Tips for Defining Your Target Market

By Lori Dubois – CWCC Member

An effective strategic marketing plan aligns with your mission and clearly defines your target market, unique marketing message, and the most appropriate marketing methods to communicate with existing and prospective clients and customers.

Having a well-defined target market narrows your focus and saves you time and money by talking only to the right people and sharing the right information with them. Here are six steps to get you on your way to a clearly defined target market.

1.       Historical Statistics: Take a look at who your clients were at several different points in time over the past several years. These might include age, gender, income, industry, average sale, or others.

2.       SWOT Analysis: A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis may shed new light on your target market, not to mention providing fuel for other strategic marketing planning.

3.       Ideal Client Profile: Your ideal client is not necessarily your typical current client, but who you want to be your best client. This goes beyond industry and job title or age and gender, it truly encompasses who you want to do business with, including values and characteristics.

4.       Persona: Creating a persona involves envisioning all the traits of your ideal client into one person, with a gender, age, name, face, lifestyle, family, job, and more.

5.       Surveys: Surveys may be one of the most under-utilized tools in marketing and in business in general. If you have questions about what customers think and want—ask them!

6.       Competitive Intelligence: Talk to your competitors’ vendors and customers. Check their websites and marketing collateral to see who they are talking to and what their marketing message is.

When you add information about your industry trends and economic forecasts, you will be able to adjust your target market to better serve your objectives and focus more directly on your best opportunities for growth.

Lori Dubois owns Dubois Information, a marketing communications company helping small to medium sized businesses define their target market, develop their marketing message, and determine the best methods for communicating their message. Dubois Information works with business owners to communicate better with their clients and prospects through email marketing, newsletters, surveys, web content, and social media strategies. For more information, visit or call 303.221.1129

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