• Mia Cosco

Why A Target Market Is Important in Brand Planning in 2020

I’m gonna start off by describing a high-level view of the market and a term that you should be familiar with is a total market.

What is the total market?

A total market is something I want to start off by talking about because a lot of people immediately want to rush to niche themselves, however, to understand what your target market is, you actually have to start out with understanding your total market.

Your total market is the world. Now, we can narrow this depending on your business. If you only sell your products to people in the USA, the USA is your total market. If you only can accept payments from English-speaking countries or something, then that’s really your total market. You’re typically not going to reach every single person in the world, especially if you’re starting out because not everyone would be able to access your website, your social media, your stores, whatever.

What is the target market?

On to your target market: this is essentially every single person in the world that matches your soulmate customer or client profile. Now, because you likely won’t be able to attract every single ideal person, this is your market segment. A few things you need to know about a target market is what I share with my clients when they are niching:

Defining your target market is super important because if you don’t, you run the risk of trying to appeal to everybody. Without going into that mistake too much, trying to appeal to everybody is simply appealing to nobody. When you do not define your niche and your target market, you put yourself out there to the world. Why is this a mistake?

1. When you try to appeal to everybody, and you’re just starting out as a new service provider for a business, you will typically try to appeal to everybody’s requests.

The beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur that a lot of beginning entrepreneurs don’t successfully realize is that you can choose exactly who you want to market to because you’re in complete control of who you want to be doing business with, on what schedule, and what time zone. You may think that you are limiting yourself with a certain audience, but what you were actually doing is clarifying and setting boundaries with love to the people that could really use your help versus the people that can really make your life a living hell if you decide that you choose to just serve them because they simply have the money.

Sometimes, you can have the beautiful masterclass, the ridiculously convincing social proof, and the well-times sales call, however, if the prospect is not ready for you and this means that they are not willing to commit or really take the leap to solve their problems, then they are just not the right client for you at that time or in that situation. Honor yourself.

Do you ever see on certain restaurant menus why restaurants sometimes don’t accommodate requests or modifications? The reason why it’s important for you to not be able to do that is that you’re just going to simply get burnt out as a new service provider or a business owner.

If you are an aromatherapist, for example, imagine if you got five requests from people willing to pay you who all wanted massage or acupuncture along with aromatherapy! If you were desperate for money, you might just say yes to all of that, but that’s a mistake because even if you’re making more money, you’re burning more time trying to learn about the different things to accommodate each and every single person who just comes to you and, second, you’re potentially wasting your reputation promising what you ultimately can’t actually deliver on. Run a business of integrity and promise only what you know you can deliver on, especially if there are money and contracts involved.

2. When you don’t niche inwards, you run the risk of not being referred. Why would you not be referred if you don’t know your niche?

Well, let me think about all of the coaches that I know. I know a lot. What I also know is that if I run into someone and they’re telling me about problems in their life and I recommend a coach to them, they’re likely not going to say yes because most people aren’t looking for coaches. But if I say that I know a certain coach who can promise a certain solution to a certain group of people, they are going to remember and it’s going to stick in their mind as a perfect solution to their problem. I only refer and recommend the perfect solutions to people who have the problems that fit. A life coach who just wants everybody to live their best life is not someone that I’m going to recommend to somebody who specifically wants help getting over there ex or getting back in the dating game.

Okay, so how do we find our target market? There are a few things to really break down here and I’m going to go into each and every single one.

1. Demographics.

Demographics are our typical distinctions between human populations for marketing and demographics include income, so the different income for tax brackets that people such as upper, middle, or lower class, the ethnicity or background people have in regards to their race such as Caucasian, Hispanic, etc., gender like male or female, education such as well educated or college-educated, and age or generational gaps like Millennial or Baby Boomer.

2. Geographic segmentation.

Segmenting your audience by location, such as regional or zip code differentiators.

3. Psychographic segmentation.

This is the most interesting way of segmenting customers by far, in my opinion. This is where you really get into the attitudes, underlying interests, and values of your target market. For example, my target market values a natural lifestyle brand that values organic and wholesome values as wellness entrepreneurs.

4. Behavioral segmentation.

We can also segment our market by behaviors so this means if they are shoppers online or in person or a mix of both. We can also monitor their shopping habits, such as if they only shop once a year or on Valentine's Day for roses, seasonally speaking.

Now, that is simply the marketing textbook definition of a target market. You can learn about that in any business course for marketing education online or in person, so I’m not going to bore you with what you can probably find out they easily in other YouTube videos. This is the meat of the video and what I am going to share with you is that the most important part of finding your audience is really looking at who you are and doing some deep soul-searching.

Where have you been in life?

When I was just starting out my business, for example, I was working in a 9-to-5 job and I was super unhappy because I didn’t believe in myself to live out the entrepreneurial dream like I always wanted to. I thought that I would have to wait a while and get a bit more comfortable before I could really take the leap for myself.

There are a lot of wellness entrepreneurs that I work with who are in the exact same position. They are working a 9-to-5 because they feel like that’s what helps them make enough money and be comfortable, however, there is a shift that they make themselves where they gain some inner confidence and learn that they actually have a share with the world even if they underestimate themselves. The wellness entrepreneur that is still working a 9-to-5 and is struggling to believe in themselves but knows what they have to do to make that leap to actualize a vision that they’ve always had is my perfect client. This is because I’ve been there and I know all of their desires and all of their pain points along with probably some of similar or overlapping goals.

An important thing to know when you’re defining your target audience is that even if you don’t necessarily want to work with people you’ve been where you’ve been, there’s probably still a population that you can help.

What are you good at?

What have you learned or what is a gift that you have, even if it’s outside of college or university that you could teach or give to other people? This is the basis of you as a service provider or even as a business owner selling products. Even if you are a sound healer and you had a background in being a singer, a model, and a ballet dancer but you don’t want to help any of those populations, there’s a lot of people who could benefit from sound healing. So if you’re in that situation, the next best thing to ask yourself is who would you really like to be working with? Again, the choice is all yours to make and you don’t have to feel guilty for cutting a certain population out. I love to work with other wellness entrepreneurs or business owners in the wellness industry simply because I love talking about well-being and learning more about well-being. helping to alleviate those businesses feels as though that’s my destiny in life and a great way for me to serve the greatest mission on this planet.

Now, when I’m thinking about a niche or a target market, I am typically most concerned with psychographics and behavioral segmentation.

I’m actually not too concerned with demographics because our world is becoming much more nuanced and by that I mean there’s a lot of gray in the world that we may have once thought was black and white. That means that genders are not so cut and dry and also means that people and perspectives are not just black and white and that there’s a lot of mixture in the melting pot of the world that we live in right now. So if you’re drawing off of an outdated marketing plan that caters specifically to middle-aged white men and that is your target demographic, that’s not a niche. A niche is really much more psychological than that and you’re actually going to want to be thinking a lot more about what that person values or even a specific profile of the person that would be your soulmate client or your ideal customer.

Now, something you can do to help you figure it out for yourself is to create an empathy map.

An empathy map is something really beautiful in my heart-centered approach to branding for wellness entrepreneurs and essentially you get into an empathic state of mind when you think about your ideal customer or soulmate client. for example, say that your ideal customer is someone like me!

On paper, I am a 25-year-old Millennial female entrepreneur who has launched my own business as a branding coach. However, it would be foolish to stop there when there are all sorts of desires and pain points and goals underneath the surface for me. Really think about a day in the life of your ideal client or customer.

What do I wake up to? Well, I wake up and I immediately do my yoga and my journalling and I’m typically working from home so I’m cooking more at home and I have a lot of friends and time to be social. Because of the current pandemic, I’m not going out to restaurants as much, though I do have a lot of friends and social relationships that I prioritize as I am single and I am likely thinking not just about my fashion sense and my style, but also my dating life and entertaining things to do with friends.

Really get into the minds of your customers or clients and have some empathy there which will make your entire branding that much stronger. Don’t worry about being overly detailed here! The message that really great businesses and brands send is that they are thinking about what the average single mother wakes up to or what that truck driver specifically eats when he stops for food.

Something really key to know that I want to finish off with here is that we can actually be inspired to find our niche and our target market from our competitors.

If you don’t know who your competitors are because maybe this is a new business or this is a brand that you were just thinking about, then I would look at the five people that you are inspired by. Something I say to my clients all the time is that there are actually no competitors in life. This makes a lot of sense when you really get a good perspective on your unique talents, gifts and you know your heroes journey. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have always been at war for the top market share of soda and fizzy pop drinks. Now, they technically target the same people in their advertising and promotions so their ads are likely going to be really similar because they’re both aiming at very same or similar populations. So, with that said, if you are aware of who you’re inspired by and you are noticing who they are talking to when they are marketing their business or selling their services, make sure that the golden rule stays in mind about running a business of integrity. We are not here as business owners to copy people who we are inspired by or people who we are competing with. We run a business of integrity and the basis of that is firmly knowing that we ourselves have a unique message and gift to share with the world and we do not need to copy.

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