Awesome Sauce – Step 1

I don’t know if you guys noticed, but in last week’s blog post  I left you with 4 steps to take to define your own Awesome Sauce. I left that little nugget in the last paragraph of the post.  If you missed it, don’t worry, I’m about to dig deep, step by step.

Step 1: Understand Your Target Market

In order to create a winning USP, otherwise known as delectable Awesome Sauce, you need to understand the people in your target market at an individual level….as actual human beings with feelings, emotions and opinions.  This means not as a mass of demographic statistics, but as actual human beings. Your USP needs to appeal to their needs and desires, as well as their frustrations, worries, problems, and pain points. When you connect in this way, you create an emotional bond. The first step is getting to know these individuals.

Study Demographics

Start by looking at demographics. Find out your target customers’ age, gender, occupation, education level, and income. Try to be as specific as possible. Although you may have a good idea about your target market’s demographics, don’t leave it up to guesswork. When creating a demographic profile, rely on hard data wherever possible.

Observe Your Market

Gather data about your market both online and offline. Online, you can use social media sites, forums, reviews and blogs. Find out where your customers hang out online and spend time there. Offline data gathering methods include surveys and focus groups.

In addition to looking for demographic information, also look for psychological data. How do people in your market feel about themselves and the products they buy? Try to understand what makes them tick.

Engage Your Market in Conversation

Get into conversations with your target market to learn more about them. A common offline market research method is to conduct surveys. Surveys work well but they’re one-sided. A better approach is to get a dialogue going. You can do this through social media sites like Facebook, online forums, or your blog. Engage people in conversation related to your product or just come right out and ask them how they feel about it.

Take Good Notes

When conducting market research, it’s important to take good notes. Record all of the data you gather and organize it so that it’s easy to analyze. Separate data into categories, such as demographics and psychology. Look for data that’s consistent from one person to another.

Try to find ways to quantify your results. When it comes to market research, objective data is the most important. Subjective data, such as someone’s feelings about your product, should be used to support the objective data.

Draw a Picture

Take all of the consistent trends you find and create a picture of your ideal customer. Identify their demographic information, their opinions, their buying habits, and all the other data you’ve gathered. Once you’ve done this, it’s much easier to create a unique selling proposition. You now have a good idea of what your customers want and need in the products they buy. You can write your USP so that it speaks directly to those wants and needs.

You can even look at the physical picture you’ve drawn as you’re doing your writing, so that it sounds as realistic and personal as possible.

An Edge on the Competition

Armed with all of this information about your target market, you’ll have an edge over the competition. It’ll be easy to see what mistakes they are making and how they are not delivering. You and your company can then fill in the gaps and give your market exactly what they want.

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