What is “target market”
Usually when a product or service is created, there is a certain kind of populace that is expected to like it more than others. This segment of people that love your product more than others are differentiated by various qualities such as:
- Income level
- Geographical location
- Marital status and so on.
This classification of customers, and their cluster thereof, is called the target market.
Benefits of having a target market
It is possible that when it comes to your craft, you have something with a universal appeal! Everyone of all ages, gender and tastes, loves it. However, it is more likely you will discover a certain profile of people buy a particular craft more than others.
You may not realise it or pay attention to who is buying your craft initially. But the data is there to uncover. And once you do, there are some key benefits to be had.
- You can direct your advertising efforts towards these potential customers.
- Your ratio of potential buyers to actual sales goes through the roof.
- You can make more of what this segment likes and have more sales.
- You can build a more profitable craft business.
How to find your target market, in other words, how to do market research
You might be unsure if you even have a target market. But believe me, you most likely do. The question is how to discover it. Some find out after having been in business and sold their crafts numerous times. These crafters realise then who buys more of what.
Personal experience is a great way to discover your target customer profile. It takes time and even a bit of experimenting. But it's one of the easiest and simplest methods.
Some crafters know beforehand what their target market is. For example, a seamstress/seamster sewing clothes for children. Or a woodworker making rocking chairs. It's easy to guess who is more likely to buy these crafts.
One of the main qualities of the target market is that, well, it should be ‘targetable’. You should be able to reach out to the people in your segment of choice.
In the above 2 examples, you can reach out to the young mothers are putting up flyers and pamphlets in places like daycare centres, toy stores etc.
Similarly the woodworker can reach out to his target market in places like clubs, local resorts etc. It is a matter of figuring out where the people you are looking for are at.
Studying the competition
But talk about market research is incomplete without the mention of your potential competition. Sometimes the presence of competition is a deal-breaker for starting a craft business. But most of the times it's a reason to do things differently and better.
Imitating the competition is a good idea only when the demand of matches the supply drastically. But even then, being a crafter, you must do everything you can to give your craft your own signature style.
Being unique and your target market are very closely related.
By making a niche product you can simply refine your target market. For example, children's clothes is a niche. Children's booties is an even sharper niche.
You don't always have to make more things to sell more. Read our post to about how to create a niche for your craft business.
Coming back to analysing your competition. Have a look at your local businesses and online stores if that's applicable. See what they are doing, what they are selling, what their obvious marketing strategies are and how much are they charging for their product.
Advertising your craft business
By now you have the necessary information to start advertising your business. A study of your competition must have also giving you an idea of how much you can price your craft for. It's important both to get adequate renumeration for your work and also not to out-price yourself from the market. Read this post on five easy ways to advertise your craft business.
- Find out all you can about people who are willing to buy from you.
- Find out how you can reach them with your message.
- Make more and sell more to your target market.
- Analyse the competition carefully.
- Do things better and differently to place yourself in a niche.
- Use simple and effective ways to reach your target customer.
Going In-Depth – Important Tips
- You can start with your market research close to home. Speak to close friends and family members who you can trust to give you their honest opinions and who’s viewpoint point you respect.
Home-based businesses often take off with close acquaintances. So their reaction to your craft will tell you a lot.
- There are two ways to defeat your competition. Make the craft different and better, or implement better branding.
Branding is your most important key in a outshining your competition and demanding the price you want. Read our post on why a branding makes more money for you / 7 easy steps to some great product branding.
- The online marketplace is a crowded one. Setting up the shop on Etsy is simple and easy. But being discovered not so much. Unless you can follow the steps mentioned above, that is, being unique and doing your due branding work.
- Any craft usually has two features that appeal to the buyer. They are: practical utility and ascetics. Remember this point and use both, when possible, while creating the craft as well as when marketing and advertising for it.
- Figure out exact mediums and methods of reaching your target market. They should be accessible through places they go to, places where they shop, clubs they are members of, publications and newspapers they read etc. This will ensure that you are able to get your message across to them when you require to do so.
- Create a great profile for yourself as a crafter complete with a great photograph. It doesn't have to be a studio image. Just a well shot image that reflects who you are and what you do. Your profile as a crafter has become quite important. Especially if you are selling online.
The buzz around selling on sites like Etsy is the experience of buying directly from the crafter. The craft is almost as important as the crafter himself.
So go ahead and write a profile. Tell your buyers who you are, what you do, how long you've been doing it, why do you do what you do, what inspires you and so on and so forth. Show them a side to yourself that you think will interest them. Tell a story if you happen to have one.