If you have done any research recently on how to use content marketing effectively, you have likely come across the concept of buyer personas.
In fact, developing detailed buyer personas is widely considered to be the first step to successfully engaging prospects via your digital marketing.
However, there’s a far more traditional marketing term, also pertaining to customers, which you need to have clearly defined before you can start on your personas. Your target market.
Here’s a couple of definitions in case your a bit rusty:
Research-based archetypal (modeled) representations of who buyers are, what they are trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behavior, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions, where they buy as well as when buyers decide to buy. (Source: Tony Zambito)
The particular segment of a total population on which the seller focuses its expertise to satisfy that submarket in order to accomplish its profit objective. (Source: American Marketing Association)
Personas and target markets should play complementary roles in managing customer relationships
Defining your target market is useful because it is a first step in reducing the population of potential buyers to smaller groups of the most likely buyers.
Only then can you drill down deeper to understand each segment and, in turn, how to target them with your communications.
Creating buyer personas certainly meets that need, providing clarity that can equip you to better serve current customers and successfully attract new ones.
Identify your target markets before developing more detailed buyer personas. Here’s how:
1. Which company offering you are going to focus on?
Different products and services have a different target audience with different motivations and, as a result, different buyer personas.
2. What problems do you solve?
The starting point in defining the target market for your solution is to understand all the problems that it solves.
- How does it make people’s their lives easier? better?
- What would motivate people to pay for it?
Make a list of these.
3. Who suffers from these problems?
Once you’ve determined which problems you solve, list all the different types of people and organisations that suffer from them.
4. How can these people be grouped?
With this list in hand you can start to group them. For instance, by location or market sector. Define them in as many relevant ways as possible.
- Age Group Gender (M, F, both)
- Location (local, regional, national &/or urban, suburban, rural)
- Marital/Family Status
- Income Level
- Education Level
- Preferred hobbies
5. Who will gain the most from the value in your offer?
Now you’ve started to build up a picture of ALL your potential customers, ask yourself:
- To whom will these problems be most troublesome?
- Who will have the most to lose by not dealing with these issues?
If you can demonstrate that the cost of NOT sorting out the problems is GREATER than the cost of dealing with them, then you are on to a winner!
Remember to take into account aspects like stress and the risk to reputation as well as cost. The value of your offering is influenced by many, many factors.
6. Who would you like to work with?
Rather than trying to be everything to everyone, resources are better spent dominating smaller niche markets. This way it will be easier to build your reputation and gain referrals.
Therefore, out of the segments you have whittled down so far, decide which of these you would like to market to.
Do you want to work with:
- With particular types of people? (men, women, basketball players?)
- In certain geographical locations?
- Around tight market sectors?
7. Do you have any internal strengths?
One way of deciding on the right markets to pursue is to think about your company and your business:
- Do you have particular areas of expertise? For example, have you a lot of experience in particular markets, such as working with lawyers?
- Do you have unique knowledge of a specific geographical area?
- Are you better at getting on with certain types of people?
8. What else is available?
Once you have decided on the segment you’d like to target look at the market to see what else is available. The question you must have an answer to is:
“Why am I uniquely placed to solve the problem for the segment that I am targeting?”
It may be that for some marketplaces there is no answer. However, in certain sectors or geographical locations there may be a compelling response to that question.
If you are unable to answer the question at all, you either have the wrong target market or the wrong offering. In this case, more work will need to be done before you start targeting your potential customers.
Marketing strategy is one of those things where an outside consultant can be a real asset. Here at Stampwood we give a unique, unbiased perspective and help you identify things that you might not otherwise notice.
One of our consultants will be happy to discuss your needs.
Just fill in the form on our Contact Page or give us a call on 01202 805655.