In a previous post, I touched on market saturation and the number of truly successful apps. I outlined four things to consider when you’re considering building a SaaS.
Let’s focus on the first one.
Who is your user? Or who is your target market?
The bottom line is, you can create the world’s most beautiful, intuitive, well-designed app, but if you don’t know who you’re selling it to, you’ve wasted your time and money.
So how do you determine your target market?
Glad you asked. But first, we should talk about what your target market is not…
Hate to break it to you, but a TARGET market CANNOT be a BLANKET STATEMENT group or stereotype! While many use a blanket statement to describe their target markets, you aren’t going to do that, because you are smart. And smart people research and inform themselves.
Yes, it is important for you to understand the broad description of who your customer is, but after this you need to really drill down and define in detail who specifically your customer is. Don’t know how to do that? Well lucky for you that I have a few questions to get you started:
Ask yourself these questions as you define your target market:
- Who is your ideal customer?
- How are they describing the service you’re offering?
- How are they comparing products and choosing between the options?
- What problem do they need solved?
- What do they not care about?
- How is your product a benefit to your customers?
Now that you’re armed with a few questions to ask, where do you go from here?
Research, research, research!
Before you start whining about having to do research and it taking forever and this isn’t college anymore and blah blah blah, you need to realize that if you don’t do your research, you’re likely going to fall flat on your face. Ouch.
So, if you don’t want to do the research yourself or if you don’t have the know-how, hire an inbound marketing agency to do it for you.
But either way, do. the. research.
A few ways to get started:
- Focus groups
Each of these provide an inside view on your customers and your product. They help you determine what you’re doing right, what you could be doing better, what the customers want to see changed about your product, and how to move forward. This strategy will also help you put together an initial customer profile that can be more honed and defined with more time and research. Don’t skip this step; it’s vital.
“But what if I have no clue where to start?”
So what do you do if you’re still stuck or not really buying my advice (which you should because it’s technically FREE and I’v got experience to back up what I’m saying)… Well, my best advice would be to start with an assumption or two. And while you should never base your business marketing strategy solely on assumptions, it’s a good place to start if you don’t have any hard data on your customer base.
Now, don’t go making random, nonsensical assumptions about your market; use your head. Please.
Let’s take a step back and start by asking basic questions:
- What is the need you’re trying to meet?
- What customer base has this need?
- What does their personal and business lifestyle look like?
These simple questions can help you hone in on a smaller customer base before you really dive into more targeted research.
Don’t assume you know what customers want.
Don’t simply assume that you’re building a SaaS that people will actually want to use. Get out there and meet potential customers, talk to them, attend workshops or industry events. Having a good feel for that enables you to build a product that customers will find useful.
Honestly, building a system before knowing your market is a surefire way to fail. Do your research. Find your customers. Create a product that fills a need. Continually strive to grow your customer base. But please, please, don’t go into this blind.