A target market profile is a statement that defines your market in terms of its needs, how your services address those needs, who else caters to the target market, and where the market can be found.
Once you’ve determined those components, you can choose effective marketing methods. The whole purpose of creating a profile is to assist you in developing an effective, natural marketing plan. (Learn more about target marketing by reading the related feature article, “Fill Your Appointment Book: Attract the Clients You Want to Work With,” by Cherie Sohnen-Moe, in the November print issue of MASSAGE Magazine.)
Target Market Profile Basics
Most of the information gathered in a target market analysis applies to the majority of the members of the given target market.
For instance, factors such as trends, basic needs and goals, types of groups they belong to, and national publications they read, are the same for cyclists regardless of where they live. The details that vary include the specific local publications, stores, practitioners, groups and events.
Start to gather information about your target clientele by conducting market research. Read books and articles about your target market. Get feedback from massage therapists, as well as other businesses that cater to your desired market. Research trends online.
Discover information by contacting organizations that deal with your target market and by conversing with people who train practitioners to work with that specific population. Be sure to also talk with those who are in the know—members of your target market.
Target Market Profile Checklist
- Target market group title.
- Applicable demographics: Age, income level, occupation, gender, geographic location and education level.
- Target’s physical, emotional and personal needs and goals.
- Features your practice offers. (Whenever possible, match these to the clients’ needs and goals.)
- Benefits your services provide. (Whenever possible, match these to the clients’ needs and goals.)
- Places to find members of this market: stores where they shop, places where they socialize, online newsgroups and social media sites they frequent.
- Publications they read: local and national magazines, print and online newsletters.
- Groups they belong to: support groups, civic organizations, professional associations and social clubs.
- Special events and important dates: specific awareness days, races/events (for athletes) and seasonal stresses; for example, January to April for accountants.
- Companies and wellness providers who service this market.
- Trends that will most likely affect this market.
- Where they look for help: online resources, directories, bulletin boards, friends, organizations and other health care providers.
- Needs that aren’t being met by traditional services and products: This could range from physical relief from a current condition to emotional components such as compassion and understanding.
- Target’s philosophical beliefs about wellness.
- Target’s perceived value of your services.
- Primary reasons the target uses or would use your services.
- Client session statistics: average number of sessions per client per year.
- Session intervals: daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, bimonthly or occasionally.
Target Market Profile Results
By researching, locating and networking with your target market—and creating targeted messaging to that audience—you will build a clientele you want to work with, and whom will benefit from your massage services.
Cherie Sohnen-Moe is an author, business coach, international workshop leader and successful business owner since 1978. She has served as a faculty member at a massage school, acupuncture college and holistic health college. Sohnen-Moe is the author of Business Mastery and Present Yourself Powerfully, and co-author of The Ethics of Touch. She is a founding member of and is the current President of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education.