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Zyro Glossary eCommerce

Target Market Profile

Man Sitting on Sofa in Highrise

What is a target market profile? 

Your target market profile lets you identify the group of people who are the most likely to buy your product. You want to sell to them because your target customer is your ideal customer. 

Figuring out your target market profile should be part of setting up your new business. After all, in order to sell anything, you need to know who’s going to be buying.

This group you identify as your target market profile will share a set of common characteristics, like age, interests, or gender. 

You should never base your target demographic on a gut feeling or a stereotype.

Instead, conduct extensive market research and analyze the competition before you launch a new business. 

Only then will you be able to define the ideal customer that will be interested in a particular brand or product. 

Why knowing your target market audience is important

The main reason you should create a target market profile is to direct your marketing efforts. 

Having a solid understanding of what your customer base is will help you conduct better marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to reach out to the right people, without wasting time and money. 

Simply put, single dads with small children are not usually mingling in the same marketing channels as college students in their early 20s. 

And even if your product is something that both single dads and college kids would need, you’re not going to find a marketing channel that is a ‘one size fits all.’ 

You need to segment your campaigns and target them with precision, which is where target marketing comes in handy.

Think about factors like: 

  • Age. Which generation are they part of? Did they share similar experiences growing up? If you have a clear idea of the general age of your target audience, you can tailor the sales message to suit them.  
  • Gender. Some products and services are aimed at certain genders, but don’t be too rigid. There are wives and mothers out there buying their husbands’ and sons’ socks and underwear. 
  • Income level. This can give you an idea of how you should price your products or services. If you’re selling expensive watches, you won’t get many sales out of marketing campaigns aimed at people who can’t afford to buy them.  
  • Family. Does your ideal customer have children? Is she married? Or maybe divorced? Perhaps they’re retirees, grandparents or college kids. Your potential customers could be running all kinds of households. 
  • Location. Where your audience is in the world plays a huge role in your business and marketing strategy. And it’s not only because you’ll need to understand potential cultural nuances. Rather, you want to know what time to schedule sales calls and social media posts to get your products seen.
  • Language. Don’t assume that your audience speaks your language. The worst you can do is send your target audience marketing messages in a language they don’t understand.
  • Interests. The more you know about your audience’s interests, the better you know if they’ll buy your product. People who spend their free time in nature are more likely to be interested in a pair of hiking boots than those who drink craft beers as their main hobby.

Defining your market positioning

Once you know who is going to be buying your product and who you will aim your marketing campaigns at, you can start thinking about where your brand is positioned in relation to your market. 

It may sound a little complicated, but finding your position in the market allows you to distinguish your brand from your competitors

This usually means that you want to create an image for your brand that customers can easily associate your products or services with.

For example, if you sell watches, you could position yourself as a luxury goods merchant.

Market positioning is most commonly done by looking at the different aspects of the product or service in detail and thinking about the benefits they can offer people. 

Try the following positioning strategies: 

  • Product features and benefits. Focus on highlighting certain features of your product and the benefits they bring to the consumer. 
  • Competitors. Focus on emphasizing why your brand is better than the competition.
  • Product quality. Associate your product with high quality.
  • Product price. Make the price of your products the main selling point.
  • Product use. Create associations with certain uses of your product.

Another thing that can help you define your market position is to compare yourself to your competitors. 

Think about how unique your business is when positioned next to other similar brands. Focus on highlighting your strengths and looking at where your competitors fall short. 

Once you have an idea of all that, you can develop a positioning strategy and focus your marketing efforts better. 

Examples of target audience profiles

To help you get a real idea of what a target audience profile should look like, we’ve come up with a few target audience examples. 

Remember, that a target audience profile doesn’t necessarily define all of the customers that shop at a particular brand. 

It’s merely a tool to get an idea of the main characteristics that are shared by many potential customers within the target market.

So, use these target market examples to expand and build your own ideal customer profile.

1. Yoga apparel 

Key demographics: 

  • Age: 20-40 
  • Gender: 100% female

Key psychographics: 

  • Interested in health and wellbeing 
  • Wants to wear stylish but comfortable clothes  
  • Loyal to brands that share their values 

Challenges or pain points: 

  • Looks for ethically sourced products
  • Concerned about climate change 

Preferred channels and content: 

  • Follows social media influencers, particularly on Instagram 
  • Reads blogs about mindfulness and yoga 
  • Looks up yoga videos on YouTube

In this first target market example, the yoga apparel brand would probably best reach the target customer base if they position themselves as a socially-responsible and a climate-conscious brand.  

It’s also important to note that the target audience prefers visual content, so a marketing campaign on social media will probably do better than emails.

2. Gaming headphones 

Key demographics: 

  • Age: 15-35 
  • Gender: 70% male, 30% female

Key psychographics: 

  • Plays video games in their free time
  • Strongly values the online gaming community
  • Looks up to the big gaming stars 

Challenges or pain points: 

  • Has a limited budget 
  • Knows a lot about technology

Preferred channels and content: 

  • Regularly watches live streams on Twitch 
  • Follows many social media influencers on Twitter 
  • Reads lots of guides and news blogs online

As for this business, they might want to focus on working together with social media influencers and affiliates to reach their target audience. 

Making sure to position themselves as an affordable yet high-quality headphone brand would also appeal to their target market.

How to write a target market profile

Setting up a customer profile isn’t as time-consuming as you might think. 

It all starts with identifying your market and understanding why a customer would need your product or service.  

Think about the features your product has and the benefits it brings to a potential buyer. 

For example, if you’re selling smoothies and juices, a feature of your products would be that they are made of fruit and vegetables. A benefit of this is that the smoothies are full of vitamins and count towards your 5-a-day. 

Once you have a solid understanding of your product, it’s time to think about the segmentation of your market

You want to divide your market into different categories based on the geographic (location), demographic (age, gender, religion, and income level), psychographic (beliefs, attitudes, and emotions), and behavioristic (the reasons why your buyer is buying) characteristics of the audiences.

Most businesses can have multiple segments. 

For example, a sports clothing company could segment their audience based on:

  • Gender. Men, women, and children will all buy different styles of clothing.
  • Location. The Canadian market might have different needs for winter sports than the Texan audience. 
  • The reasons for buying a new kit. One segment might value the fashion aspect of the clothing, while another segment would focus on how well the clothing performs during a workout. 

The more you can segment your target audience, the better you can position your products as the solution to the challenges they might face. 

But don’t forget to consider the profitability of each sub-segment too. 

There might not be enough men interested in buying yoga pants made of recycled plastic for you to pin-point it as your niche target market.

The best way to know who’s most interested in your product is to look at who’s already your customer

You can document their purchases in your CRM or get them to provide you feedback on their orders. 

Systematically looking at your current customers can help you further understand and refine your target market definition. 

Written by

Author avatar

Matleena

Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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