Firstly write down and agree the ultimate objectives of your target market plan. For example they could be any or all of the following or something else:
- increasing your sales
- increasing your market share
- increasing your brand awareness
- raising your company profile
- achieving competitive advantage.
With the focus on your marketing objectives then ensure you understand the needs of the target market. Identify the who, what, where and why of the target market? Only after that will you be ready to formulate your offering and a detailed marketing plan for it.
Who are you targeting? Who are your customers?
- A new product or service to existing customers
- Existing or new product or service to potential new customers
- Existing products or services to a new sector/market
Knowledge of your existing and/or potential customers gives you a picture of the size of the market, what product or service to offer, where to target, the price, market and internal influences on buying and so on. Think about who currently buys from you and whether their type of profile is your optimum market or whether you can diversify into new territory. Factors to consider include:
- Company size
- Location of the headquarters
- Number size and location of branch offices
- Who the customers are (see Business Advantage ‘Buyer Persona Research Case Study’)
- Vertical sector
- Their buying cycle
- Who and what influences their purchases
- Changes in the market and the impact this may have on sales/buying power (environmental, economic, etc).
“Keeping the customer satisfied” is also a mantra for any business seeking sustained success. In a later pat of this blog series we’ll discuss “Customer Satisfaction” and how to keep in touch with the views of the people that really matter – your customers!
What are you offering?
- Your entire product/services portfolio
- A selected range from the portfolio
- A specific product/service
- A customized product/service
- A new product/service
- An add-on to or diversification of existing product or service (for example services associated with your product range)
Where are you aiming?
- A new industry or business sector
- A new customer size category
- A new geographic market – for example new emerging markets (see Business Advantage Emerging Market Research Case Study on SSI)
Why would a customer buy your product?
- Evaluate the competitive landscape
- Why customers in key segments buy competing products to yours
As Don Schultz put it, “If you don’t help your customers reach greater heights, who will? Your competitors?”
Having decided on your target market our next post will focus on market sizing.