Identify Target Business Marketing: Plan, Research, and Surveys

Learn How To Gather Consumer Market Research Data to Find Your Business’ Niche

Market graph

Before beginning your advertising campaign, it is important that you first identify your target market. Target markets and ways that you can connect with them are explored in-depth in online marketing courses.  

A target market is basically the type of person that will want or need your product or services. By targeting a specific market, you will be able to save money by spending less and increase marketing. The process of identifying a target market is called market segmentation. Using this, a business can use a top-down approach to identifying a group or niche. After you have identified a niche, you will be able to concentrate your efforts to attract a specific consumer group. 

As a business owner or executive, you have probably heard of using market research, which is used as a marketing strategy. This is the process of using various techniques to collect, analyze, and report data about potential consumer groups. Formal market segmentation requires comprehensive research. That will help you to identify quantitative and qualitative patterns in consumer groups. Quantitative consumer data refers to numbers such as age, income, and family size while qualitative data relies on characteristics such as education, occupation, and personality. There are several ways you can go about segmenting a population to target a market. Some are more relevant to your business than others. The following describes different aspects of market segmentation used for research that will help you in identifying a niche and maximizing your business marketing dollars. 

  1. Demographics:

    • Age: Teenagers targeted by acne medication company.
    • Income: A person earning $200,000 is more likely to purchase a Cadillac than a person earning $10,000.
    • Family size: Wholesale distributors that keep prices low by selling in bulk would target larger families.
    • Education: A calculator company may target high school math students.
    • Occupation: A shoe company might sell a shoe targeted for construction workers.
    • Gender: A handbag company will target women.
    • Nationality/Race: A small business selling foodstuffs from Africa would target the immigrant African community.
  2. Geography:

    • Region of the world: The shoe company, Puma, most aggressively targets consumers in Latin America and Europe for their soccer shoes.
    • Climate: A snow plow manufacturer will target areas where it snows.
  3. Behaviors:

    • Brand loyalty: Apple targets a niche of consumers loyal to its products.
    • Value of quality: Higher-end watch companies like Seiko target consumers that value high-quality timepieces.
  4. Psychographic:

    • Personality: A person who likes to show off is more likely to buy a Hummer H2 than a reserved person.
    • Lifestyle: A shoe company like Vans, that sells skateboarding shoes would target skateboarders with their advertising.
    • Interests: Stores that sell arts and crafts materials target hobbyists and students alike.
  5. Other Questions to Ask:

    • Readiness to buy: How soon will they purchase your product?
    • Frequency of purchase: How often will they purchase your product?
    • How likely are they to purchase your type of product?
    • What kind of music do they like?
    • What kind of ____(fill in the blank) do they like?
  6. Types of Research:
    • Surveys are the most commonly used and least expensive method available. They can be conducted online, in person, or by phone.
    • Focus groups are a method by which companies gain feedback on products by asking questions in an interactive group setting. This method might also be used to gain feedback on services, concept, advertisement, ideas, or packaging.
  7. An Introduction to Surveys:

    • Establish goals of survey. What criteria will you use? Ask specific questions so you won't lose sight of your target.
    • Sample size. Who will be asked to complete the survey? The sample size should be as random as possible to ensure a variety of different type of people complete it. Also, the greater the sample size the greater the accuracy of the research.
    • Method.
      1. Personal interview: Ask past customers to answer some of your questions.
      2. Telephone: Hire telemarketers to conduct the surveys for you.
      3. Mail: Purchase the addresses from direct mailing companies and mail in bulk.
      4. Web-based: Search for a website with a survey panel that has existed for a long time and has good results for past clients. You can also conduct your own research by putting surveys on your website or sending e-mail messages with links to your survey.
    • Planning the research.
      1. How much will the research method take?
      2. How long will it take to write and edit a survey?
      3. When will you implement the survey?
      4. When will you complete the survey and analyze the data?
    • Processing and analyzing data.
      1. For large campaigns with a very large sample size, computer software is a must. You might want to hire a company that conducts surveys or someone familiar with statistics to help you with this aspect.
      2. For smaller campaigns you can simply look through the surveys and get an idea of what your niche is.
      3. Create a report detailing your findings and how it will fit into your plan.

Don't forget to keep your marketing strategy competitive by taking online courses; these marketing classes can help you identify and implement new marketing tools and techniques.

The goal of any company is to maintain profit over time. Hopefully this article has assisted you in finding a niche that proves to be successful for your business. 


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this is a good article coming from a social science perspective. and very detailed. i've been wanting to learn more about market research so thank you

By Anonymous

Useful details. However, for small business owners, this could be overwhelming so most of them just don't bother.

By Mary Norton

Very detailed tips and good examples. Would like to have seen a conclusion (article ends abruptly) and some links that could be followed for more info.

By Riley Klein