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Honing in on exactly who you are marketing your product to and using that data to inform your product design and strategy is crucial to the development of your business. 

Here are some essential tips:

1. Data, data, data

Ascertaining exactly who your target market is involves a research process that gleans information from across your whole organization. At ServiceSeeking.com.au we surveyed our customers, businesses and sales and support staff to help us build a picture of who was really using our site as well as who might benefit most from it in the future. We incorporate a customer service satisfaction survey into our customer experience using Survey Monkey, which is preferable to costly and small-sampling focus groups for gleaning timely data about your target market and their concerns.

2. Finding your typical customer

Once you have established the general demographic you need to dig deeper and find a customer who really exemplifies your target market.  After sifting through our research we settled on a profile of a ServiceSeeking.com.au customer to represent the typical (or future typical) clientele. We decided on their age, gender, priorities, likes, dislikes, family situation, income, fears, skills and

Decide (based on your research and customer satisfaction data) what draws your typical customer to your service and what problems they may be having with your product. Narrow this down to a few key issues. For example, perhaps your customer likes the aesthetic of your online interface but is put off by the number of emails they receive per day. In this case you would divert energy into maintaining your design element and reworking your communications schedule.

 3. Tailor your product

Now that you have a detailed idea of who your target market is, you can begin to tailor both your product and your customer service to suit their needs. After all, you want to create a product that meets the needs of your core customer.

We know that our target market has a sound understanding of technology but appreciates when it is easy to use; they previously used Google to find services before they found us. They are time-poor and usually check their emails within business hours and want to make final decisions quickly about who to hire. So, we tried to think of ways that this could inform our service; working to make our online experience more user friendly and lessening our non-essential customer communication (superfluous emails).

After extensive research we learned that our target market has a healthy distrust of the Internet and tradie fraudsters. They expect that the business they have chosen will be professional, licensed and timely. Consequently, we introduced an automatic ABN checking function on the site to ensure that all businesses were registered. We also continued to ensure that we’re consistently combing the site for any potentially dodgy businesses via our feedback mechanisms and verification and certification services, so that our clientele don’t need to waste a minute of their customer experience worrying about authenticity or quality.

4. Update accordingly

If you feel as though you have finally tailored your business to your customer, get someone from your target market to test it out! And continue to generate feedback so that you know you’re heading in the right direction. As your customer base shifts and evolves so should your product design, marketing strategy and content tactics. If your customers are young and technically savvy, they’re only going to grow with the trends and so should you. This could mean looking into mobile apps or increasing your social media presence. Likewise, if your product was once the sole domain of women but a market for men has recently opened up then adjust your schemes appropriately to capitalize on your growing customer base.

Gina Rushton

Gina Rushton

Gina is a communications student at UTS and enjoys writing about social media development, women’s issues and literature. She is the Media Assistant at <a href="http://ServiceSeeking.com.au">ServiceSeeking.com.au</a>, a site where customers can compare quotes and prices for household and trade services.  

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