A single product can’t be everything to everyone! It is therefore important to determine specific segments of your potential market that will most benefit from your product and thus purchase it. Deciding your target segments can be based on several factors including size, growth potential, competition, accessibility, and the fit with your product’s attributes. The process of targeting helps you assess and select the specific customer segment for your product.

 

Precise targeting depends on the level of understanding you have about your market. Drawing on any personas you determined based on surveys will make targeting a breeze. It is important to know that by targeting your marketing you won’t be excluding anyone from purchasing your product, but rather you will be able to focus your marketing budget on segments that are more likely to purchase your product.

 

If you already developed personas, great (if not, you can get started using our handy online tool). Use your own persona or use our AgTechXChange example from last week, Ben, to use the questions below to determine which of your personas are most likely to be able to use your product.

 

PERSONA DESCRIPTION:

Ben is a 35 year old man living in Tanzania. He has a small business selling improved seeds. He recently expanded the product line to include complementary fertilizers that can be used with his company’s seed or other seeds. His biggest challenge is increasing demand for the products among smallholder farmers. Ben’s income is a little below average for his area.

 

NEED: Does this persona need or want my product? Is my product solving a problem for this persona? What about my product does this persona need?

Ben may need information that helps him understand smallholder markets in his company’s sales region. The information could help him use new frameworks and tools for not only understanding smallholders in his sales regions but also for conducting surveys to get data about his potential smallholder customers. Therefore, Ben may need new ways to access information, such as the AgTechXChange. For example, Ben could use the articles about segmentation, targeting, and positioning to test new ways for understanding his market and thus increase demand for his company’s fertilizers and seeds.

 

MARKET: What is my competition for this persona? How big is this persona segment within the market? How might this persona interact with my other persona?

Ben represents a fair size of the market for the AgTechXChange simply because he is part of an agriculture company operating in a Feed the Future country. We have plans to do a market survey of AgTechXChange members so at this time it is difficult to accurately know if he represents a large proportion of AgTechXChange members, though we do know that the majority of users are small companies and entrepreneurs in Feed the Future countries. I think he will interact with my other personas – NGOs that he may want to partner with and funders from whom he may have received investment.

 

PRICE: What is the price this persona can pay for my product? What price concessions should I make (if any) for this persona? What are the prices of similar products for this persona?

Not applicable in this case because the AgTechXChange is free! However, how much do I think he would pay for using the AgTechXChange? Since Ben’s income is a little below average for his area, he may only be interested in paying if there is a sliding scale for payment and strong, actionable content that he can immediately use to improve his company’s sales.

 

MARKET HOMOGENEITY: In what ways is this persona like other identified segments? In what ways is this persona different from other identified personas? Can this persona be easily grouped with another persona to allow broader appeal?

Ben is very different from the other personas. He is a businessman and not an international development practitioner or funder. He cannot be easily grouped with the two other personas but has some of the same goals: to reach smallholder farmers and to provide products and services that support smallholder farmers to have higher productivity and income.

 

PREFERENCES: Can my product align with this persona’s preferences or wants?

Yes, the AgTechXChange would align with Ben’s preferences to understand his smallholder market better because the content, articles, and team fill in his knowledge gaps in ways that can help him immediately.

 

The answers to each of these questions tells me that Ben may just be an ideal customer as long as the AgTechXChange provides relevant and timely articles about how to build demand. Ben, and other personas similar to him, will be a great customer group to target. By answering the above questions about the personas you create, you can learn what segments, or specific groups of customers across your market, will be more likely to benefit from, and thus more likely to purchase, your product or service.  What do you think? Let us know in the comments below and next week we will show how to position AgTechXChange content to Ben as an example of positioning.