What’s Your Market?


Is This The Right Market?

In my last post I talked about knowing who your ideal customer may be. See: Start With The Who.

If you’re just starting a business a good place to start is by identifying your ideal customer. If your business has stalled or peaked, perhaps you need to re-evaluate who your customer really is.

While identifying that ideal customer is important, in Eric Ries’ book, The Lean Startup, he relates how many business startups fail because they misidentify their ideal client.

In fact, the new business may have gone to great lengths to pinpoint their ideal customer only to fail miserably because their model customer wasn’t interested in the startup’s product or service.

Needless to say this can be pretty frustrating.

So what’s the point then—should we take the time to identify our ideal customer, or not?

I’m a FIRM believer in identifying your ideal customer but not basing your whole business on that identification…let me explain.

Like Dan Kennedy, I believe it’s a mistake NOT to try and identify who your customer or market may be.

And just like Eric Ries, I believe we should TEST, TEST, and TEST again our hypothesis’.

How do we do that?

We do that by targeting the market we identify as our ideal market or client and then test our hypothesis.

We also take the time and spend the money to test other markets as well. We split test, send the same emails, direct mail, etc to our perceived ideal market then send the same emails, direct mail, etc to other markets/clients…other demographics.

But we don’t stop there. We also want to try different email campaigns, direct market mailings, etc on the same targeted markets.

Testing Your Market

Let me give an example:

Our copywriting service specializes in writing copy for children’s book writers. We BELIEVE we’ve identified our market as women aged 35-65 living mostly from the East Coast of the United States.

To be sure we’ve identified the right market, we will also target women of the same age on the West Coast and in the Midwest.

We may also target men in the same demographics and/or women who may be younger than our targeted age group.

For every target market we identify, we’ll provide an email campaign and a direct mail campaign…all stating EXACTLY the same thing in each campaign, BUT have each of the demographics either call a specific 1-800 number, send in a reply card with a UNIQUE identifier, or have each of them go to a SPECIFIC landing page for their demographic.

All we’re trying to accomplish at this point is find out whether our initial stab at the target market is, in fact, the one that give us the best response.

Oh, and by the way, we don’t ignore responses from the other markets, we just know, at this point, based upon our initial research and testing where our best response MAY be.

Remember, however, response in and of itself isn’t our ultimate goal. Our ultimate goal is to identify which market will provide the best return on our investment.

Have You Identified Your Market?

We may get the best response from any market…but the best market will be the one that chooses to purchase and use our product or service.

Taking the time to initially identify your ideal customer then testing our initial guess, and it is a guess, will help confirm whether we’re on the right track to increasing our profits.

If we find out we’ve initially misidentified the market BUT then confirm our true market we SHOULD be able to pivot our business to accommodate the true results.

To your business success!


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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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