For new startups, planning phases seem to never end. One important part of any plan is identifying the critical audience which has the most to gain from whatever product or service you are bringing to the market. There are several steps you can take to make this process easier and help guarantee that you choose the best market to target when you are ready to release your new products.
Consult Your Business Plan
Before you even began to create that very first line of products or services, you slaved over a business plan for your startup. In this plan, you already did some of the research you need about your potential customers giving you a baseline from where you started. Look at the basic customer profile in your business plan and examine the goals you set in your initial plan to help you navigate and plan for the road ahead.
Do Extensive Research
Research is a big part of every aspect of business and is job that is never finished. Consult information about the industry in which you are operating and learn about your future consumers’ habits in those markets. If you have extra money in your budget consider adding consumer interviews and focus groups to your research endeavors to learn directly from potential customers what they expect and need. You can even gain early insights into what they think of your new products before you release them to the world.
Create a Customer Profile
This is more than a brief statement about your customer. For this you must seek out great details about your potential customers with data that include both demographic and psychographic information. You should search for external data about your potential buyers such as their age, gender, location, but also you need to understand your customer by learning their habits, hobbies and lifestyle.
Find Where Your Audience Is
It’s not enough to know who your audience is, you need to know where they are as well. Remember, just because you release this great new product doesn’t mean they will be able to find it. You have to bring it to them, and knowing how they interact with media and where they hang out will help you. For example, does your audience prefer a specific social media outlet over another? Do they use mobile apps more than others? What websites do they use? Details such as these will help point you in the right direction when it comes time to market your product to your audience.
Monitor and Evolve
The work doesn’t stop once you know who your target audience is and where you can find them. You have to continue monitoring the success of your marketing strategies and keep track of who is actually buying your product along the way. You may discover additional markets that expand your target audience, or you could even find that the audience your initial research point to isn’t interested at all. Keep a close eye on your successes and failures, and be prepared to adjust to the changing dynamics of the market.
Taking the necessary steps to discover your critical audience so you know how to target your marketing campaigns is a necessity if you want to reduce your chances of failure. Knowing who and where your critical audience is will give you great insight into how you should approach them to ensure a great first impression that could turn into a sale.