Published July 20, 2009

How to Find Your Target Market

For any type of business, directly targeting your niche customers is the best way to build a strong client base and maximize on earnings. Promoting your business, products and services to anybody and everybody is a tired approach to marketing that doesn't work. The key to success in modern business is finding a target audience and tailoring marketing and advertising to meet their specific needs.

How do you determine your target audience? A target market analysis is a great first step. Your target audience is made up of individuals who are genuinely interested in what your small business has to offer. They have cash in hand, a sincere willingness to learn about your products and services, as well as compare them to other offerings on the market.

One way to gather information for a target market analysis is to perform a survey of existing customers. The survey might include questions about the following:

  • Basic Demographic Data
  • Household Income & Spending Habits
  • Shopping Preferences (i.e. online, in-store, phone ordering, etc.)
  • Frequency of Purchasing
  • Frequency of Product/Service Use

A target market analysis will reveal a great deal about the people who are already making use of your products and services. The key is to transform the results into a viable marketing strategy that will allow you to start targeting customers. Here are some other ways that you can perform a comprehensive target market analysis to hone in on a target audience and maximize efficiency when it comes to marketing and advertising:

Get feedback from your customers. The best way to get to know your target audience is by learning about your existing audience. This can be done via question and answer forums or discussion boards on your company website. In the store, you can use the survey method or simply arm your employees with questions to chat with customers at the checkout.

The information you gather from your customers will be valuable in shaping your marketing and advertising campaigns. For example, if a cashier asks a new customer how they found out about your store, the answer can be keyed into a database that will allow you to track which forms of advertising are most effective. Based on the results, you will know where to effectively advertise to your target audience.

Analyze data regarding purchasing trends. You can discover a great deal about your target audience by analyzing the sales data for your company. For example, certain times of year may generate more sales volume than others. By examining this data carefully, you can learn to make predictions about spending habits and start targeting customers more aggressively during these times of year.

Track marketing and advertising results. Results of marketing and advertising campaigns will tell you a great deal about the members of your target audience. You can distribute coupons in specific areas or tailor niche advertisements with special, "track-able" features. For example, a radio ad that says, "Mention this ad and receive an extra 10% discount" is very effective for tracking purposes.

A target market analysis will put you and your small business on the right track toward identifying and targeting customers. Your customers are your key to success, therefore exercise diligence and strategy when developing a marketing campaign and gather information about your target audience.