Customers. They’re pretty fundamental to the success of any business, I think you’ll agree. And let’s be honest, the biggest challenge you’ll face in business is finding some. It’s vital to have a good understanding of who you’re selling to so you can shape your voice accordingly as well as work out what to say and how to say it.

Finding your target market is a key step in any marketing plan and it plays an important part in the research phase of a copywriting project. So in this post, I’m going to suggest three steps that will help you work out who they are.

 

1) Find your niche

The first step in identifying your target market is to work out what you specialise in. I suggest specialising because it reduces the potential size of the market.  Yep, that’s right, reduces. There is no point in looking at the general population as your potential customer base because you couldn’t possibly establish a voice that will appeal to every one of them, let alone find a channel that will reach them too. So by reducing the size of the potential market, you’ll find it infinitely easier to work out who to focus on. For example, if you run a website selling dog food, I’d suggest focusing on food made especially for puppies.

 

2) Get personal

The second step involves finding out who exactly your customer is. This is where you identify basic information about your potential customers such as whether they are male or female, what age they are and where they live. Sometime it helps to dig even deeper, for example to work out which salary bracket they fall into. There are any number of criteria that you can apply, your type of business will dictate which are most useful. So using the dog food company as an example once again, if you’re targeting puppy owners I’d suggest your target market might be as follows.

Gender: Female

Age: 30-50

Status: Married

Occupation: Housewife

Type of residence: House

Dependents: 2 children

Pets: Puppy

Obviously there are going to be other types of customers but this is what I’d consider to be the primary target market. You should also come up with one or two other types of customer as you will need to adapt your voice so it will appeal to them.

 

3) Give her a name

The final step helps to visualise your ideal customer. Basically, you need to build on the basic details outlined in the previous step to create a customer profile. This will help you focus both when you shape your voice. You can even sketch out a picture of find a photo of a friend that fits the description and pin it on your wall as a reminder.

So based on the details mentioned in the last step, I’ve come up with the following fictional customer:

Lucy is 35 years old. She is married to Edward and they have two children, Richard who is 7 and Florence who is 4.  Edward is in a well paid job so Lucy concentrates on running their home. They have recently moved in a new house so they finally have the space for a puppy which Richard and Florence have been nagging their parents about for a while.

 

Finding your target market is a vital part of the planning process for any marketing activity. Follow these three steps and you will significantly increase your chances of success.