Marketing Fundamentals

Understand Your Target Market - Get To Know Them

By Christine Dubyts, Dubyts Communications

In order to know your target market, you have to put yourself in their shoes. I was in a meeting recently to brainstorm ideas for the theme of an upcoming conference. It was a typical scenario - lots of ideas bouncing around, and the chance of reaching a consensus seemed distant. But I wasn't surprised or concerned. Everyone has their own ideas, tastes, preferences and perspectives based on their own personal circumstances. It's a fact of life - absolutely everything we encounter is relative to where we're at in our lives - age, gender, financial status, social circumstance, etc., etc.

When it comes to communicating effectively to your target market, recognizing this is the first step. The second is to look at the situation from the perspective of the customer, delegate, shareholder or employee - whomever you are trying to reach. Throw your own perspective out the window and put yourself in the recipients' shoes, be they child sized or with four-inch heels (ouch).

Only after you look at things from the target market's relative point of view, can you then begin to understand how to reach them - what message to communicate, how to communicate it, which mediums to use, and when to communicate it.