How To Get Your Product Right For Your Target Market
The Marketing Mix encompasses the 4-P’s that help business people like you to understand customer needs so that you can meet and exceed customer expectations. The 4-P’s are; Product, Price, Promotion, Place.
Each ‘P’ should be explored in turn and decisions made with your target audience in mind. As you read over this section and the questions, keep your own business in the forefront of your mind. If you don’t already have a clear idea of who your target market is it would be good preparation to create a customer profile first.
A customer profile is an imaginary example of an average customer.
Start by giving your customer a name and fill in details like their age, sex and what work they do. Add details like how much they earn, what disposable income they have, their likes and dislikes and their hobbies. Make your profile as detailed as you can. If you have a broad customer base it may help to have multiple profiles.
Create your customer profile now.
Your target audience must want or need your product. That might seem like an obvious statement but too often products are created and little thought is given to whether these products are desired.
Sometimes it’s not that the product is wrong but that the target audience for the product is wrong. So either the product must be changed or the target audience should be changed to one that needs or desires the product.
Before we move on to examine the product in detail have a think about your product and your target audience and answer the following questions;
· Does your target audience need or want your product?
· If the answer is yes, do you have proof? Have you done the appropriate market research to establish demand?
· If the answer is no, do you need to change your product? Or do you need to change your target audience?
Remember, it might not be that your product is ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’. You might not have found the audience that desires it yet.
Breaking the product down
As you can see from the diagram below the product isn’t just the ‘thing’ that people use or the service they consume.
The whole product is made up of the core product, the actual product and the augmented product.
You don’t have to worry about those though, you just need to ensure that everything on the list below ‘fits’ with your target customer (refer back to your profile).
· Does your product or service provide the BENEFITS your target audience desire?
· Does your product or service reflect the QUALITY your target audience expects?
· Does the BRANDING encompass the image you’re trying to portray? Is that a desirable image for your target customer?
· Is the STYLE, COLOUR and APPEARANCE of your product desirable to the target customer?
· Does your DELIVERY of products meet customer expectations?
· Is your CUSTOMER SERVICE making your customer feel valued?
· Do your GUARANTEES and WARRANTIES meet your customer’s needs?
This isn’t an exhaustive list and if you have other aspects that fit into either core, actual or augmented product categories then add those too.
After going through this list you may have one or two small things that you’re thinking of adjusting or perhaps you’ve uncovered a substantial issue. Either way that is the point of this exercise and it’s better to have uncovered issues now rather than later. In the minds of the consumer everything must be congruent for them to achieve satisfaction and the better you can match your product to the needs of your customer, the more successful you’ll be.
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