A Foolproof Strategy for Identifying Your Target Market

Corporations invest large sums of money to precisely determine who their target market is. Having this information helps them avoid creating products no one wants; good products for the wrong market or poor products for the right market. Corporations do it and you should too.

A system for defining your target market

Here’s how to create your customer avatar.

  1. What exactly are you offering? Start with the basics. Fill out the blanks: I offer [product/service] to help [type of person] [achieve a result]For example, “I offer business coaching to help veterinary surgeons double their profits”. Or, “I offer training to help restaurant owners improve customer service”.
  2. Focus on one ideal customer for your product. You’ve identified the type of person you’re helping in the previous step, e.g. veterinary surgeons. Pick one imaginary veterinary surgeon to be your avatar – your ideal customer.
  3. What is your avatar’s main fear/problem? Describe your avatar’s daily professional challenges, e.g: she cannot find the right staff; not enough customers; repeat business is low and so on. What is the one problem that keeps her awake at night? What is the one problem which, if you could solve for her, would transform her business?
  4. What thoughts preoccupy your avatar? Next, describe the thoughts your avatar has about her problems. What psychological pressures is she experiencing? e.g.: “I’m worried the practice will fail”; “I’m worried about making my mortgage payments”; “I feel burnt-out and overwhelmed”; “I want to quit veterinary practice”. There is no more powerful persuader to purchase than feeling the seller understands our problems.
  5. What outcome does your avatar want to achieve? What does your avatar want you/your product to deliver? e.g. she wants to save her business; she wants to become more profitable; she wants to be in the top three clinics in the city; she wants to enjoy her work again etc.
  6. What must your avatar believe/feel about you/your service to convince her to buy? e.g. she needs to feel her concerns are understood; she needs to believe you have the experience and know-how to help her.

When you combine these points, you will have the makings of a fleshed-out avatar to work from. You will understood their fears, hopes and motivations and can position and market your product or service accordingly.

Some products can have two or three avatars. Any more than this and your business is too broad, you need to narrow your focus. Start with one avatar, one problem and one solution and go from there.

Takeaway points

  1. You need to create a clear customer avatar to avoid wasting time, money and effort creating products that no one wants or which do not sell well.
  2. Once defined, your customer avatar determines the products/services you create. You are creating for this specific customer, not a group.
  3. By being focused on an avatar, your resulting product will speak directly to your prospect. You understand their worries, fears and problems. This ability to “read their mind” and articulate their thoughts and feelings is an extremely powerful sales technique.

Action steps

  1. Go through the exercise above to create a customer avatar for your business.
  2. Create a Facebook ad to target your avatar group.

Photo credit: Lee-yoshi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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