About 63% of marketers say that traffic and leads are the biggest marketing challenges they face. The reason why that’s a challenge is that they don’t know their target market.

What is a target market? It’s a specific group of people who purchase your products or services.

Do you get plenty of traffic, but not enough leads? Do you post on social media and struggle to get engagement? That’s because you don’t have the target market nailed down.

You’re about to learn how to define your target market and what it can do for your business.

Keep reading this guide to learn more about your target market.

1. Competitive Research

Competitive research tells you a lot about your target market. Look at the most successful companies in your industry. These companies have huge marketing budgets and have already done a lot of market research.

Notice a few things about their brands. Look at the places where they advertise and have a presence. See if there’s a common theme in their posts.

This will tell you where your customers spend time online and what their marketing messages are.

2. Current Customer Base

Take a look at your current customer base.

Out of your customer base, think of your favorite customers. Is there a common age, gender, or income? Is there a common challenge that your problem addresses?

Keep in mind that you want to focus on your ideal customers because you want to attract more of these people to your business.

3. Understand Their Problems and Challenges

People spend money based on emotional decisions. They believe that a product will help them feel something that’s missing from their lives or do something more efficiently.

The more you can understand this, the easier it is to connect your product or service with their pain points.

Let’s take the weight loss industry as an example. It’s rare that someone says they want to lose weight for the sake of losing weight.

They want to feel more confident, attractive, or strong.

4. Conduct Surveys

Surveys are a great way to understand your customers and prospects. Getting customers to complete surveys is a challenge.

Create a short survey that takes 3-5 minutes to complete. Offer participants a chance to win a gift certificate for participating. Ask customers what they look for in services or products like yours.

5. Niche Down Further

Let’s say your target audience consists of women who want to lose weight. That seems like a good niche, but it’s actually not specific enough.

Your messaging won’t connect with your audience. People have to identify themselves in every content marketing piece, whether it’s a blog post or social media ad.

You might be hesitant to get too specific because you don’t want to lose business. The exact opposite happens because your business becomes relatable.

Is it possible to have more than one niche? It is, but it can muddle your marketing messages. It’s highly recommended to start with one niche and establish your brand.

After a while, you can expand into another niche. That way, your marketing is firmly established with your primary niche and it’s less confusing.

6. Create Your Value Proposition

Your value propitiation is a statement that says what you do, for whom, and why your business is different. This is similar to an elevator pitch or unique selling proposition.

There are a number of different ways to format your value proposition. The simplest format is to fill in the blanks:

I help [target market] do [the problem you help solve] by offering [your product or service].

Here’s an example for a family photographer. I help young families capture the most important moments by offering portrait photography services for newborns.

The first value proposition won’t be your best one. Draft at least a dozen different statements and come up with the best one.

Why Is Knowing Your Target Market Important?

Have you ever met anyone at a networking event and asked them who they work with? You probably heard a response like, “anyone who needs [their service or product].”

That tells you absolutely nothing about their business and who they serve. It makes it impossible to refer business to them because you don’t know who they’re looking for.

However, if they have a more specific answer, you’ll be able to think of someone off the top of your head.

Notice the difference between “anyone looking to buy or sell a house” and “first-time homebuyers struggling to get their offer accepted.”

It also works with inbound marketing. When you know your target market, you know how they’ll see themselves in your content.

You’ll know how they search for information related to your products and services. You can create blog posts around those search terms.

When you put the main messages into action, you’ll be able to develop a deeper connection with your target audience. That creates trust instantly.

It also increases the chances that someone will buy from your business. About half of consumers say that trust is a major part of the buying decision.

Remember that you have to work hard to maintain the trust of your customers. One bad experience will cause them to go elsewhere.

Gain a Deep Understanding of Your Target Market

What’s the difference between businesses that are incredibly successful and ones that can’t get leads? The successful businesses know their target markets inside and out.

This guide showed you how you can define your target market. You’ll be able to put your marketing to work and make it much more effective.

Be sure to get your business ready for more leads and sales because they’re on the way. Do you want more business inspiration? Check out the Startup Story section of this site.