Understanding Your Market and What They Want
Last month, I examined why you should understand yourself and your offer, which is the ﬁrst part of a three-step process to becoming the “Go-To” expert in your highly profitable marketplace.
Of course, knowing yourself is only part of the story. Itʼs even more important to get to know your target market. If you don’t know who is in your market, you won’t be able to reach them, and you won’t make money. If you don’t know what they want, youʼll have no chance of satisfying their needs. The better you get to know your market, the more chance you will have of becoming special to them and of building a successful business. The ﬁrst part of this process is to deﬁne your ideal customer.
Identify the key characteristics of your ideal customer—details such as age, gender, hobbies, geographic location. Deﬁne the most important psychological factors of your ideal customer—such as whatʼs important to them, what motivates them, what they want to achieve. Describe why you like working with your ideal customers. Identify where your ideal customers hang out and where you can connect with them, online and offline. The key to having the right target market is that it should be small enough for you to become recognized as a specialist, but it should be large enough to enable you to make a lot of money.
The next step in understanding your market is being clear about what they are looking for. People always buy something for one of the following reasons:
- To get pleasure or make their life better in some way.
- To avoid/reduce pain or solve a problem.
Most products or services do one or the other—some do both. Ideally, you should be able to present what you do in both categories. The following exercises will help:
- List the biggest problems your target market faces.
- Identify why they still haven’t solved the problem.
- Describe how your product or service makes their life better.
As always, itʼs a good idea to get someone else to give you feedback in this process; you could even ask your customers directly.
The key to promoting yourself as the expert brand is ensuring that you talk to your market in terms of beneﬁts. Focus on how what you do makes their life different. Itʼs crucial to understand the difference between beneﬁts and features. Features are simply the facts about your product or service. Your customers and prospects want to know what you can do for them to make their lives easier, better, more fun, or more proﬁtable. So make sure you take time to identify what your clients are really looking for from your services and present this in the form of beneﬁts. There is nothing wrong with being able to list features of your product or service, but you need to be able to turn those into something that has a beneﬁt for your customer. The key question is: what does that mean for me?
So…are you still with me? Hang in there, review the past two months columns and get ready for next month when I share step three: matching your offer with what the market wants.
Tracy Myers, C.M.D., is an award-winning small business marketing and branding solutions specialist, best-selling author, speaker, car dealership owner and entrepreneur. To contact Tracy or for more information, visit his website at www.TracyMyers.com.