Defining a target market is a must for all start-ups that want to become more than a start-up, a fixture if you will. Some start-ups may have the strategy of saying anyone interested in our product is welcome. While that is a fine attitude to have in terms of clients or audience, it is a lazy demeanor to have when starting a company and actually trying to figure out who would be most interested in your product.
To get a start-up off the ground, research is a must. To not take the due diligence necessary in starting up a business is irresponsible. The more you know about your target market the better. You don’t want to just know the age, education level or income level. You have to dig deeper than that. You want to know their hobbies, their time management and what they truly value. It’s more precise than just targeting home-owners, or college students. You want to know the things that those people do and value that make them a part of your target market.
Once you pinpoint your target market, as specifically as possible, then you can act upon your findings. A younger audience is easier to reach through social media outlets. Whereas an older audience may need to be talked to in person, or going door to door advertising. There are other examples of using data to figure out the best way to spread your message to people who would be interested. By looking at people who are already using your product you may notice certain themes between them. If you notice that most of the people on your site are college students putting up fliers at the student union may not be a half bad idea. Your findings should point you in a direction, one way or another.
I believe narrowing down your target market is a must to get your startup off and running. Once you have done the research and know who would be most interested in your product then it can speak for itself. If the product is good for a particular group of people then it will be diffused to others by not only your advertising strategy but by word of mouth. People that use your site and enjoy it enough will share it with friends and family that they think would also enjoy it.
Again this is all dependent on your product being truly special. That is what will determine if others will adopt it after the early adopters. But once you see that second wave of people come in then you have a whole new batch of clients to study and see if there are anymore themes amongst them. Not only is market research prudent at the startup level of a business but it should also be thoroughly analyzed throughout the business’s lifetime.