Do You Know Your Consumer Target?

What is a Consumer Target 

At the foundation of all great marketing initiatives is a complete and deep understanding of the consumer target. The consumer target is a specific and detailed description of the type of person who has needs or desires that you believe can be served or helped with your products or services. Truly identifying and understanding the consumer target can inspire creative and innovative thinking to help grow your brand through new products, marketing campaigns, or promotions that fulfill their needs and wants. 

Segmenting the Market to Identify Your Consumer Target 

Teams must be focused and clear about who their consumer target is and is not. This consumer does not represent everyone that purchases your product or service.  

A typical first step to identifying your consumer target is to segment the market you operate in. Market or consumer segmentation is a market research approach that allows you to divide the universe of potential consumers into smaller groups or segments based on their characteristics. The segments are composed of consumers who will respond similarly to marketing strategies because they have shared demographics, needs, interests, values and/or locations. Once the market has been segmented, an assessment is required to understand which segment of consumers offer the most potential for growth, i.e., which group is most likely to find value and be motivated by your business proposition and respond to your initiatives, across the 4Ps of product, placement, pricing, and promotion. 

Building Knowledge About Your Consumer Target 

While segmentation is a great first step in identifying your consumer target, it is only the beginning. Every day you will be faced with making business decisions based on what you know about your consumer target and how you think they will respond to your actions. You should have basic knowledge covering five key areas: 

  1. What are their basic demographics? 
  2. How do they live their lives? 
  3. What do they care about? 
  4. How and where do they shop? 
  5. How do they interact with media? 

Answering these questions requires a combination of sales data analyses, quantitative assessments such as, attitude and usage studies plus, qualitative, or observational techniques such as, in-depth interviews, in-store shop-alongs, and in-home ethnographic research to fully immerse in how your consumer target thinks, lives and shops. Oftentimes, this is referred to as developing the consumer target persona.

Building Consumer Empathy 

The ultimate goal is to build empathy for and intuition about your consumer target. You need knowledge to understand what is in their head (how they think) and empathy to understand what is in their hearts (how they feel and their underlying motivations). Most of the time, you yourself are not the target consumers so you must spend time with them to truly understand their lives, values, beliefs, and behaviors. The goal should be to move through the following spectrum to be able to genuinely empathize with your consumer target.

How to Get to Empathy for Your Consumer Target 

Building empathy is different from conducting a typical market research study. Market research is designed to answer specific business questions by getting feedback and perspective from consumers. For instance, you might conduct market research to understand how your product compares to the competition or what product varieties you should launch next. 

An empathy trek is solely designed to gain better understanding of who your consumer target is. It is a listening and observation exercise, designed to help you “walk in their shoes” and “feel what they feel.” In an empathy trek, you’ll explore how your consumer target lives, what they value, believe and how they behave. By building consumer empathy, you will build your intuition about them, and are able to make business decisions on their behalf. 

The Value of Truly Knowing Your Consumer Target 

The value of building empathy for your consumer target is tremendous. Specifically, it can:  

  • Eliminate personal bias from business decisions and keep the team focused on consumer-centric decision making 
  • Create informed intuition that enables better, faster decisions  
  • Take you beyond just understanding to actually anticipating consumer needs  
  • Improve the quality of marketing communications, product innovation and renovation efforts 
  • Unlock exceptional customer service 

Your Source for Expert Consumer Insights   

As you and your team learn more about your consumer, your marketing and innovation ideas will get more targeted at serving their needs, which will in turn, make them more successful. Ideally, you will be able to reach them at key moments of truth, physically or digitally with personalized content that improves the brand experience and loyalty. 

At SIVO, we are dedicated to helping our clients identify and understand their consumer target’s perceptions, needs, beliefs, and behaviors. We create learning plans that will help you gain valuable insights by applying the right approaches to identify your market segments, consumer target persona and to build consumer empathy for you and your team.

Contact us via our website form or email us at today to schedule a discovery call! 



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