Let’s back up a bit and do the thing I always like to do and ask ‘WHY’, because why when you’re in business is a good question to ask!
‘Why’, specifically in the context of our title, is going to help you come up with the relevant answers you’re looking for. Two good starter questions are:
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Why should anyone else care about what you’re doing?
One would presume that if you are developing a product, you’re are developing it for a specific reason. After all, developing a product is generally quite a costly endeavour, usually both in time and resources. You don’t generally find many products that have been produced just for the hell of it – although they do exist. Usually products exist to satisfy a specific rationale.
IF you know what your PURPOSE is, then you can start asking why should anyone else should care? By answering the question of ‘why should anyone care about what you’re doing’ you are inevitably going to be narrowing down your target demographic. Your goal in most cases is to end up with as tiny slither of people you actually want to market to as you can. If you were in the military, you would be a sniper, no scatter guns here!
By narrowing down your target market, you are facilitating the ability to develop a super-strong and specific marketing message that speaks DIRECTLY to the core of the person you want to sell to. The wider and more diverse you go, the weaker your message and appeal will be.
This entire process is called market research, and part of this evaluative process you should be talking to your potential customers! Until you ACTUALLY speak to your potential customers, you are basing everything upon assumption. As soon as you start getting real feedback on your idea, you can start actually building a product based around real-world wants and needs.
So, my answer to ‘Defining your initial target market’ is really a list.
First of all, you need to be clear on your WHY
Niche your potential market segment down to the tiniest slither possible
Speak to your potential customers and find out what their pains/requirements are
Build an initial offering based around this.
Keep a tight feedback loop around your development process and customer feedback
Your initial target market should be market led!
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