The target customer is a specific group of individuals or organizations that a company intends to reach and serve with its products or services. Defining the target customer involves understanding their characteristics, needs, preferences, and behaviors to tailor marketing efforts effectively. There are typical factors that define the target customer:
Defining the target customer is crucial as it forms the foundation for effective marketing planning, message development, channel selection, and customer acquisition strategies. By understanding the target customer’s characteristics and needs, marketers can tailor their efforts to reach the right audience with the right message, resulting in higher engagement, conversions, and customer satisfaction.
Defining the target customer helps you understand the 5 steps of the consumer’s decision-making process from their perspective:
1)Problem recognition: Why has your target group a need for your service or product?
2)Information search: How does your target group gather information?
3)Alternatives evaluation: How does your target group weigh choices against comparable alternatives?
4)Purchase decision: When and why does your target group makes actual purchase?
5)Post-purchase evaluation: How does your target group reflect on the purchase they made?
It is important to note that consumer decision-making is influenced by various internal and external factors, such as personal preferences, social and cultural influences, individual differences, marketing messages, and situational factors. Additionally, the decision-making process may not always follow a linear sequence, as consumers can skip or revisit stages based on the complexity of the decision, level of involvement, or familiarity with the product category.
Understanding how consumers make decisions provides entrepreneurs with valuable insights into consumer behavior, allowing them to develop effective marketing strategies, product positioning, and customer experiences. By aligning their offerings with consumer needs and preferences, entrepreneurs can enhance their chances of success in the market.With the help of a market analysis, it is possible to find out what distinguishes one’s own product from others and what makes it unique: the unique selling proposition.
Bringing together the profile of the target customer and decision-making process makes it easier to understand which marketing strategy is effective.
– For high-priced products, more research will probably precede the purchase decision. It is therefore important to position information well here (e.g. with an informative website, good customer reviews, etc.).
– For everyday products, the comparison with alternatives often takes place directly on the shop shelf. Here, easily accessible information such as price, packaging, design, information on the packaging is more important.
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