How To Research your Target Market

by | Sep 13, 2017

Updated on 11 April 2019

Research Your Target Market To Find Your Ideal Client

Researching your target market is one of the most important elements of your social media strategy. It allows you to focus your time, energy and cash on marketing activities that attract the right people. People who will benefit from using your products and services.

One of the most common mistakes business owners make is trying to appeal to everybody. This is akin to putting out a large net and hoping to attract the big fish.  So what happens when you use the right bait?

Imagine how much easier it would be if you could target your ideal clientspeople you want to work with, who energise or inspire you, who want your service and are happy to pay for it.

It is possible to achieve this through target marketing. This is the process of identifying a particular group of people you serve. Then identifying specific people within that group who meet the demographics you’re most passionate about helping, and those who will benefit the most from your solutions.

Once you know who these people are, it’s essential to uncover their immediate needs or compelling desires.  Because then you can focus your marketing messages around helping them with a solution. 

When you know your target client, and what makes them ‘tick’ it makes it easier to craft messages that appeal to them.

So how do you research your ideal target market?

A great place to start is to research your existing client base.

  • Who are they? What were they like to work with?  Look for common elements among them – their age, gender, location, their profession and industry, groups they belong to. Are there particular types of people or industries you seem drawn to?
  • Who are the people who have visited your website, downloaded your offer or signed up to your newsletter? What do you know about them?
  • Check out your social media followers – do some research – look at the groups they belong to, who they follow, what they post about, what links they share, what they’re interested in. Are there any commonalities?  Personal profile pages on Facebook reveal a lot about a person!
  •  Research your competition – who are their followers, fans and clients?
  • Practice the art of networking when you’re out and about. Ask questions at networking groups, conferences and anywhere your target clients hang out. When you are talking to people, use open-ended questions and pay attention to their body language. Sometimes it’s about reading between the lines.


Dig a little deeper and define your target market

Here’s a list of questions to help you on your quest:

(I’ve added a lot of questions that should pretty much cover everything you may want to know.  Just answer those most relevant to your search – and add your own to the list. The point of the exercise is to gather as much information as you can, that you deem relevant).

1. Who benefits most from your product or service?

2.  Why do they need or want your solution? What problems are they having?

3.  What keeps them up at night?

4.  Which groups or associations do they belong to?

5.  What are their compelling desires?

6.  Who do they admire?

7.  What do they do in their spare time?

8.  Who does your target market they hang out with?

9.  Where do they hang out?

10.  What are their beliefs and attitudes?

11.  What campaigns/causes are they interested in?

13.  Where do they live?

13.  Is age an important factor with your product? If so, how old are they?

14.  Are they married, in a relationship, have kids?

15.  What type of job do they do?

16.  What annoys or bothers them?

17.  What social media platforms do they use?

18.  What type of posts does your target market share?

19.  Do they participate/comment in online forums or groups?

20.  Who do they follow on social media?

21.  Who are they linked to on social media, anyone you know?

22.  What trade shows or exhibitions does your target market attend?

23.  What seminars or workshops do they attend?

24.  What does your target market read (trade journals, magazines, blogs etc)?


What now?


Evaluate your decision

Once you’ve decided on a target market, and done the research, it’s time to consider a few  questions:

  • Are there enough people in my target market, who need my products and services?
  • Will my chosen target market benefit from my product and services? Will they see a need for it?
  • Do I understand what influences my target market to make decisions?
  • Can they afford my product or service?
  • Can I reach them with my message? Are they easily accessible?

More than one Target Market?

Your product or service may be of benefit to more than one target market. This can be challenging and is where segmentation comes into play. Best practice is to have a Primary Target Audience (those you give the most focus to) and a Secondary Target Audience (who you give less focus to – these people generally have fewer demands for your product or service). Secondary target audiences generally differ from a primary audience by having different buying habits and characteristics. Oftentimes your ‘primary’  target marketing will pick up a secondary audience anyway.  Here’s a link to Quora and a discussion on the subject.


Benefits of Target Marketing

Once you know your target market:

  • Your social media marketing will be more effective and productive.
  • You’ll know what content will appeal to and attract your target clients.
  • You’ll know where to find them.
  • Your marketing will be more focused, more efficient and more productive.
  • It will help you to find solutions and develop products or services that you may not yet have though of.

It’s business best practice!

I hope this blog helps you with your target marketing. Please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues that may benefit from the information.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just leave a comment below.





Pin It on Pinterest

Share This