Entering into a business niche is ideally a lifetime union- you have to work with your customers for better or for worse, in good times and in bad times. As in any relationship, it is crucial to get to know and understand each other really well. That will help ensure the longevity of your partnership.
Getting closer to someone requires deliberate effort and a lot of quality time. It is the same way with your customers- you need to really know them, understand what makes them tick, have a sound idea on their behavioral and thought patterns.
There are several ways on how you can really know your niche. These steps will help you see how your customers, product or service can fit together perfectly with one another, and how you can make that union thrive.
1. Study your market diligently.
You should have a good idea on who your target Market is. Start with their demographics: age, gender, socio-economic class, nationality, etc.
Then check if you can break it down further: conceptualize who they really are and create a Persona that truly represents them. This persona is a fictional character who exhibits the traits of someone from your target market. Apart from demographics, you can also include other factors like temperament, mindset and behaviors.
List all these characteristics down and constantly review them. Allow room to grow as people evolve and grow constantly.
2. Check out your rivals.
There is a good chance that your competitors also did their due diligence in studying your target market comprehensively. Their moves are basically a result of their findings and conclusions from their own research.
Evaluate their strategies and take a deeper look at the possible reasons why they chose that certain path. Did they see something that you didn’t? Are they able to successfully address a need that you’re struggling to meet? Learn from them.
3. Explore other sources.
Apart from your competitors, you can also learn from studies done by others- read up on case studies, industry reports and examples. The internet is a rich resource of information.
Take a look at other products and services that your target market is currently using. These may be items from another industry and do not directly compete with your organization. Check how these brands communicate their message- you will get a good idea on how what kind of message your target audience “listens” and responds to.
4. See the ‘human’ behind the persona.
Do not ever forget the person behind that persona you created. Remember that these are human beings that you can personally engage and interact with.
Talk to actual members of your target audience. You can ask for the help of an agency in setting up a focus group discussion. Or you can informally interview them- ask what they want? What they need? You might find out that they are very much willing to articulate their preferences to you. Sometimes, all you need to do is ask.
Use surveys and questionnaires and let them give you the answers to your questions.
5. Observe and monitor them.
Observation can be done online: check where they ‘hang out’ and tune in on their conversations. A great way to do this would be through Facebook groups or online communities. You can also check out their comments and reviews on social media posts, those will give you a clear picture on what they like and don’t like.
Go out and see them personally: how they behave, how they make their purchases, how they interact with people and their environment. Take note if there are changes or certain seasonalities and trends.
You need to be intimately familiar with your target market to be able to communicate with them effectively. The main goal is to build a strong lifetime bond with your customers- remember that great relationships take time and sincere hard work.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business. Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace