Identifying who defines your mobile or web app’s initial target market is one of the 3 main questions we address as a must for product owners to answer before they jump into development in our Don’t Even Think About Developing Your App Until You Can Answer These 3 Questions article.
Your app’s initial target market is the segment of your soon-to-be users that you will reach out to first. Usually, these users will be made up of the Innovators in your product’s space (refer to Rodger’s Diffusion of Innovations bell-shaped curved, below)
The blue line represents segments of consumers adopting your new technology, and your market share is represented by the yellow line.
Rodgers characterized Innovators as users of a high social class, who have a propensity to take risks, and stay close to the heartbeat of innovation. To find the Innovators in your space, we must first understand their characteristics and how they make decisions.
Let’s take a look at the 7 components that make up your mobile or web app’s initial target market and how to approach defining each:
1. Demographics – Who are they?
Start with the easy to identify characteristics such as age, sex, and occupation. Now drill deeper into education level, income level, marital status, religion, average family size, and average marriage age.
2. Geographics – Where are they?
Are they bound by a specific area such as city, state, region, or country? Do they live or work in a specific type of area such as an urban, suburban, or rural environment? Are they located in an area of a specific climate or population?
3. Customer Lifestyle Description – What is their personality?
If your product is in the B2C (Business to Consumer) space consider factors like their family stage, vacation choices, and entertainment preferences. If your products are in the B2B (Busines-to-Business) space you will want to consider, the business stage, trade association/affiliation memberships, management style, services/products used, and workforce style of the business along with other factors in the same wavelength.
4. Psychographic Description – How do they see themselves?
B2C: Do your consumers see themselves as socially responsible, early adaptors, trendsetters, frugal, fun-seeking, and/or status-seeking? B2B: Do these businesses see themselves as innovative, conservative, environmentally/socially responsible, financially prudent, influenced by leading companies, and/or good managers of employees?
5. Buying Patterns – How do they make decisions about purchases?
Consider their reason for purchase, how much they will purchase, what motivates them to purchase, how long it takes them to make a decision, and their method of payment.
6. Buying Sensitivity – What do they value most and how important is it to them?
Which of these is your initial target market most sensitive towards: quality, service, convenience of use, price, product features, or warranty? How important is this in their decision to buy and use your product?
7. Trends – What will change and how will your target market react to those changes?
Start by evaluating the trends that occurring now and may come in the near future; what will your target market be doing and will it change? Consider possible new opportunities, how you will plan to respond to changing behaviors, and how you can capitalize on these changes?
If you are planning to develop a new mobile or web product, we suggest that you take some time now to identify your initial target market before jumping into development to save yourself time, budget, and additional pain.
Do This Now
Define each of the 7 components of your product’s target market:
- Customer Lifestyle Description
- Psychographic Description
- Buying Patterns
- Buying Sensitivity
Congratulations, you have clearly identified the characteristics of your initial target market and understand their self-image and sensitivities. This should provide you with initial proof that a real market exists for your app. Now, you can create a value proposition statement that speaks to your app’s initial users. You can find more direction on how to create a powerful value proposition in our Don’t Even Think About Developing Your App Until You Can Answer These 3 Questions article.
If you have specific questions about identifying your mobile or web app’s target market or how this process will have an impact on development, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation. We love helping innovators shape the future.