It never ceases to amaze me how vague people are about their target market. Many would say that they have a clearly defined one, but when questioned it leaves a lot to be desired.
I try hard to explain what I mean by a target market, as it is a little different to how many others talk about it.
A target market is a group of people with common characteristics – be that age, sex, occupation, geography or other distinctions. This is a commonly held definition of a target market.
However, my target market explanation goes deeper. To me your target market is the sweet spot where these three elements converge:
- Your Target market
- Your Niche
- Your Ideal Client
Let me explain. I have given a definition of a target market, but in much marketing parlance the terms “target market” and “niche” are used interchangeably. To me that is absolute nonsense!
In my world, your niche is the specialist service or product that you provide to your target market.
Also, your ideal clients are the people that you are meant to serve. We all know the people we do our best work with – and in contrast, those who drain us and we find it hard to resonate with them. You do your best work with those you resonate best with.
The reasons why you should be really specific about your target market are very clear:
- It allows you to be laser focused with all your marketing activities
- You know where they gather online and offline.
- You will have total understanding of their needs and expectations
- They have their own network and you can get referrals form that network
- You can be seen as an expert in that field.
- You are clearly dedicated to serve them
- It is an effective use of your resources.
Any one of those points merits discussing further. However, in this piece I want to help you define your target market.
Let’s start with a blank sheet and work through these questions:
- What groups do I most relate to and get really excited about working with them?
- What groups have I already got clients in and know quite a number of people in them?
- What groups am I most knowledgeable about?
- What groups would fascinate me to learn more about them?
Now let’s look inside ourselves:
- At work what am I most passionate about?
- What natural talents do I bring?
- What aspects of my work am I most expert in?
- What hobbies, interests or past times would help me connect with my target market?
- What experiences have I had that would resonate with my target market?
When you look at the answer to those questions, a pattern will begin to emerge.
To do your best work you must work with a target group that you relate to, will enjoy spending time with, and where they will resonate with you.
Also, you must enjoy the subject matter that that target market deals with, as you will need to spend time studying it so that you can truthfully set yourself up as an expert.
It is tough work to study material you have no interest in – no matter how attractive that target market looks like from a distance!
Spend time with this and reflect upon it – but herein lies your clear target market!
One word of warning – be very, very specific! High net worth people are not a target market – too broad! Self employed is not a target market – again too broad. Don’t use generic terms – be very specific.
One example I have given previously is a motor mechanic I know. His target market is clear – he only deals with Audis and Mercedes cars in his local area. Guess where he lives? France! Not the home of Audis or Mercedes!
Make your target market as tight as possible.
Now, let’s move on to your niche.
What is your niche? I said earlier that your niche is the specialized service you provide to your target market.
Now that you have identified your target market, the question is – what is the No 1 benefit that this target market will enjoy as a result of working with you?
That is your niche!
Now you have a clear target market, and a clear niche. Now you have a clear marketing message.