Teardwn Mini-Marketing Lessons
How to Identify Your Target Audience and Sell More
Lesson 2: Getting your target market right
Selecting a target market for your business is one of the most important decisions you'll make
In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg launched a social network that was initially limited for Harvard students only. Look where Facebook is now.

Created by Ash Ambirge, The Middle Finger Project is an online hub for female business owners (Ash calls them "babes with balls") looking to grow their businesses with fresh, bold ideas. There are many marketing agencies and consulting gurus out there offering business advice and marketing consulting services. But TMF found its niche by targeting female business owners looking to defy the status quo. Pretty clever, right?
So how to get clear on your target market?
You should focus on the tiniest audience possible.
I know, I know.

This probably goes against everything you read about business and marketing. That's because this is the unsexy part. But it's the part that works.

Now you're thinking:
That's great Miguel! But how do I know if my target market is too broad or too narrow?

Here's the thing. If your target market is too broad, you don't know anything about them. So you won't uniformly be able to figure out and define what their purchasing habits are, what they read every day, which marketing channels will be most effective in reaching them, or what content they're interested in.

Knowing your audience, their wants and personalities is the foundation to developing a marketing plan that will turn your business into a profit-making machine, so take extra care and time to answer the following questions.


  1. Who can benefit from your product and/or services? And from those individuals who is willing to pay? Ex: Graphic-design freelancers, more specifically, people who use their creative skills to attract and serve clients online.
  2. What are their wants? Ex: a fast, luxurious vehicle. Elon Musk got more people driving electric cars by starting with something people wanted, not what they needed (he sold them a luxury sports car that happened to be an electric car).
  3. What job are these people trying to do for themselves that caused them to come to your website and hire your product or service? Little hack: Stop thinking of your product/service as something customers buy. Think of it as something customers hire. Imagine you own a fast food restaurant. What job is your milk shake hired to do? Watch Clayton Christensen's Jobs-to-Be-Done approach:

One more thing...

What can you learn from your existing customers?

The first thing you can do is to answer the following questions:

  • Who are your existing customers?
  • How are they finding your website?
  • Why do they purchase from you?
One way to dig deeper into your customer preferences is to use the Acquisitions tab on Google Analytics to check which social media channels, blogs and forums your website traffic comes from. This will help you get a good picture of who your existing customers are. But the secret is in finding your best customers.

Here's a hack.

Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? The Pareto Principle is the 80/20 rule, and suggests that 1/5 of your customers are responsible for 4/5 of your sales.

Do you know who your top 20% customers are? Do you know why they're your customers and what drove them to purchase from your website? What do they have in common? Where do they live? What products or services have they bought from your website? Focus on them.

Use all the data you can get your hands on to learn as much as you can about your existing customers and use that data to test the effectiveness of your marketing messages. Google Analytics is a no-brainer. To get deeper with your insights, check out tools like KissMetrics, Hotjar, or CrazyEgg. Make sure you're integrating analytics wherever possible.

Suggested tools:

Google Analytics

Suggested reads:

Want to grow your business? Focus on the smallest audience possible by Miguel Ferreira (yours truly!)

Clayton Christensen's Jobs-to-Be-Done Framework Builds Better Products
by Justin Owings

How to Get Clear on Your Target Market–And Never Have to Hunt for Your Next Gig Again by Ash Ambirge

More good stuff soon,

Miguel / Founder Teardwn

If you're interested in learning more about how our service works, write us: miguel@teardwn.com.
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