How To Better Specify Your Online Target Market

Are you truly targeting your customer base? Find out how market segmentation can help you better define your target market consumer.

In your attempt to build your online marketing strategy, you must have a written, descriptive target market. A confirmed and documented target consumer gives you the ability to aim your marketing efforts like a laser beam at your end buyer, as well as form tactical strategies that are more likely to reach your intended customer.

In order to formulate a proper target market description, you need to know important details about your target market. Most small business owners consider basic demographic data sufficient enough to describe a target market. However, there is much more data you should use in order to create a strategic target market report. Breaking down demographics into more detailed, specific, and quantifiable target areas is called market segmentation. Important market segments for small business owners to consider include:

  • Basic Demographics
  • Geographic Basis
  • Lifestyles
  • Interest Groups
  • Life Stages


Basic Demographics

Basic demographic data, while too general to define a true target market, is some of the most important data you can start with and is most readily available. This type of data helps you define your general, all-around consumer in terms of sex, age, education, income, family size, and occupation.

You can easily get free demographic data about your region, city, and even neighborhood from the government census website at Census.gov. The information provided here can help you find the right location for your business in your city by getting the basic picture of population, median income and education, and even housing and public transportation.

You can also get great help online to find out which of your target demographic uses which social media through sites like Alexa.com or QuantCast.com.


Geographic Basis

Geographic demographics, or geographics, are not just about what cities or regions your target market resides. Geographics helps you specify target market information down to zip codes, neighborhoods, and more, including:

  • Suburbs
  • Middleburbs
  • Inner suburbs
  • Uptown
  • Midtown
  • Urban
  • Rural
  • City cores
  • Affluent areas

If you have a brick and mortar business drawing customers from specific types of demographics living in one of these types of geographic areas, geographics can be of tremendous help.

As well, online social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare offers services to help you market to users in specific geographical areas.


Lifestyles

Lifestyles breaks your target market consumer into a segment that shares similar activities, opinions, or interests. Consumer with similar lifestyles will have shared attitudes toward the products and services you sell, and you want those attitudes to be positive ones.

You can use survey or industry data to help you figure if your target market segment enjoys:

  • Fashion
  • Fine dining
  • Travel/Vacation
  • Intellectual services
  • Fun and Games

Use your research data to define more lifestyle types useful to your small business.


Interest Groups

Perhaps you can separate a segment in which you can market to specific interests like:

  • Automotive
  • Beauty/cosmetic/fashion
  • Computers
  • Finance/Money
  • Arts and Entertainment
  • Health
  • Recreation
  • Sports

Browsing the magazines on your newsstand can help you see to whom these types of interests spend their marketing efforts.


Life Stages

Life stages are important for target market consideration because this tells you what your consumer is doing with their life based on their age range. Different life stages have a very different pattern of spending, and that is important for you to know depending on the type of product or service you sell.

Think of the following life stages for your business:



Children


– While this segment does not earn their own money, they spend plenty of their parents. Do you sell products/services like children’s toys, indoor play rooms, food, etc?



Married with children


– And on the subject of children, how about if you sell children’s furniture, activities, safety products?



Young unmarried adult


– 20-somethings like to enjoy life. Are you ready to market to those who crave the latest fashion, vacation and travel, recreation, entertainment, etc?



Empty nesters


– Parents with children out of the house have more spendable income on travel, vacation, cruises, fine dining, automobiles, etc.



Retired


– Perhaps you want to sell your warmer climate to those wishing to be snow birds? Or perhaps you have medical services or products that are aimed at this type of segment?

Getting specific on your target market segments can help you develop better strategies for marketing both on traditional advertising media and online. Use online demographic tools and service to help you find the best way to get your message to your target consumer through social media. It will help you save money and earn more in the long run.

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