How to Identify Your Customer Base
5 tips for targeting the right market
For your small business to be successful, you need to be specific about the customers you’re targeting. Entrepreneurs often start out trying to appeal to the masses. The fact is, not everyone wants what you’re selling, and you’ll just waste time, money, and effort trying to convince them otherwise. Instead, use your resources to pinpoint the customers that can really use your product and service. Here are some good tips to follow to help you get there:
1. Identify the need your business fulfills
What is the problem your product or service can solve? You started your business as a response to this need. Who or what inspired you to come up with the idea in the first place? If you’re opening a franchise, what inspired you to choose this one? The most obvious customers for what you’re selling are the easy-to-reach customers. From there you’ll need to do the work of seeking out those who may be harder to bring in. Assess your product’s benefits by asking some basic questions. “How does it help the customer?” and “What are the specific benefits they’re seeking?” You may have different answers for different customers. Having more than one target audience is okay.
2. Create a buyer profile
Who needs what you’re selling? It sounds like a simple question, but getting to the answer requires some digging. You can start by creating the ideal customer in a buyer profile. Include their age, interests and profession. What are the most important qualities for them to have? What are their habits, goals and fears? How do they make their buying decisions? What challenges are they facing, and why is your business helpful to them? Consider their age, location, gender, income level, education, marital or family status, occupation and ethnic background. The more you’re able to clearly define the best customer for your product or service, the more success you’ll have in business.
3. Narrow your focus
Once you’ve determined the type of customers you’re targeting, you can focus your marketing dollars and message on this specific market. This does not mean you’re excluding people who don’t fit your description; it just allows you to focus on the customers who are more likely to buy from you than others. This is a more efficient, affordable and effective way to generate business. You can enlist your team’s help to communicate with potential customers and discover certain trends in customer wants and needs. If your business is a franchise, make use of the franchisor’s resources, such as their franchise marketing agency and social-media tools. But also realize that your target market will vary from your franchisor’s current following, as each territory has a different demographic and set of needs.
4. See your business from the customer’s side
When a potential customer feels like you understand them, your offer is much more appealing. Use social media to identify demographic trends that tell you more about them. Find out which social-media platforms they use most often, and make use of listening and sentiment-analysis tools to see what customers on these platforms need. Spend time in online forums and groups that resemble your niche market. What questions are they asking, and what issues do they have? You can also find existing customers like the ones you seek and interview them to find out more about their lifestyles and buying habits. If you’re a franchisee, the franchisor may be spending a good amount of time and money boosting the business’ social-media presence. Take advantage of those marketing efforts. If you’ve done the work to know your customers well, you’ll become aware when their needs change, so that you can adjust and adapt.
5. Learn from the competition
Let your competitors do some of the work for you. You can find out who they’re targeting by checking out their social media, which will shed light on their previous customers and the people with whom they’re interacting. Then you can either target a similar customer base or focus on the groups they haven’t tapped yet. You can also make use of several online tools to help you gather data on your competitors to perform competitive analyses. Who are their current customers and who are they targeting? This does not mean you’ll necessarily go after the same market. You may find a niche market that they’re overlooking.
If you’re searching for a franchise company with a well-established customer base and marketing systems already in place, take a closer look at Mathnasium Learning Centers.
Mathnasium gives its franchisees the training and tools which allow them to stay on top of their business and their customers’ needs, including a dedicated franchise business consultant and social-media and online-marketing tools. If owning a math-tutoring franchise interests you, connect with one of Mathnasium’s Franchise Development Executives to learn more.
Mathnasium is North America’s leading math-only supplemental education franchise. With more than 1,100 learning centers worldwide, Mathnasium has been ranked on Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of top 500 franchises 16 times since 2004. To contact Mathnasium for more information, click here.
Lori Fairbanks, “Everyone is Not Your Customer: That’s OK,” Business News Daily, 2022
Mandy Porta, “How to Define Your Target Market,” Inc., 2021
Rebecca Patterson, “Seven Ways to Identify Your Ideal Client,” Forbes, 2020