10 Essential Questions to Ask Your Target Market

Filed Under Client Acquisition 

Article by guest author, Donna Gunter. This article will be published in

two parts.

“My target market is everybody.” Is this statement true for your business?

If so, how is that working for you? My guess would be that it’s not working

at all. I shudder when a client tells me that their target market is everyone.

When you target everyone, it’s too hard to focus on anyone and you attract

no one.

One of the most terrifying decisions an online business owner makes is the

decision to refine and define their target market. Why? Generally because

they’re scared of excluding people. However, the more focused you are in your

marketing efforts and the better you understand and can define your target

market, the easier your marketing becomes. Really! And, what’s even more

astonishing is that you’ll soon begin to hear, “Well, I know you only work with

<xyz market> and have seen how successful they have been in working with you,

but I’m <abc market>. Will you work with me, too, and help me succeed?”

What’s the easiest way to uncover the characteristics of your target market?

Conduct informational interviews with those who belong to that target market.

Despite the fact that most informational interviews are used by people seeking a

job in a particular market, you can apply this concept to help you create a full

description of your target market. If you have no idea who that might be,

interview some of your favorite clients or friends/colleagues that you think

would make an ideal client for you. Go through your contact database and find

prospects who meet your description and request to talk to them about their


You can set up 30-minute interviews over coffee or over the phone with people

who fit your ideal client profile and ask them a series of questions about

things you want to know more about that will give you insight into their daily

lives. Or, join in and participate in their online discussion lists, forums. or

blogs and research the kinds of questions being posted. Find someone else who

provides a different offering to the same target market and ask to send out a

short survey to that person’s contacts and to find out more about them as a


Here are the questions you can ask in your informational interview or survey.

Some of these questions may not apply to your target market, depending on

whether you’re a business-to-business company or a business-to-consumer company:

1. Demographics. Are they male or female? What age group? What

socio-economic or ethnic group do they belong? What is their religious

preference? What levels of education have they completed? What is their marital

status? Do they have children?

2. Psychographics. What are their lifestyle preferences? What kind of

hobbies do they have? How do they spend their free time? Do they tend to be

conservative or liberal in their lifestyle and political beliefs? Are they

generally introverted or extroverted?

3. Financial. How much do they make in a year? Can they easily afford

your product or service? On what do they regularly spend money?

4. Industry. What types of occupations do they hold? Are they part of a

particular industry or profession? To what groups and associations (real and

virtual, personal and professional) do they belong? Is there a list of them that

might exist somewhere?

5. Values and Beliefs. What are their beliefs? What values do they hold

dear? What is important to them in their life and work?

Please return to read the rest of Donna’s informative article.

Online Business Resource Queen (TM) and Business Coach Donna Gunter helps service professionals learn how to automate their businesses, leverage their expertise on the Internet, and get more clients online. To sign up for more FREE tips like these and claim your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, visit her site at OnlineBizU.com. Ask Donna an Internet marketing question at AskDonnaGunter.com.

I specialize in creating customized marketing solutions for small business. Contact me at georgann at catchphrasemarketing dot com, or call me at 888-494-8445 to discuss how you can get more clients and increase profitability without increasing marketing expenses. Yes, you really CAN have it all!

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