Jonathan Mizel's - The Online Marketing Newsletter - Business Website Strategies

How to choose and research a
target market

From: Hans Klein
Cyberwave Staff Writer


Dear Subscriber,

In this issue you’re going to learn the most important step before starting any new venture, picking your target market. For those who aren’t quite sure what a target market is, simply put, it’s a group of potential customers who share at least similar characteristics.

Your market may be women who are getting married (brides to be) or, people who want to write a book (writers).

Sound simple? It’s not. Most people underestimate the importance of honing in and serving a hungry passionate niche where prospects with money desire solutions to problems you can help them solve.

Every part of your business is dependent on who your customers are.

Think about it. Your target market determines:
  • What you sell,
  • Where you advertise
  • The business model you choose
  • How you communicate with prospects
  • How profitable your business will be

If you don’t take the time to precisely identify your niche, you’re going to make a tiny fraction of the profits you could otherwise make!

When choosing a target market there are some important considerations, think about the natural extension to your business. Natural extensions are the series of upgraded backend products you offer your customers (what you sell your customers after their initial purchase).

For instance, a backend offer for a $47 e-book could be a $500 package with much more detailed information. The next upgraded offer could be a $5,000 seminar with one-on-one interaction.

Finally, you may conclude with a $50,000 deal to solve the customers’ problem personally.

Turn A Small Operation Into An Instant Cash Cow

If you have your target market precisely defined, then these upgraded products are a natural extension to your customer’s first purchase and therefore a natural extension to your business.

Let’s take the market of those with health problems. Within this group there are those with chronic back pain, people with high blood pressure, and those with migraines. Just to name a few.

Because a person with migraines does not care about (or face) the same problems that somebody with high-blood pressure does, it would be a mistake to sell to all of them at once.

You need different solutions and explanations for each group.

The natural extension to an e-book on back pain would be a seminar on how to learn to alleviate pain. And, the upgrade is personalized one on one sessions where you eliminate the pain for them.

When deciding what target market you want to serve, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is most passionate?
  • Which solutions are the most profitable?
  • What segment of the market requires the least customer support hassles?
  • Is your niche an easily identifiable group?
  • Are there enough?
  • Are they easy to reach?
  • How much are advertising costs in this market?

A Step-By-Step Strategy to Uncover The Right Market For You!

Step 1: Determine who “they” are

Create a picture in your mind. This is vital. Because every step of the way in your business, from developing the product to selling it, you’re going to keep this image in your mind. Create your product and business based around this picture of who they are.

Let’s say you run a photography business.

You could say your target market is anyone who wants a picture. But it’s a smarter idea to go within the market and specialize in a specific niche.

You may target those who want modeling pictures, those who need business photos, or focus on family photography.

Now, if you’re doing family photography, your target customer is most likely going to be a parent. Probably, a key concern is that she’s looking for a good photographer who is good with children.

Remember, she’s not really buying pictures. She’s buying family memories that she can look back on when her children are grown.

The more you know about your prospect and what motivates them, the more effectively you can target and attract the right customers.


Step 2: Research Your Target Customers

You may have to research various segments within a niche before you discover the right customer for you to target.

The best place to start your research is your local bookstore and http://www.Amazon.com.

Look through the different sections and top-selling books to learn what’s hot in your niche. Are there magazines for the market you want to target? Going to the actual physical magazine rack or newsstand may generate many more ideas than only viewing them online.

While looking through the magazines pay particular attention and look at what the articles are about. The titles and the articles should indicate what is important to a market.

Read the top-selling headlines on the magazines at the check-out line and watch the daily entertainment shows to see what ‘hot topics’ and ‘buzz words’ are being used today.

Fortunately, there are countless tools you can use online to monitor trends. All of the major search engines reveal their data of the hottest searches.

Here’s where to find it:

Plus, see what websites and trends are surging in popularity at Alexa:

Some other notable places to look include:

Another great way to identify hot trends is to simply talk to the people in your niche. You can perform an informal interview on a customer or gather a panel of people and ask them questions in a focus group.

Another useful tool to find a good niche is the Google Suggest tool:

This tool will come up with variations for keywords as you type them in. This allows you to quickly uncover new markets.

For instance, if you type in the keyword, “music” you get a variety of different hot topics within it. These include, “Music lyrics” and “Music videos” etc.

In the research stage, you want to become your customer. Read what they read. Watch what they watch. Possibly even eat what they eat and sleep where they sleep. Get to know them.


Step 3: Find-Out How To Reach Your Market

Where can your customers be found? Are they found on search engines or do they reside on content sites? How many of them exist?

The first step to defining your audience is to find-out if anybody is searching for the keywords in the search engines.

The first tool we’re going to use is the Overture suggestion tool at:

This tool is free, but the best tool for finding niches is Word Tracker at:

A good criteria when using these tools, is to make sure in any market you consider there are multiple keywords with thousands of searches each. Preferably, with tens of thousands of searches.

You Need To See If A Market Resides On Content Sites

How will you reach your niche? A quick way to find-out if they are reading articles related to what you want to sell is to see how many articles are available on a particular subject. You can find-out in article directories, such as:

Articles indicate interest in a topic. The best markets will have new articles arriving several times a week from different sources.

Are there forums on the topic? Visit places like:

A useful resource at http://groups.google.com is the “Groups Alert” tool that reveals how active the forums are based on a keyword. A good market will usually (but not always) have active discussion forums.

And, you can also investigate real-life meetings by keyword at:

http://www.meetup.com/

Conclusion

Remember, you’re looking for a market that is passionate enough about what they want to spend money and easy to reach and identify.

By deciding exactly who your customers are, you’re setting your business up for success.


Respectfully,


Hans Klein

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