When you have an online business, defining your target market is everything. Getting traffic to your website is just not enough. You need targeted traffic that is specifically chosen for your niche and industry. You need to know that the people coming to your website are interested in what you have to offer.
In the real world, you would be doing a sales presentation in front of these select people whom you have sifted out of the others you have searched for until you found the ones who have the most interest and are most likely to buy from you. This increases your ROI and keeps you from spending time on those who have no interest in your business.
Today, with digital online marketing, there are so many tools that you can use to define your customer base that it’s hard to know where to start. There are leads generation tools, traffic metrics tools, and tools that allow you to get insight from those who are visiting your site. This increases your ROI (return on investment) because it allows you to focus on the people who want to hear your message and cuts out the ones who simply have no interest in what you are selling.
But the most important thing is first to find and define your target market. Without pinpointing the types of people who are most likely to buy from you, you will have no way of bringing in the right people to your site or knowing who you are marketing to. How do you do this?
1. Consider your current customers first
One way to get an idea for who your future customers should be is to look at your current customers. What do your current customers want out of your products or services? What are their concerns, passions, and pain points? How does your business answer these problems for your current customer base? Go back into your customer service emails, surveys, and other data to get a true picture of what your customers are about then figure out a way to find more people like these to bring to your site.
2. Evaluate who your competitors are marketing to, then do the opposite
There are many ways to compete in e-commerce. One often misunderstood notion is the idea that you should go after the same people that your competitors are going after and market to them. But an alternate strategy is to market to others that your competitors are not marketing to. This makes you the focus of these potential customers and helps you to create a monopoly with these forgotten customers that your competitors overlooked.
3. Consider both demographics and psychographics
When focusing on developing your key audience, you need to have an understanding of both demographics and psychographics. Demographics are those statistical factors like age, gender, and occupation that affect buying decisions. Psychographics are more in-depth factors that influence how people think when they make a purchase. Some examples of psychographics include:
- Personal values
- Preference and personal taste
- Interests and hobbies
- Ideologies about purchasing and behavior
All of these factors play a critical role in how people make buying decisions so figure out how you can tap into these factors when developing your ad campaigns.
4. Evaluate how you made your decision
Once you think you have defined your target audience, you will want to assess how you came to that decision. This involves not only understanding your target market but also understanding yourself. If you are to truly tap into your target market in the best way and find the customers most likely to purchase from you, you need to understand how you define your ideal target audience.
What do you base your decisions on? Are you missing anything important that might help you to use custom ads to segment your target market further? The trend now in e-commerce is to dig deeper within your population that you are targeting and do cross-segments to advertise your business to. For example, if you normally send out a mass email marketing letter to 1,000 people on your mailing list telling about your services, why not identify those 350 people who are specifically interested in only one or two of your products or services that appeal to their specific needs and interests.
Think about why you have defined your audience in the way you have and evaluate ways that you can drill down deeper to identify those who may purchase from your regularly in one of your subcategories instead of always focusing on all of your products and services to everyone.
5. Do surveys and study metrics to understand your customer
By using the tools that you have at your disposal to better understand your customer, you bring yourself a step closer to understanding what you need to do to bring the people to your site that will become your customer.
But remember that the goal should be more than creating a one-time customer. You should focus on creating loyal customers who will do repeat business with you. By doing surveys and asking customers how they liked your products and services, you will have an understanding of how to get them to buy from you again and again.
Study metrics and look at what your target customer looks like in your Google Analytics or Kissmetrics account, too. This will tell you if your expectations on what your customer looks like are realistic when compared with who Google records that is visiting your site.
Remember that having an e-commerce business is a continual process of tweaking and performing experiments that help you define your target market, even when you think you have already done this job.