hi, start from the issue you want to solve or need you want to fulfill. Then find a consumer for whom the issue or need is really important and/or urgent. Take Uber, the issue they solve is helping people to go from place A to place B.
This is important for many segments:
- Business people
- People going out at night
- Moms without a car
Each segment has different pain points. Business people might dislike waiting in the street for a taxi, or not being able to know when a taxi will pass by, or paying in cash because this make their expense reporting more complicated. Uber is solving those issues.
In general, list the pain points for each segment your product or service is relevant. Then order by priority the segments by estimating the following:
- Size of the segment: is it large enough to generate enough sales?
- Potential to win with that segment?: is competition high, is your offer differentiate enough?
- Can you reach the segment with your communication in a cost effective way?
- Profitability of the segment
Once you ordered the segments, you can start testing. Your ideal consumer will be the segment that is fulfilling all above questions and buy your product or service. You might think one segment has more potential, but if you can't make them buy, then you might decide that you don't have the right to win with it and move to another segment.
I'm happy to jump on a call to talk more about your offer and how to ensure you define segment that you can target and win with.
As a consultant on Strategic Marketing and Communications, I usually do this for so many 500 Fortune clients my company work with.
Start by demographics (geographics, gender, age, etc) at a macro level. You can dive in it by getting public data that statistics' institutes and companies release periodically.
Once you have narrowed this, go through the next level of segmentation, which is psychographics (interests, behavior, etc) data, usually at a cost, from some typical research companies (or syndicated research). Also from Social Media you can get partial but rich data on this (taking this carefully depending on whether your product lies on digital world or just offline, or a mix of both).
Once you have mapped several segments of population of your interest, start working on the Problem/Solution Fit by mapping which is called "Jobs-to-be-Done"(JBTD) that those consumer segments generically have to accomplish in regards to the problem you're trying to tackle by means of your product or service. A simplistic list of JTBD's can help you narrow and identify the actual problem you can solve. Start iterating then, trying to map the gains and pains you solve for them. These iterations must be triggered after rounds of interviews, either formal or informally, with some representatives of the segments you previously identified. Choose at first some close representatives to you. By this process you will eventually refining your ideal target or targets.
Start small by choosing reduced segments if possible, getting deeper knowledge of them. Afterwards look for scalability by some other bigger segments. It will be the nature of your product what will tell you how small or big you should go at every step.
All in all, it's a hard and dry job, but this way you'll be able to adapt your product and marketing strategy in order to increase the odds to sales conversion once you go to live market.
Hope it helps.
To find your ideal customer, you need to qualify those who have the necessary characteristics and separate them from those who do not.
Here's a video I made on this topic:
You need to look at layers of qualification, because demographics are not enough.
Psychographics, or what's going on in the mind of your perfect buyer, is an effective qualification method. What problem or key problem situations are they in, what emotions are they feeling, that they badly want to get out of--that you can fix?
Making an avatar or listing characteristics is all well and good, but you must also confirm that your target market actually contains people like that. Many sellers start with one idea of their target, and then change it as it morphs into what's really there as they learn about those true characteristics over time. This process is work, and for faster results expertise on your side is quite helpful.
I like Carl Bass's (CEO of Autodesk) definition of innovation: "Innovation, simply put, is to make things better." Consider Viber's success story: acquired by Rakuten for almost US$1B in less than 4 years. Their secret sauce? Rather than creating a new market altogether, they entered an existing market (VoIP) and focused on delivering an enriching user experience*. Sounds familiar? Yes, Steve Jobs did NOT invent the MP3 player, did NOT invent the tablet and did NOT invent the smart phone. Having successfully exited two startups so far, I'd be happy to take your call and help you find a target market with higher odds of yielding a successful acquisition. *http://RMentrepreneur.fyi.to/Viber
It's obvious knowing your average customer’s age, gender, location and social class is essential for gaining an understanding of who they are as a person. And you can use six customer behaviors to better segment and then target them:
You can read more about how to segment these behaviors in a blog from Fieldboom: http://www.fieldboom.com/blog/behavioral-segmentation/.