Who is Your Target Market?

“I have an idea for a mobile app, and I read that there are about 5 billion cell phones subscriptions. Even if I only get 10% of the market, I’ll be a millionaire!”

Have you ever heard something along those lines? We have.

Optimistic thinking is great, but realistic planning will get you from ‘keep on dreaming’ to ‘living the dream’. A realistic market share estimate involves market research, and assessments such as a competitive analysis. However, before in-depth research can be done you must identify a specific target market. Understanding your audience is key for creating and sustaining a successful venture.

The best way to define your target market is to create a customer profile. Start by simply recounting your current product or service offering ‘Is the mobile app only available on BlackBerry’s App World?’ ‘Was the app designed for time tracking and invoicing?’. Next, list features and the related benefits such as the ability to create and send invoices directly from the device, which in turn provides convenient on-the-go billing and fast payment.

At this point you may want to describe your average customer, which may be a freelancer BlackBerry smartphone owner with a busy lifestyle. Include extra details such as age range and income. Use the customer profile for researching an accurate approximation of your potential audience.

Thinking in terms of a particular customer will also help you adjust features to better serve your clients’ needs (e.g. removing slang from a description, after determining your customers comprise of educated 45 year olds, not teenage girls). You are not limiting your sales; your offering will most likely appeal to other customer groups, however, you will be able to better serve your target customer.

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