One of the key elements of a successful marketing strategy is knowing who your target market is; who are your customers. Advertising is expensive and you want your promotional methods to be as effective as possible. This is an obvious exaggeration, but you don’t want to pursue a marketing campaign for your new nightclub by mailing postcard ads to a senior citizens community… this is probably not time or money well spent. If your business is already established, evaluating your customers will be far easier than if you are a start-up, as you have access to and existing customer base and you can ask them to fill out surveys (if you are looking to refine your understanding of your customers). Additionally, you have access to tremendous data as you can see what they bought and how much they spent, by associating the survey with the customer.
When attempting to define the specifics of your customer base, consider the following 10 characteristics:
- Are they male or female (or both?)
- Is there a particular age range
- What level of education do they posses
- Are they single, married… or divorced
- What is their average income
- Where do they live; apartment, condo, house
- Do they own or rent
- What is their occupation
- What are their hobbies
- Do they prefer the Internet over TV, or Radio, or even Newspapers
This list isn’t all inclusive as you can get as creative as you’d like, but these are the basic essentials for determining the demographic make-up of your target consumer. Additionally, you may want to ask more focused questions as you refine who your customer is to determine their preferences toward your product or service. For example, if you own a restaurant, once you’ve collected enough data that you feel comfortable with your understanding of who your customer is, you may want to ask about menu items, perceived value of price vs. food, the color make-up of the restaurant, lighting, item’s not on the menu that they would like to see… the list is endless. Finding out these specific characteristics will help you understand your customer, which will help to cultivate effective advertising campaigns.