Picture: Austin Distel / Unsplash
Catering your products and services to ‘everyone’ is among the biggest mistakes any small business owner can make. While you might think it makes sense from a profit perspective, it rarely does. Appealing to everyone means you can’t refine your marketing to attract any specific group. Instead of attracting the attention of everyone, you attract the attention of no one.
That’s why identifying a specific group of people and understanding them can be crucial. The more you know about those most likely to buy your goods, the easier it can often be to get them onboard as customers. Do you need a helping hand to get started? Take note of this five-step guide for understanding your market below:
Most small businesses have competitors. Knowing what they’re doing may make it much easier for you to do better. Review everything from their branded products to their customer service, pricing, and marketing strategies. Examine what they’re selling, who they’re selling to, and what makes them strong and weak.
This information can be crucial for gaining the upper hand when they’re your direct competitors. While you don’t have to copy what they’re doing, you can jump on their weaknesses and develop ideas to make your business stand out.
Understanding your market does, of course, mean understanding your customers. You need to have a specific customer in mind, not just ‘everyone who wants to buy your products.’ Think about the people who are most likely to.
Write down the target market’s pain points, needs, and preferences. You may even see the value in creating a customer persona representing your target market. This information can prove valuable for your future marketing efforts.
Researching your competitors isn’t enough to truly understand your own market. You must also perform market research. Collect data through surveys and focus groups and analyze data from existing resources.
This research can shed light on your customers’ values and morals, general attitudes, spending behavior, and your competition.
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It’s an excellent planning technique business owners use to understand everything working for and against a business to assist with future planning. If you haven’t already performed a SWOT analysis, now is the right time.
A SWOT analysis can give you better self-awareness, a competitive advantage, and may even make it easier to identify lucrative opportunities to appeal to your target market. However, it’s worth being aware of their limitations. These analysis types are only as functional as the data you put in them. Some factors can also be both strengths and weaknesses, but there is no way to manage these within a SWOT analysis.
Asking for customer feedback can be an effective method for learning more about your market. Conduct polls and surveys to learn more about who your customers are, what they like, and where they believe there’s room for improvement. This information may prove valuable for improving your marketing and branding efforts.
This is not a ‘one-and-done’ action, either. You can ask for customer feedback multiple times throughout your years in business, especially if you’ve made drastic changes you believe your customers will like.
Understanding your market can be crucial to enjoying a successful business. When you know who your customers are and what they want, you can take steps to appeal to them through marketing and ensure you’re offering the products, services, and overall shopping experience they seek.