Finding your tribe is the key to marketing success.
What's Your Target Market?
This seems like stating the obvious, but for newbies out there: a target market are the people who are most likely to spend money with your business.
Finding your target audience, i.e. the people who will get the most value from your product or service, can feel like a soul searching quest - one with a finnicky holy grail.
Many small business owners start their marketing plan, with a gut feeling. I mean, what 25-year-old with a bank account and $10 wouldn't want your handmade soaps? Amirite?
We hate to go all Reality Bites Gen X Auntie on you, but love for your business does not guarantee a market.
We cannot stress this enough - no one is obliged to buy into your idea and no one will love it like you do. Everyone is a little narcissistic about their ideas. This is normal. After all, self doubt doesn't get much done.
What we are suggesting with this article is that a little scientific process may be a good move before jumping full suds into the soap biz. That's all.
Instead of approaching your business as a passion project, think of the problem (s) it solves for people like you. You may find the answer is much more than soap.
The Problem may be the Solution
Here is an exercise: What is a problem that affects your daily life? Think of something that is inconvenient; the kind of thing that makes you think, "there's gotta be a better way". Now, who else has this problem? People like you? Only people in your income range? People your age?
If you can narrow down who else has this problem, you're getting closer to your audience.
Example: Two friends out late in Paris found themselves with a common problem - they could not get a cab. If you've ever spent time in a large city, you know the feeling.
On that street corner in Paris, these two friends got to talking - what if you didn't have to hail a cab, but could order one on your phone? Sounds great.
One of the friends took it a step further - what if it didn't have to be a cab? Another fact about living in a mega-metropolis with a car - you'll be asked for rides all the time.
Problem: Hailing a cab takes time and is inconvenient
Solution: Allow locals to rent their cars and driving time. Make rides easy to book and pay for.
What you got is Uber.
It's not WHO you are; it's WHAT you are
Now that you have a general idea of who would be interested in buying your product or service, where do you find them?
When it comes to shopping, people are predictable... mostly. Boomers tend to want to hang out with Boomers, the same goes for Millennials and Gen Z. You have to find where they hang out together and go there.
In a nutshell:
Boomers: Facebook, Facebook groups, local news, print trade magazines, local newspapers, whatever search engine that came pre-installed on their computer
Millennials: Instagram, Snapchat, Google, YouTube, Spotify, local coffee house, craft breweries
Gen Z: TikTok, search engines
Next, how much money does your audience have to spend? This can be a touchy subject, but it is extremely relevant when it comes to reaching the right audience with the right messaging.
Top 10%: luxury, exclusive
Top 20%: high-end, non-exclusive
Top 30%: new, occasional high-end treats, conscious spending, aspirational
Top 40% to 50%: mostly budget, some fun money sometimes
50% or lower: budget and DIY
Finally, what does your audience like to do, watch, read, listen to...
This is where it gets creative - what is your market into? What turns them on?
Let's say you have a picture of your ideal shopper as a 40-year-old woman with multiple children in the top 20% income range who purchases organic food.
What type of music does this person listen to? A person's musical taste is a clue to how they spend their money and what they spend their money on.
What types of books does this person read?
What and where do they eat?
What hobbies does this person have?
Narrowing down the personal interests of your target audience is essential in digital ad placements. The more specific you can get with the hobbies and interests of your audience, the more likely you are to trigger a positive reaction when they see your ad.
Interests are what people share on social. They are proud of their hobbies, tastes, and cultural consumption. These are the things that create connections. This is also the data that helps advertisers narrow down their ad placements.
Those of you who are critical of data collection, pay attention. We don't want to know who you are; we want to know what you are... whoa, it's getting meta in here.
Go forth and start grabbing your audience where they are, but use caution. Test your hypothesis, test again and again. Some results are surprising. Inside the surprises are opportunities.
Go to the places where your audience already spends time, don't make them come to you.
Find your target audience g-spot and tickle it.