If you’re immersing yourself in the world of marketing, brands and advertising, hoping for that first step on the career ladder, you will have no doubt come across the term –‘ target market’.
In many interviews or assessment days it’s likely that you’ll need to deliver a plan for a product or service by reaching out to the ‘target market’. To create a successful marketing strategy you must take time to figure out who you are marketing to. If you neglect this, you will fall at the first hurdle of your job hunt.
Here are 5 simple steps you need to consider when defining your ‘target market’. Through focused and more consistent marketing communications, you’ll be able to demonstrate to prospective employers that you have what it takes for a career in marketing.
1. Describe your customers
Essentially you must understand who your ideal customer is and what similarities they have. Define your customers with the following criteria:
- Demographics – their age, gender, income, type of profession, locations
- Psychographics – their personality type and preferences
- Behaviour – their similar likes and dislikes, sports and hobbies
2. What interests your customers?
Find the places your customers are attracted to, whether it’s a physical location, a print medium or an online publication or forum where they engage and interact:
- Where do they relax? At the coffee shop, at a museum, a restaurant, or maybe a cinema?
- What do they read? Is it tabloid newspapers or broadsheets? Gossip magazines or maybe lifestyle magazines? Are they likely to purchase the next Dan Brown bestseller or the latest Russell Brand biography?
- What do they search for online? Perhaps it’s holiday destinations as they travel a lot or maybe it’s reviews and recommendations about the latest film and theatre productions
3. Understand consumers purchasing habits
Review the needs and benefits that make your customers purchase the product or service in question.
- Where do they begin their research and how do they go about locating the product? Are they likely to look in the local paper, get a recommendation from a friend or perhaps sign up to a special offer on a website?
- What exactly is their problem or need?
- What are the benefits to finding a solution? How will the product make their life better?
4. Connect with current customers
If the product you’re working on has a loyal network of customers, talk to them! This will give you valuable insight into what made them select the product or service in the first place. Conduct interviews, market research and questionnaires. Sometimes it may be difficult to get your customers to take part, which is why incentivising them to participate with a coupon for a discount or entry into a competition is a great way to encourage them participate.
5. Create client/customer profiles
Create customer profiles that describe specific traits of your current clients. Ensure that the profiles are tangible, so that you can envisage the customer and what motivates them to interact with your product. In this instance, you could include visuals and images which will help to create these individuals. It’s important these findings are documented and agreed on by colleagues so that you’re ensuring there is consistency . This is important for the long-term success of your customer growth – each team member needs to be working towards the same goals in order to achieve them.