The importance of getting to know your market 

 July 8, 2021

By  Jeff Paro

Dear FACTS marketer,

In our last email, we talked about the holy grail of marketing: Market, Message, Media.

Today, I’d like to talk about your target market and the importance of doing the “homework” necessary to get to know them.

Knowing the wants, needs, and desires of your target market is one of the most important keys to success in marketing.

Marketers that skip this step have their work cut out for them (and most do skip this).

You must spend time and energy doing research, you can’t rely on what you think.  You need to do your research. You need to do the leg work.  I can’t stress this enough.

No amount of clever marketing is going to help your business if you don’t understand your customers. Your best bet is not to assume but to perspire. And the best way not to assume is by finding out what’s on their minds (and in their shopping carts).“- Seth Godin

Understanding your target market is essential because it’s what shapes your marketing Message.  It’s what lets you know what to say to your prospect and just as important, how to say it..

One of the foundational keys to having a successful marketing campaign is understanding your customer’s point of view. Most marketers frequently think they understand their customers, but they really don’t.  

Assuming you already know this information is a recipe for disaster. 

If you do the research and learn what’s important to them if you find out their hopes, desires, frustrations, fears, and problems, you will have a much better chance of marketing success.

Here are a few things to consider:

+ Define the target market you are marketing to. It’s not enough to say small business owners, or people looking to make money online. You must be more specific than that. Niche down as specific as you can. For example, we niched down to Chiropractors that use speaking to grow their practices (that’s pretty niched!). The more you can niche down the easier it will be to sell and the easier it will be viewed an expert — and the BEST person for the job.

Types of information to find out about your target market:

+ What does your market believe about themselves?   What do they believe about your product? Not what you want them to believe, but what do they actually believe.  

+ Is your target market looking for security? Do they want to be trendsetters? What are their priorities? What’s important to them in their life and business that will influence what they buy and how they respond to your marketing message.

+ How are they different from your average person? What do you know about them, like what kind of cars or food they buy, the music they listen to and their favorite color.  

+ What do they want to achieve and what obstacles are they facing?   Find out what their goals and aspirations are and why they want to achieve them.  Uncover the problems that keep them up at night, how they feel about those things keeping them up. 

+ What do you know about their hopes for the future, their dreams?   The biggest mistake marketers make is selling things to people that don’t really want or need them. You won’t do this if you know your target market well enough.

+ How does the internet fit into their daily life? How long have they been online, what kind of websites do they visit, how often are they on Facebook, Twitter, and other networks? What kind of mobile devices do they use most often?   The more specific you can get the better. The digital technology that’s part of the fabric of their lives will influence what it is that you offer them.  

+ What are some of their habits and preferences?  A good example would be if you were selling a social networking program, you’d want to know that your customers like to have friends come over for dinner at least once a week. They have family get-togethers often. If you found out that they like to stay in contact with their friends and family through social networks, you’d make sure your program had a chat feature.  If they hate technology then you probably wouldn’t sell them a computer or anything electronic.

+ What do they believe about themselves? We each have our own self-esteem. Just because you and I like math, doesn’t mean that we both like it equally. Some people believe they are better at math than others. Your target market has a perceived value attributed to themselves as well. Tapping into and addressing the beliefs they have about themselves is one of the most powerful tools in persuasion.

+ What do they value in life? Just like the previous example, some people are more materialistic than others. Some care deeply about their health, while others don’t really care. Depending on your specific target market and what they value will shape your marketing message.

+ What does your target market do for fun? People have different hobbies, and some even collect things. Knowing what a person likes to spend their free time doing will help you shape your marketing message to those people. A marketing message that caters to hard-core mountain bikers is going to be much different than one who enjoys reading books.

+ What does your target market read? Whether it’s books, blogs, magazines or online articles, knowing what your target market reads is very important. It shows you how they think and helps you create a message that will resonate with them and pull them in.

+ How old are they? Age is another thing that goes into their perceived value. If you’re trying to market your business to younger people, you’re going to have a much different marketing message than if your target market is senior citizens.

+ What do they believe in? Some people are very religious, some aren’t. Some believe in UFO’s, others don’t. Knowing what a person believes in (or doesn’t) will help you shape your marketing message to fit.

+ What does your target market buy?  If you want to sell things to people, then they have to have money. Knowing what a person spends their hard-earned money on will help you market towards them better. If your target market makes an above-average income and buys luxury brands, perhaps you’d create a message that resonates with quality and VIP status.

+ What does your target market want to buy next?  If you can find out what people in your target market are currently spending their money on there is a good chance that you can predict what they will purchase next.  Imagine that you are a life insurance salesman. A lot of people in your target market own houses and the value of their homes continues to increase. What do you think they would purchase next?

+ What does your target market believe about your target market?  The market that you are targeting is going to have its own prejudices. If you are marketing towards Chiropractors, what do they think about Big Pharma? The answers to these types of questions can help shape your marketing message as well.  

+ What does your target market want?   If you want to sell things to people then you need to find out what it is that they actually desire. You may think your target market desires a certain thing, but until you ask them firsthand, there’s no way of knowing for sure.

+ What does your target market fear?  Knowing what frightens the average person in your target market will help you bring up those fears and offer ways to help them overcome it. You may have an idea of what frightens the average person, but why not just ask? If they are afraid of losing their money then try to stress the “financial security” or “income predictability” angles. If they fear the loss of prestige, then sell something that helps them gain social standing.

As you can see, getting to know your target market is crucial to crafting a marketing message that resonates, converts or convinces your market. 

If you don’t know this then you have work to do. You need to get out there and start talking with people from the market you hope will buy from you.

It’s not always easy to figure this stuff out, it’s what makes marketing “difficult”.  But once you do crack the code, your marketing will become effortless.   

Use this information to create your next marketing message. You should also use it as the basis for creating the content of all your communications: Blogs, Online Paid Ads, email marketing etc. 

See you at the top!

Jeff Paro


Jeff Paro

Jeff Paro

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