When you start a business and open your doors, you’re probably willing to accept any customer who will write you a check or give you their credit card number. But getting someone to hand over a hard-earned dollar is harder than you think. To find prospects out there who are willing to part with their money for your services and products, you need to define and segment your target market.
Researched correctly, you will know what your customers look like and what they want, rather than simply guessing. This is the measurement, or empirical, approach to marketing with which many startups find success. So why spend precious time and energy formally defining your target market? Here are three good reasons why.
1. It saves you boatloads of cash.
This is a lesson I learned the hard way. Going for the biggest market segment possible is NOT free — you’ll spend a lot more money to get the reach and retargeting you may need. Instead, sending a targeted message to a smaller, well-defined audience via the most effective channel(s) is a much smarter use of your marketing budget.
2. You’re more likely to connect with customers as individuals.
In addition to saving on costs, targeting in general — and developing and using well-defined personas specifically — all help you connect with potential clients as you learn more about them. A persona is simply a representation of the type of customer most likely to buy your product or service, and the more detailed the persona, the better you will understand them. This in-depth knowledge will help you make connections and allow you to “get” them as individuals, rather than as a faceless member of an aggregate group of “customers.”
3. It improves internal organizational clarity.
As a founder, you have a wealth of knowledge that your employees, contractors, partners and investors might not have. We often take that knowledge for granted, assuming that everyone else shares our experiences. But when everyone is not on the same page, an understanding of the core purpose of the business and what you are trying to achieve can get lost. Formally defining your target market, then, is a great way to document and share this information with your team, as well as serve as a gentle reminder to yourself.
Defining and segmenting your target audience, and researching and creating personas inside that audience, can be tedious and time-consuming, and you may not want to take on such theoretical-type tasks. But in the long term, defining your target market keeps you and your team on track, saves you money and helps you connect to your customers as individuals. Whatever your market, we can help you reach them more efficiently. Contact us for more information today.