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Gain more customers by attracting another market segment

Expanding your customer base sometimes means targeting a new market segment. But how do you do it?
By Rafael Santos |

A target market is the segment in which you market a particular product, and is often defined by age, gender, location and purchasing power. Startups that focus on a specific niche to service at the beginning are usually able to gain loyal followers in that market segment after a while.


When business grows and you\\\'ve already posted a constant sales figure from your current market, the time will come when you need to attract more and more customers to sustain your growth. Taking the company from a small player to becoming a household name may then require you to target a new demographic--a different age group, different social class, etc--as your additional customer base.


First of all, defining which markets you are trying to hit will help you determine what strategies to employ to hit it. According to retail consultant Suzanne Delgado of market research firm SmartShop Inc., a Singapore-based retail marketing firm, knowledge gleaned from research will help a business owner spot trends and habits of a particular market he is trying to tap.



"If you are a business that specializes in a certain product, you have a basic understanding how your captive market behaves. Expanding appeal to other demographics entails some legwork on your part to be able to properly benchmark against potential competitors and learn how your new market behaves," she said.


Savvy entrepreneurs make a special effort to understand the tendencies, motivations, and preferences of their target customers. Eliciting suggestions, customer feedback mechanisms, and starting informal conversation with customers is a good way to start your research.


"If your product is present in retail outlets, make an effort to canvass to be able to get a pulse for the market. Know in the beginning what made your product so successful with your original market, and list it down to compare against your initial findings. Some features may need to be altered to be able to attract new customers," explained Delgado.



Use complaints as a valued resource for making product tweaks to make it more acceptable to your new target market. Prompt response to real-time feedback will help you avoid some unnecessary costs in the long run, Delgado said.


Targets can also be reached through a geographic marketing method, a customized campaign designed to attract a specific type of person. Delgado said that if done right, this technique is sure to help you expand your business.


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