Identifying your target market online

Issah Abdullai GOMBILLA

…the Foundation of a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy

In my last article, I talked about the new generation of consumers entering the market and the role of a well-crafted digital strategy to reach and win these consumers. I talked about the fact that Generation Z is focused on innovation, insisting on convenience, always connected, and lacking brand loyalty,

As a company, by providing and implementing a digital strategy that ticks all these services (Personalization, Contextualization, Speed, and Convenience) you earn the right to do more and more business with generation Z. In this article, will take you through building a foundation for a successful digital marketing strategy, that is Identifying your target market online.

In digital marketing, if you fail to properly identify your target market then none of your marketing will work. Not your ads, not your content, not your website, not your social media, nothing. Unfortunately, many businesses seeking to market their products and services online are failing to properly identify and target their ideal clients online which is the core foundational and key element that all of the rest of your digital marketing is built on so you can put your message directly in front of them in the clearest, concise and compelling way possible to get more leads and sales.

It all starts with the first step, which is having an ideal customer avatar. An ideal customer avatar is a kind of a composite or a fictional representation or it could even be built off a real customer that you’ve had in the past but essentially this person or this sort of fictional representation makes up your most perfect and ideal customer, the kind of customers that you love doing business with and the ones that love you back, the ones that pay you for the value you provide. In identifying our ideal customer avatar, what we want to do is we want to build out three main core principles of your ideal customer avatar, including their demographic details like what is their age, gender, income, occupation, job title, etc.

Their geographic details like what city or region or country or basically, where they live and then, there are psychographic details like their attitudes, their interests, their beliefs, their organizations or affiliations, maybe even their political or religious views, all of these things that sort of make up the head stuff of your ideal customers. These details are important because they allow you to focus your efforts on your online strategy, every digital or social media channel has its demographic user characteristics, and the details will help you decide which digital platform to focus your marketing efforts on.


In defining an ideal customer avatar, my approach is usually to be guided by either of two major frameworks, PvP Framework, and RFM Framework. PvP stands for Personal Fulfillment(P) Value to Market(V) and Profitability(P), while RFM stands for Recency(R), Frequency(F), and Monetary(M). These two frameworks are especially important for existing businesses and businesses within the financial sector.

In PvP Framework, The first P is personal fulfillment and this is essentially just how much do you enjoy working with this type of market. Do they share similar values? Do you enjoy helping them? Do they get value from you helping out? Do you have a good relationship? Do you enjoy talking with them? Do you have shared interests?

A higher quality customer, and someone that you enjoy working with.  If you enjoy working with them and you have similar characteristics or commonalities or you’re able to empathize with them and really kind of get on the same page.

The next letter is V and this is all about Value to market or value to the marketplace. Is the product or the service or the offer that you’re putting out there of a high perceived value to the customer that you’re trying to serve. If you have a product or service that’s going to be valuable to a certain segment of people you’re going to probably want to serve them, rather than different segments of people who may have no interest at all and what you’re trying to sell.

The final P in this framework is about profitability. Profitability is how profitable are

these customers to your business. When you take a look at all the different available markets that you could pursue some of which are going to be in a better position to spend a whole lot more money than other people, meaning you can probably provide a much higher quality service or product to them.

It is very important to keep the PvP framework in mind and when you start to define your ideal customer avatar framework, looking at demographic, Geographic, and psychographic details, your target market in the online space starts to become crystallized and starts to become a whole lot easier to identify so you can identify where to locate them online.

The next framework to pay attention to is The RFM framework. This framework has been around since the 1970s and it has become even more valuable for businesses in this digital age in our quest to understand our market and clients.  This framework looks at recency frequency and monetary. What this framework helps you do is to determine which subset or which cohort or which area of your market is going to be the most valuable to you moving forward. The R stands for recency.

Now, essentially the more recently that someone has bought or done business with you or a competitor or basically, any kind of similar product the more valuable they’re going to be. If they’ve just bought something, the odds of them buying something similar or in a similar market is a lot higher than someone who has never bought it before or hasn’t bought it in months or even years. The next letter is F and it’s all about frequency. If someone buys stuff a lot it’s probably no surprise that they’re going to be the better customer who is going to be more likely to buy a whole lot more.  Then the M, is monetary and this is very similar to the profitability that i talked about in the PvP framework but basically, the monetary is, well, how much did they spend and you can see if you have a customer that’s recently bought, they buy frequently and they spend a large amount, these are the kind of people you want to go after.

This framework is most valuable to existing businesses in understanding the buying behavior of your existing clients. Applying this framework will help you identify your ideal customers, taking into consideration their demographic, Geographic, and psychographic details which in turn help you focus your efforts on acquiring more of them via your digital strategy.

After defining your ideal customer avatar, and applied the frameworks indicated, if you are an existing business with a customer database, you now want to look for similarities and commonalities in the demographic details and Geographic and psychographic details, you will also want to look at personal fulfillment and value to the market and the profitability.  RFM being the recency frequency and monetary and when you lay all these out, my approach is to begin to look at that top 20% of customers, you should start to see some trends and some commonalities between your best customers.

Once you do that, then you may be said to have an ideal target market that you’ve identified and some relative sort of similar characteristics between them, you can now use these details to target your ideal customers via the various digital channels you’ve identified your ideal customers are predominant.

Having identified your ideal target market and customers, you will now have a crystal clear idea of where to focus your digital marketing campaigns. What digital channels do you need to be on? What type of content do my ideal audience and clients consume? That’s going to help you build a content strategy for you to be able to reach them with your marketing message in the clearest, concise and compelling way possible to get more leads and sales.

In my next article, I will look at the buying journey of a customer online, and the importance of building an online sales and marketing funnel.

The writer is a Digital Marketing Strategist, can be reached on 0263139899/0501149133

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