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Thursday, 28 April 2016 13:21

Finding Your Target Market

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Finding Your Target Market
Four Steps to Implement a Reputation Strategy

Definition: Target market - A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services. Staff
Many business owners and entrepreneurs/inventors struggle with identifying their target market. Many times, an entrepreneur develops a solution to a problem that is affecting them personally, without really asking “who” it is for. The owner of business is more likely to attempt to identify a target market and asks, “Who else will this product benefit?” Entrepreneurs that are business owners are usually more invested, monetarily and with resources. They are heading and navigating the work that is required to create successful customer service, sales, and marketing processes.
    You have put in the long hours and finally finished making that killer product or service, but your work is not yet done – now you need to introduce people to this offering. While it is relatively straightforward to develop general advertising for the masses, devoting time and resources to identify more targeted markets can help you maximize your marketing ROI. Chuck Cohn Contributor, Forbes, Feb. 6, 2015
The makeup of the targeted groups dictates the “operations manuals” for the entire business, especially the customer contact areas of business: customer service, sales, and marketing. Without having an accurate compass reading of your customers, you may be targeting the wrong market or a target market that is too broad/wide.
Most business owners want to sell to everyone, which is impossible. We can’t market to everyone, everywhere and all the time. To not overwhelm the process or customers, we break it down into logical steps. These steps will be monitored and updated as the target markets change. The change can be discerning a trend to a new market and changes within a working target market. If the process is done correctly, we will be selling to nearly everyone, everywhere and all the time.
    The Reputation Strategy became relevant after the economy crashed in 2008. Customer behaviors changed, and the reputation of the product, (and the seller), became an important deciding factor in purchasing. The process includes four steps, Discover, Define, Develop and Defend. After the crash in 2008, we switched from a “push” to a “pull” economy; meaning business must have a consumer-centric business plan in place. If not, they need to get one in place, quickly.
Finding your target market is one of many issues addressed in the Discover phase and is critical to building a Reputation Strategy for your business. The fastest and most accurate way to begin is to look at your current clients. A well crafted, non-burdensome survey can build a strong personal relationship with your customers in multipliable ways.

Categories for identifying your target market:
1. Gender
2. Age
3. The third step can be educational levels, income, region, or family makeup – marital status, children, etc. Pick one.
    After the three categories are selected, we can then begin the next phase, Define. During the Define phase, we will determine if these categories will fit into our revenue model and be profitable or viable and within our reach in order to continue to the Develop and Defend phase.
After the categories and steps have been completed, we have a working Reputation Strategy. Businesses have been slow to embrace the Reputation Strategy, but customers are not. The customer’s ability to use the Internet and research has grown exponentially. Businesses are trying to use social media to grow their business, but usually, ignore how customers use it. A trend that continues to grow and get stronger is the buying process people use, and it is usually, the deciding factor includes feedback and opinions from friends and family. A well researched Discovery step in the Reputation Strategy will include any and all new trend in the buying process. Does yours?

Last modified on Thursday, 28 April 2016 13:36
Pamela Gockley

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