Business Marketing Plan: Find Your Target Market - dummies

Business Marketing Plan: Find Your Target Market

By Steven D. Peterson, Peter E. Jaret, Barbara Findlay Schenck

Unless your business is very, very large and extremely well funded, it can’t try to serve all people. (Even then, an all-things-for-all-people approach is rarely a winning strategy.) That’s why many of the best marketers today focus on very specific market niches, and you should, too.

By deciding exactly which audience you serve best, and which problems or needs you address better than anyone else, you can target a precise market audience with a relevant and believable message and brand promise. Think about it. If you’re seeking legal advice for a business start-up, wouldn’t you prefer to deal with a legal firm that specializes in small business start-ups? That’s what niche marketing is all about.

As you determine the market niche your business serves, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Determine whether a group of individuals have specialized interests and needs that your business can address in a compelling and competitive manner.

  • Assess whether the market segment you’re targeting is large enough to deliver the sales volume targeted by your business plan, but small enough to be overlooked by most competitors.

  • Be sure that your target audience can easily access your offerings, via your physical location, online, or through your established distribution channels.

  • Determine that the niche market you’re targeting isn’t already well-served by competitors or, if it is, be clear about how your offering is distinctly more appealing.

A good starting point for determining your market niche is to study what current customers rely on from your business. Ask yourself, “If we closed, what problem would our customers have a hard time solving elsewhere?” If you’re planning for a start-up, rephrase the question to ask, “What want or need do customers have that isn’t being addressed by other businesses?”