customer, understand they have needs which they are willing to satisfy through monetary exchange and understand what drives them to pick your offering over others.
Do not focus on your product and create a market around it – focus on your target market and position your product based on their needs.
Market Segmentation methods :
The general group of customers can be segmented in the following ways:
The most basic: Market Demographics
This includes variables such as : Age, Income, Gender, Social Status, Marital Status, Geographic Location, Education and other basic differentiations.
The next step: Psychographic Segmentation
This breaks down your consumer group on the basis of variables such as: Sensitivity towards price, Brand Preferences, Hobbies, Lifestyle Patterns, Purchase behaviour – whether they are trend followers or trend setters, Spontaneity etc
Another step involves Behavioural Segmentation: Purchase History, Where your customer shop, The type of store preference, association memberships.
This will help you create a transaction environment that puts your customer at ease.
The next step is the most important – Targeting
It is important to distinguish between targeting and segmenting. Segmentation is the step that precedes Targeting. While selecting a target market, the segmenting procedure is completely different.
The basis of evaluation include indicators such as: Is the market accessible, there is no point in finding the right market which does not allow easy entry. Is the market growing and is there scope for profit? Is the market sizeable and measurable? Also, does the firm have the resources and capability to meet the demands of this segment.
Identify the segments and compare them to check which one is the most profitable to your firm. You need to view each target group as an individual opportunity, continuously evaluating the worth of each segment.
In an age where technology advances with a blink of an eye, the latest and fastest method to target your audience is through the digital space.
Once you have identified your target group, the next step is to evaluate their online personality. Where do they spend their time online and how do they spend their time online.
At the end of the day humans turn to social media to interact with other individuals. Understand this, as it is a detrimental for your brand to survive online.
Connect on platforms that your customers and prospective customers are already engaging on. Sound as real as possible. A super smart way of directly targeting the most relevant consumer group is through Google Adwords ad Facebook advertising. Beyond this there are tons of online marketing tools which help you identify interests, likes, habits relevant to your consumers. These online advertising tools collect a database full of information that could be useful to you. However these are all paid for services.
Another way to connect with your target group online is through blogs. Write about topics that your consumer is interested in. Topics relevant to both your customer and your brand, correlating the two, if your content is interesting, you will automatically be able to secure organic reach on search engines. The main objective here is to find the right keywords.
Putting up real testimonials from satisfied customers and answering doubts expressed by others directly helps prospective consumers get a holistic idea of your brand. A lot of their questions get answered through these testimonials, helping them spot your brand as genuine.
Engage with customers on a regular basis by joining twitter discussions on topics relevant to your brand. Acknowledge shout outs on social media and invest some time in brand listening.
Overall, segmentation and targeting is very important. Speaking to the right audience can increase your ROI irrespective of the medium you chose to engage your audience with. Spend some time in research, strategizing and planning before you plunge into any market. Listen to what your customers are saying and see how you can tailor your product to suit their needs.
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