Before you can be successful in a startup, you have to know your target market, inside and out.
In most businesses, your target market is going to be responsible for your business's success or failure. Choose the wrong target market, and you'll flounder. Fail to understand your target market or fail to reach it entirely, and you'll struggle to make any meaningful progress.
But how can you understand your target market better? Market research, in the form of secondary research, surveys, and interviews, can help you--but only if you know the right questions to ask:
1. What demographics do you belong to? "Target demographics" and "target market" are sometimes used interchangeably, but demographics are concrete identifiers, like age, sex, and race.
2. Where do you live? Geographic location is key for many businesses.
3. How do you live your life? Think about what hobbies they have and how they spend their free time.
4. How much money do you make? Income level may define whether someone can or cannot become a paying customer.
5. In what industry do you work? Are you targeting people in a certain occupation?
6. What's important to you? Think of your market's values and beliefs--what couldn't they live without?
7. How do you get your information? This will dictate how you distribute news, ads, and information about your company.
8. Who's important to you? Referrals and peer support are crucial factors in business growth. Who's close to your target market? How can you reach them?
9. How do you communicate? This can help you tremendously in the customer service department. What mediums do they prefer? How fast do they need a response?
10. What problems do you face? Try to keep this question to your realm of expertise, and make a list of the solutions that already exist--and where they come up short.
Uncover the answers to these 10 questions, and you'll walk away with a better understanding of your key demographics. From there, all you have to do is apply this knowledge to your campaign, and you'll start seeing a better return.