Finding Your Customers
Finding your ideal target market is vital to developing and maintaining a customer base that returns to your business again and again. With so many different people seeking solutions online for thousands of problems, large and small, you have a wide variety of markets to chose from. A good way to find a market is to develop a product or service that solves a specific problem. Or if you already have a product, look for the people that need it most.
However you may find that your initial assumptions about your market are wrong and you are not able to make sufficient sales. At that point, you will need to “pivot” or change your strategy by either modifying your product or finding a new target market. Also, it’s best to test a product with a select group of people before you do a major product launch. That way you will gain feedback on what people like or don’t like. Then you can tweak the product before attempting to sell it to a wider market.
Market Sizing & Competitor Analysis
Google’s keyword search tool can be useful for determining how many people search for certain terms related to your business. You can also you Google’s search engine to identify competitors as well as the level or intensity of competition. For instance, you might assume that a certain audience will buy your product just because you found similar products selling well. However, that isn’t necessarily the case. The market may be saturated, which means there are too many companies making products to meet a certain need and not enough people to buy all their products.
Once you’ve found your target audience, you may need to divide your customers into segments – based on their behavior, where they live, or other demographic variables. Perhaps you will find that customers shopping online are somewhat younger and willing to spend less, compared to your customers that shop in your brick and mortar stores. This type of information should inform your pricing strategy. You may even need to modify your product for certain segments. For instance, international buyers may need modifications tailored to the technology standards or cultural norms of their country.
Tracking Your Market’s Changing Needs
You should stay in contact with your target audience through regular email campaigns. This will help you gauge your customer’s needs, as well as how they feel about your products over a period of months or years. Customer surveys can also give you a clearer picture of the different needs of each of your customer segments. You should be continually finding creative ways to gain customer feedback and collect data on customer behavior and sentiment. In the process you may find ways to improve your product, or new target audiences you never thought you’d find.