Do You Know Who Your Customer is? Dive into Target Market and Consumer Personas.
Updated: Jan 16
This is a question that many people struggle with when trying to launch their businesses. In this post, I will show you how to conduct market research and get the information you need to make informed decisions about your business.
How to learn who your target audience for your business is and what they want? This is a question that many people struggle with when trying to launch their
businesses. In this post, I will show you how to conduct market research and get the information you need to make informed decisions about your business.
1. Research is Essential
What Is Market Research?
Market research is an investigation into who your target audience is, what they want and how much they are willing to pay for it. It also includes an analysis of competitors' prices and products as well as a look into trends that could affect your business in the future.
Why Do You Need To Conduct Market Research?
Knowing who you are targeting for your business and knowing what they want is important because it saves you time and money from trying to sell something no one wants or needs. -Knowing what competitors are charging for their products or services, as well as how much profit they are making allows you to adjust your prices accordingly so that you can compete with them successfully.
How To Conduct Market Research?
My top recommendation for beginning researching your specific trends for your business is to start with secondary data, this would include data gathered from your geo-location, economic trends, infostructure information, and current spending habits from citizens in your location, whether online or virtual. Then push further with researching where your business/business idea stands in the current market, this is part of the SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) or the CREST analysis (Competition, Regulatory, Economy, Social, Technology). This requires researching different keywords and longtail keywords, listening to word of mouth in your community, and being open-minded.
After gaining your secondary research, you can begin by collecting primary data. This is classified as data that is yours and specific to your situation. A great way to begin is either through word of mouth, if you have a customer or a potential customer ask them questions about what they value, what they wish to see, what they didn't like, and what they did like. It doesn't have to be complicated! To gain a more thorough understanding, however, I personally enjoy creating surveys or Google Forms, there easy to create and allow you to have a straightforward visual of how people are responding to the questions. You can make as many questions as you like, and with a variety of different forms but remember to be concise and limit the number of questions to ensure people won't feel overwhelmed and stop halfway.
2. Target Market = Consumer Persona
Consumer persona is incredibly helpful in understanding who your target customer is but digging deeper to understand what makes them click. The persona begins with understanding your target market, a group or segment of customers that have similar characteristics that are most likely to buy your product or service.
There are four major components to figuring out your target market:
Geographic: The location(s), whether it's a storefront or online only.
Demographic: Family size, religion, gender, age, ethnicity, education, income, and job.
Psychographic: Lifestyle, personality, values, interests, goals, opinions, and attitudes.
Behavioral: Purchasing Behavior, occasion-based behavior, purchase reasoning, customer loyalty.
And I personally always add the additional category of media habits due to the importance of understanding where to advertise to connect with that target market most effectively.
Media Habits: What platforms do they use (Facebook, TikTok, email, radio), when do they consume most of their media, are they part of community groups, etc.
Once you understand this plus combining your primary and secondary data you'll be able to mix hypothesis with fact. Which in return will provide a thorough basis to do your marketing, however, the longer you do business and the more you listen you can fine-tune the target market till you see it best fit.
In this step, you combine your data and target market into a semi-fictional consumer. It may sound odd, but it's done by companies around the world so be sure to not skip this part. There are platforms that help you create the consumer persona, such as Hootsuite, which is very helpful and a time saver.
The above examples of personas were produced by MyInternetScout.com.
As you can see from the example provided, you're creating a story of the customer to understand them better. By understanding who they are you can understand what would appeal most to them, what time is the best to send out a newsletter, what style they enjoy, or what they value most. By understanding these factors you can create better promotions, social media content, website experience, color, and branding experience, and more.
Ideally, by starting with research and taking the time to analyze the target market you'll be able to make a customer persona, that will help you twice fold in connecting and making more valuable relationships with your customers.