As a small business owner in a small, rural community, it can take time to identify your target market.
However, with the right approach, you can effectively reach your target market and grow your business using unconventional methods that big business use but almost all small businesses choose to ignore.
To start, consider the demographic makeup of your local community. When we look at factors such as age, gender, income, education level, occupation, housing, and economy, this can help us better understand our spending adults a little better.
As an example, according to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2020 the demographic makeup of Uinta County, Wyoming is as follows:
- Population: 20,635
- Median age: 39.1 years
- Gender: 50.2% female, 49.8% male
- Income: $75,106 median household income, $30,586 per capita income.
- Race and Ethnicity: 95.5% White, 0.6% Black or African American, 1.4% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, 1.7% Two or More Races
- Educational Attainment: 93.6% of the population aged 25 and older have a high school diploma or equivalent, 18.0% have a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Occupation: Top industries in Uinta County are healthcare, retail trade, and manufacturing.
- Housing: 8,851 Units, 78.2% are owner occupied, $190,900 is the median value of owner-occupied housing, $1,264 is the median monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, $711 is the median gross rent.
- Economy: 65.5% in civilian labor force ages 16 years+, 62.2% are female, $33,397,000 total accommodation and food services sales, $117,729,000 total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, $92,934,000 total transportation and warehousing receipts/revenue, $347,159,000 total total retail sales, $16,977 total retail sales per capita.
When I did my research to include the three adjacent counties served by this community, we have an adult spending population of around 19,549 as of early 2023.
Who Has Needs and Interests That You Serve?
With this information, think about the needs and interests of your community. Have you ever polled your customers to find out what they need? As a small business owner, it is essential to narrow your marketing focus to only the people most likely to buy what we offer.
Combining the area demographics with psychographics, which is “why” people buy, allows you to really hone in on your target market. Psychographics include things like habits, hobbies, spending habits, and values.
When we combine both, we can create a better product or service that addresses their specific needs and interests. This data will tell you things like products or services in high demand that you are not currently offering. Or worse, offering at the wrong price point.
This information can be gathered through polls, focus groups, or even talking to community members. If you want to conduct your own poll like this one, I am proficient in online polls for small businesses and can help you get the information you’re after and visually view it afterward, all hassle-free.
What Questions Do I Ask to Determine Psychographics For My Target Market?
While these questions are not the definitive guide to every business, product or service, these will get you started to better understand the psychographics of an area:
- What keeps your target market awake at night, staring at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep as it relates to your product or service? (hint, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling, every business has customer psychographics that includes this pain point question.)
- What is your target market frustrated about?
- What is causing them pain, right now, as it pertains to your product or service?
- What is the single biggest problem that you can solve for them?
- What does your target market secretly or privately desire most that you can address if you only knew?
This last question is of most importance. How do you determine your market’s secret and private desires? The answer lies in how long you’ve been in business and how well you know your customers. It is because you know them. It happens during those special conversational moments because you have built a relationship with them.
You have most likely had a past customer, client or patient that you would love to “clone” if you could. It was that particular person that just got it and shared with you their experiences and journey that your product or service helped them with.
Where Does Your Target Market Hangout?
You can immerse yourself in your target market’s world with social media. Just visit their Facebook groups and interact. You’ll get some of the best insight you have ever had.
Find out what trade magazines they subscribe to versus just reading occasionally. Research trade shows that they attend at great expense. What are they saying to their peers? What comes up repeatedly? How do they talk about their lives? You will begin to understand what they secretly and privately desire most fully.
Do everything possible to get into their heads until your target market’s deepest needs, pain points, desires, and dreams come spilling out, ready for you to understand who your WHO is, finally.
Even in our small community of around 20,000 spending adults, there is ample opportunity to specialize and serve. Truly serve. In a way that you have not even thought of.
It may necessitate a new product or service that compliments your current offerings. This new product or service moves you towards specialization and above and beyond your competition. Your unique position in the market becomes evident to them as well. The proof will be great 4 and 5-star reviews from your clientele.
This allows you to be creative in your product offering to the point that you don’t have competition. It will enable you to profit much more because you better serve your target market. In fact, in smaller communities like ours, you’ll most likely be the only go-to for your customer. And that, friends, is just magical.