Finding your target market is not how it seems. In small business marketing, we aren’t looking for customers—we’re defining the perfect person we want to be doing business with and attracting them to our brand. The question lies, how do marketers do this?
What Is Your Target Market?
Oftentimes, businesses consider their target market to be the customers they happen to be serving at a given point in time. While these customers make up the current market for said business’ product and services, they do not have to be the same as a business’ target market.
Let me explain. Current existing customer bases exist upon the past marketing efforts of a business. This audience is widely considered to make up a majority of a business repeat customers—a term nearly every business owner knows. Nurturing this audience is important to sustaining your business, but with too heavy of a focus can inhibit growth.
Enter target markets: the audiences we want to reach, but haven’t yet. Businesses look to target markets to guide campaign efforts and ultimately attract the customers they want to work with. As mentioned previously, marketing isn’t about finding customers. Instead, it’s about attracting the right customers to your business that’ll benefit most. The right audience for your business is synonymous with your target market.
How To Attract A Target Market
Unfortunately you can’t go into attracting a target market blind. If you could, marketing would be so much easier. So, what do marketers have to do instead to attract the right customers? Pretty much everyone has a different opinion on this, but you’ll find many recommending that you define an ideal customer avatar (or persona.)
What Is An Ideal Customer Avatar?
Imagine speaking to your dream customer—and if you’re an entrepreneur you’ve probably had some weird dreams like this. What do they look like? How old are they? How knowledgeable are they? What are their interests? What are their pain points and/or challenges? Etc. These are the questions marketers ask to define a customer avatar.
Don’t make the mistake of being too general either. Your ideal customer avatar is a person, a real person that exists somewhere in the world out of the 8 billion people alive. Whether you know them yet or not, they exist. Create a name, attach a profile image, list their hobbies, make your ideal customer avatar feel alive. In doing so, you’ll know exactly how to attract that specific person.
It may seem pointless to try and attract only one person. Yet the fact is, there are hundreds of thousands to millions of people similar to your ideal customer avatar out there. They have similar interests, challenges, and desires to the fictitious person you made up. These people are your target market. Due to such an in-depth analysis of your ideal customer avatar, you deeply understand the real-world population that aligns with your customer persona. You’re now able to connect to this audience on an emotional level—attracting them to your brand because your company feels like the perfect solution to their needs. That’s how marketing is meant to be done. Define the perfect customer, attract the right people, and scale efficiently because you’re working with the people who want to become a patron of your business.