Defining your target group
First of all: you don’t have a target group, you have more than just one, and that’s why you need to segment your customers into interhomogeneous and intraheterogenous target groups. Oh, did I loose you right here? I am sorry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
Let’s make an easy statement: usually target group descriptions are as worthless as the whole briefing template that your agency just sent to your overstressed product manager. Usually no one has really an idea who and where the target group is, they would just repeat what they always assume. Stop that! Everyone in your marketing team, every sales rep, everyone who has contact with the customer (existing, past or future), everyone needs to understand, needs to feel the customer’s personality, what he likes, how he thinks, what he does. To fully understand the customer, I will provide this transparency to you and all of your team – like I did it for Vodafone, where everyone from C-level down to customer care was involved in the process.
What is a bad target group description? “Students” for example is not suitable. Everyone who set their feet on university ground does know that there is no typical student – you have those that eagerly learn by heart, you have the promiscuous party people, you have the early entrepreneurs and so on, and maybe they would sit together in the seminar, but they would not be likely to share their preferences for food, activities, or brands.
That’s why any segmentation by age and gender is not helping, it is only limiting. Yes, it would needlessly cut off possible future customers from the process – don’t make it unnecessarily hard for your marketing and sales guys to attract new customers!
A good target group definition focuses primarily on their perception and decision-making habits, and if this sounds like too much psychology for you … then you’re right – but don’t worry, we will skip all the theory part when presenting to your sales guys – they will see all their prejudices about their customers confirmed and learn some new ones as well.