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How to Define and Refine Your Target Market

If you’ve walked into both a Walmart and a Target, you probably noticed a slight difference. They’re both discount retailers, and yet Target is focused on a slightly different customer leveraging savvy marketing and advertising as well as celebrity-endorsed product lines. That slight skew creates a dramatically different experience with each brand.

It’s so dramatic that many Target shoppers won’t shop at Walmart and vice versa.

Another example of this difference is evident when comparing Home Depot and Lowe’s. Both are home improvement retailers, but slight differences in the brand experience position Home Depot for tradesmen and Lowe’s for “do-it-yourself” weekend warriors.

These companies have effectively defined their target markets. In fact, it feels like they’ve done their homework and yet, this exercise to define your targeted market is not limited to national (consumer retailers.)

8 Questions that Help You Identify Your Buyers

For complex B2B companies, it’s especially important to define your target market. Not unlike slicing an apple, it’s imperative to understand the various slices or targeted segments that your offering is targeting. How do you define your target market? The first step is to understand your target market by answering the following questions

1. Perception.

What do prospects think about your business today? How do you want them to think about your business?

2. Attributes.

Who are the key buyers or decision makers? How would you describe them as people?

3. Motivations.

What motivates the buyer to complete a purchase? What will motivate them to buy from your company?

4. Barriers - real or perceived.

What are the key hurdles to changing their perceptions about you or to doing business with you?

5. Buying behavior.

How do they shop for solutions in your vertical today? What do they value in a product or service?

6. Influencers - internal and external.

Who influences their purchase decisions? Who influences their perception of your company?

7. Decision criteria.

What is the one reason they should choose you? What is the one thing they should take away from doing business with you?

8. Information sources.

How do they inform their purchase decisions? How do we communicate with them today? How should we communicate in the future?

You Can't Be Everything to Everyone.

In B2B, you might aspire to achieve the scale of a Walmart or a Target. However, you won’t reach that lofty goal overnight. That’s why it’s absolutely critical to nail your target market definition. After all, you can’t be everything for everyone.

But, if you carve a tight enough niche and if you define your market tightly enough, you can be everything to the buyers that matter.

By Maria Trysla – Marketing Strategy for B2B Companies.

For more branding insights, check out my 4 Steps to Revitalizing Your B2B Brand or send me a message on LinkedIn.

About CMG Partners

CMG enables complex organizations to realize their market potential, becoming more agile, and more focused on growth. We’re strategists and practitioners in equal measure, backing up our thinking with a sharp understanding of execution. Clients from Fortune 500 powerhouses to startup ventures trust CMG to lead category-changing marketing strategies to success. We deliver strategy, go-to-market, agile and analytical programs with speed and dexterity.