Getting to know your target market is crucial for any business owner or marketer. You need to know who they are and what makes them tick so that you can sell to them in the most efficient ways. But the task is a lot more complicated than it sounds. Learning about the audience you’re trying to speak to is something that big business can spend a lot of money on. First of all, you have to know who your target market is, in as much detail and possible. And once you know that, how do you find out what they like, dislike, think and feel? Try some of these tips to learn more about your target audience for better marketing. Identify Your Market Before you can get to know your target market, you need to know who they are. You might have a vague idea, such as that they’re women or that they’re aged between 16 and 24. But you need to pin down more exact specifications if you want to be able to speak to them effectively. The bare bones of what you need to know include demographics such as gender, age, location and language. But beyond that, you should be able to get behind the way they think, feel and behave. To start identifying your target market, you can look at things like who visits your website and buys your products. A starting point could be surveying your customers. fogfish Make Use of Existing Data If you want to get to know your target market, the first thing to do is use data that already exists. There’s no point paying for independent research if you haven’t already looked at the information available to you, much of which is free. You can use existing surveys and business reports to find data about your target market that will help you learn more about them. Look online to find reports that provide information such as how large your market is, sales trends and customer records. Segment Your Market When you’re selling to a lot of people, using market segmentation can be useful. Market research segmentation helps you break up your target market into smaller segments, so that you can meet their needs better. The research can look at their behaviors and their thoughts and feelings. It can group them into more specific sections that you can use to make your marketing and products highly targeted. Combine Quantitative and Qualitative Research If you want to learn everything there is to know about your target market, you should use both quantitative and qualitative research. The former involves numbers and hard facts, asking questions with definite answers. A survey gathering this sort of data might have multiple choice questions or boxes to tick. However, qualitative research aims to go beyond that and learn about people’s deeper thoughts. So you might ask your customers more open-ended questions about how they feel and think. Each method has its pros and cons, so it’s best to combine the two. Identifying and learning about a target market are complicated tasks, which are ongoing. But they’re essential to market your brand successfully, so don’t neglect them.