How to Find Your People

Jones + Waddell

You can’t market well if you don’t know who you’re marketing to. In the beginning stages, when you don’t already have a pool of existing customers to focus your marketing and customer experience on, the best way to ensure its eventual success is to take the time to segment, rank, and understand your market.

In our book Got Ideas? How to Turn Your Ideas into Products People Want to Use we talked about conducting a market fit analysis in order to ensure that your product will actually have an audience before you build it. If you’ve done that sort of work, you’ve already taken the first step to find and understand your potential audience. If you haven’t, it’s time to take some surveys and build some personas.

Survey real people

If your product has already been released, or if it’s in a beta stage of testing and has some established test users, you can survey these real people. Hone in on the top 10 to 20 percent of them. You can reach out to them initially via email or set up an online survey form, but the real value in your research will come from phone conversations, live video chats, and actual in-person conversations. You want to be able to see and hear their reactions to your probing questions.

Start by understanding what other products, services, and websites this group of users is using frequently. And by the way, it’s good to distinguish app versus web usage when conducting this research — if that’s relevant to you.

For instance, here are some questions you could ask target users:

The answers to these questions will help you refine your product and market it successfully.

Apart from questioning real, live people, the other best practice for getting to know your audience is to build theoretical personas you can market to. In our next post, we’ll cover how to create user personas.

Want to keep going? Read our book Got Ideas? How to Turn Your Ideas into Products People Want to Use, which takes novice product-makers through the journey of creating great, user-friendly digital products from the thin air of their imaginations. Available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook, it’s a hands-on, practical manual for aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Jones + Waddell

Written by

Authors and UX leaders with a focus on user experience and a commitment to ongoing iteration in the quest to create better digital products

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