“Digital marketing” is a popular buzzword among business-owners and everyone wants to figure out how to use social media to bring in new customers. Having a marketing strategy that incorporates both traditional and digital marketing is crucial to the success of any business. But, you don’t want to waste your time or money trying to market to everyone. You want to use your limited resources effectively by reaching the people most interested in buying your product or service. By understanding your target market, you can maximize your marketing dollars to strategically grow your business.

So, how do you identify and understand your target market?

1. Look at your current customer base.
Who are your current customers? Which ones bring in the most business? Look for common characteristics and interests.

2. Check out your competition.
Who are your competitors targeting? Who are their current customers? Can you go after the same market by offering something unique or higher value, or should you seek to find a market they are overlooking?

3. Define your avatar.
Your avatar is a persona of your perfect customer. Look at the common characteristics of the people you identified in steps 1 and 2 along with the people you want to be reaching and compile that information into the description of your avatar.

4. Be specific.
Many business owners say they target “anyone interested in my services.” This is far too general. In defining your avatar, consider specific demographic characteristics (gender, age, income level, etc.) as well as psychographic characteristics (Where do they shop? When do they shop? Why do they buy? Etc.) You should also consider their goals, values, challenges, and sources of information. The more specific you can be, the more effective your marketing strategy will be.

5. Find your avatar.
Now that you’ve identified your ideal customer, you need to find them so you know where to market to them. Remember in the step above when you listed your avatar’s sources of information? You will use that list to determine the best places to advertise in order to reach your avatar. The idea is to find the traditional marketing avenues as well as social media platforms that your ideal customer is attracted to and use those platforms to market directly to your target audience while excluding less ideal prospects.

Once you’ve mastered the art of defining and reaching your avatar, you can repeat these steps to create additional avatars that represent a different target audience. Then, when you’re ready to develop and implement your marketing strategy, you’ll have a clear picture of who you’re trying to reach and the best platforms and messages to reach them.

Want to learn more about target markets and marketing strategies? The Women’s Business Center at Mi Casa Resource Center can help you launch or grow your business through bilingual consulting, in-depth training, and workshops. Learn more.