Lots of business owners know their product and can go on for days about its design — but they can’t tell you a thing about who’s going to buy it.
They may think they have that part figured out. "Well, it’s for busy moms who want to relax but don’t have time!"
Awesome. But I’m sorry, which busy moms exactly? The ones that are busy homeschooling their kids? Or the ones busy shuttling their kids back and forth from one activity to the next after private school? Or maybe you meant the moms who are busy working three jobs to keep food on the table and lights turned on for their families?
Define Your Target audience, and Be Specific
Defining your target market is everything. Maybe your product would help all busy moms, but will all busy moms want it? And can all busy moms afford it?
Of course not!
If you’re selling to the Mercedes SUV-driving mom with her kids in private school, she’s got a lot more cash to spend on relaxation than the mom struggling to feed her kids. Even if you decide to go after both markets, you’re going to price them differently (at least!).
Your business was started to solve a certain problem, right? So, whose problem is it solving?
Study Study Study – Then Study Some More
Most articles will tell you to define your market according to age, income, gender, occupation, marital status. That’s great — you should do that — but how exactly?
To effectively define your target market, go out and observe your target market. In fact, we’re not even going to call it a target market. We’re going to talk about your ideal customer. How much money does your ideal customer want to shell out to buy your product?
You don’t even have to imagine the answer if you get inside their head. You can find that answer by studying everything from the phone they use to the TV shows they watch, the cars they drive, the activities they do on the weekend and how they spend their summers.
Maybe it sounds crazy, but that’s how the best marketing works. You know they’ll buy your product because you know their lives. You know their problems and frustrations. You know what they enjoy. You know something about their spending habits — enough to know whether they’d be willing to spend the money you want them to on the product you’re selling them.
Why You Should Pay $8 for a Dozen Eggs
Think about something you bought recently that you bought only because something better wasn’t available. What made you buy it? What change would have made you a willing (instead of reluctant) customer?
Not too long ago, one of our team members, Anna, told us a story about her shopping at the grocery store for eggs. "I'm a hippie, crunchy, paleo-eating type that shops the perimeters of grocery stores and scoffs at egg cartons that boast 'vegetarian fed.' Nice try, marketers. I think to myself. I know that chickens aren’t vegetarians. They should be eating worms and insects — and if they’re not, it’s because they’re not outside and those aren’t eggs I want to buy. But of course I bought them anyway. I didn’t have any other choice."
But one day, Anna said came across a carton she'd never seen before. It looked like it had been designed by hand (instead of a graphic designer) and the carton said “pasture-raised,” “tended by hand on small farms,” and “freedom to forage outdoor year round.” Was it too good to be true?
She said opened it up to find a tiny slip of paper — about the size of a post-it note — sitting atop 12 gorgeous brown eggs. The paper was made to look like a tiny newspaper talking about the ethically, naturally raised chickens on a little farm in Austin, Texas. At that very moment she was sold — and said she's been buying those expensive $8 eggs ever since.
"This Company Gets Me" — How to Win Loyal Customers
You see, Anna didn’t care how much about the cost of those eggs because she valued high-quality food that is locally-sourced and sustainably produced.
She knew that “freedom to forage” was code for “these chickens eat bugs!” and that being outdoors year-round meant the chicken was being treated well and that its eggs were delivering maximum nutrient value.
The clincher, though, was the little tiny newspaper with the picture of the chickens. It took extra time and expense to add this little slip of paper into each carton. This company did it to establish trust with their audience. Many companies may claim to be good to their animals, or advertise things like “vegetarian fed” to try to win a certain audience over. But showing your ideal customer that you value them through your product, shows them they are also valued.
When your company values are aligned with your target audience and communicated effectively, you'll win loyal customers.
You want your customers to say, “This company gets me.”
Daniel Griggs is a non-tech founder who's made his way into the tech industry. He's a savvy business guy with an approach that involves creating strategies that focuses on people first, then using digital platforms to connect those companies with a solution to their problem. He is the founder and CEO of ATX Web Designs, a web design, SEO, and digital marketing agency