How do you
find out the needs and problems of your target customers in any particular
First up, do you understand what the need or
problem of your chosen market is?
Put simply, a need or problem can be classified as the gap between today and
your customers desired future. For example, a person might be trying to learn how to use their video camera to get a file on You Tube or reduce their debts from $2,000 to $0. The difference between the two is
the customers gap – their own individual need.
If your business is going to be a success you must establish
the personal needs of your niche customers and then ensure they actually want to put the
solution in place. Customers may have many needs but not all of these will
generate a ‘want’.
The Two Key steps to understand your
When you have a well defined target niche market you’re already well down the
road of identifying the needs and wants of your target customers but what else
can you do to perfect your approach?
Step One – BE the niche
One of the best ways to research the exact needs of your target market is to
pretend you are a customer.
- What sites are available?
- What message sites, ezines and forums exist?
- Which magazines do they buy?
- What societies, clubs and associations exist?
- What shows, exhibitions or conferences are held?
If you actually understand your market, you stand a better chance of
presenting your product, your sales copy, your offer and your business correctly
using the accepted language, acronyms and buzz words of your selected niche.
For example, do you know what a Trace, Shad or Weight Forward are?*
Using specialist terms incorrectly or not at all can be the instant ‘death’
of your niche focussed business.
*They’re all words associated with fishing.
Step Two – SEE the niche
Once you have a good understanding of your chosen market and understand some
of the dynamics driving market movements and customer needs, actually seeing the
niche from the eyes of the customer can prove to be the key to not only
picking your final product offer but also your price, promotional strategy and
key messages of your sales pitch.
If you can successfully pretend to actually BE a customer in the niche you’ll
see things through their eyes, see the gaps and opportunities and the problems
overlooked or simply not addressed by your competitors.
To see your niche clearly you should be able to answer some if not all of the
- What kind of dificulty is the problem causing customers at
- What other solutions or alternatives are out there?
- What is the cost of the problem or need – in terms of money, time, worry,
lost business, lost opportunity etc?
- How would solving the problem or issue benefit people in the niche?
- How quickly does the problem need to be solved?
And for your proposed solution
- What are the benefits on offer from your proposed solution?
- Does your solution speak in the same language as the potential customers?
- What are the likely costs going to be in the short and long term?
- How much will it help solve the customers problems in the niche?
- How does your proposed solution compare to the competition?
Being able to answer such questions about your own site will help ensure you have
a viable business to take to market.