Who’s your customer?
A firm rule of marketing: if you don’t know who you’re selling to, you’re not going to sell a lot. And expanding past your own audience, you also need to understand who is your competition.
Enter target market and competitive analysis — two vital pieces to any robust marketing strategy.
Your Target Market
Your target market is, simply, who your ideal clients are. That market is who you’re going to tailor your language to in your copywriting, it’s who you’ll survey as part of your market research to figure out what makes them buy, and it’s the group that will guide many of the marketing decisions you make. Target market analysis is researching how your service or product fits into that specific market. Is there a demand for what you offer? How big is the market size?
Competitive analysis is also a part of your market research: it involves evaluating your competition so you can be prepared to match (or exceed) what those companies are doing to gain customers. Is the market you want to enter into saturated with too many companies? What are the most successful ones doing in their marketing? What differentiator do you have that helps you stand out from those competitors?
These two types of market research can be done via focus groups, surveys, and more.
This research also happens across a wide spectrum. You’re evaluating your local market, sure. But you can also expand these same concepts to determine:
- What kind of footprint you could hold within the regional market
- If your products and services could be distributed to a nationwide audience
- Whether there’s an international market for what you offer.
Market research isn’t the sexiest part of marketing, by any means. But using it to determine, for example, how far customers are willing to drive within your city to buy a certain product, what kind of demographics are typically represented in your customer base, how much they’re willing to spend, and what companies nationwide are doing what you do, can all be significant in your business’s long-term growth.