Having a great product, idea or innovation is just the starting point of the journey. Like we’ve mentioned before, real innovation occurs when a product or service enhances or transforms a process, creates value for the person using it, and adds to the bottom line of the business creating it.
You need to have a target audience and customers. So, who are your target customers?
It all starts with unmet needs.On a granular level, if you ask – who are your target customers, they are individuals and businesses with unmet needs.
However, in the kind of setup we’re working in: STEM innovation — those unmet needs are less likely to come from individuals or retail customers, but from businesses. Your business model is most probably going to be B2B. And with B2B, you need to identify unmet needs in a business process and solve them:
- and / or cheaper
than your competitors or existing options in the market.
Download the Customer Problem Statement Template
Jobs To Be Done
Why do we make a purchase? We buy something because we need it. A bottle of milk. A notebook and pen. A workout app. Each of these things are bought, usually by one person, because they need it. The need starts and ends with them (and maybe a few other people), but they have a need and they are fulfilling it with a purchase. No one else needs to be consulted.
However, when you try to answer the question of “who are your target customers” from the lens of the Jobs To Be Done theory, there are more elements that come into the fray. The person who needs your product may not be the one who is actually purchasing your product.
JTBD is a method to help product teams coordinate with marketing and sales teams. When applying JTBD, your first step involves defining the target Customer Segment as “a group of people + the job they are trying to get done.”
As an innovator or innovation project manager, to uncover “who are your target customers,”: first, you need to clearly define the Core Functional Job to be Done.
- What is your customer trying to accomplish?
- What underlying processes are your customer’s trying to execute?
Who Are Your Target Customers?
Using the Jobs To Be Done theory, your target customers need to be segmented into four groups.
- The Job Beneficiary
- The Core Job Executor
- The Product Lifecycle Support Team
- The Purchase Decision Maker
- Step 1: Define the market – A group of people and the job they are trying to get done, or the problem YOU can solve. So we can take patients as the market. People who need surgery, for example.
- Step 2: Identify the Job Beneficiary: Who benefits from getting this job done? Markets exist because of beneficiaries. A patient benefits from having a surgery done.
- Step 3: Identify the Core Job Executor – Who uses the product or service to get the core functional job done. Here, the surgeon is the person who does the core job, which is conducting surgery. Markets evolve to remove core job executors — so you need to innovate to keep up.
- Step 4: Identify the Product lifecycle Support Team – These are the other people involved in the consumption and use of the product. The surgical support team sets up, stores, cleans, removes and disposes of the scalpel.
- Step 5: Identify the Purchase Decision-Maker – The person who finally buys the product or your solution. In this scenario, it’s the operating room manager, a hospital administrator etc makes the decision to purchase scalpels.
NewLedge® for STEM – Uncover Unmet Needs and Find Your Customers
If you want a more well-defined answer to the question “who are your target customers,” learn with us at NewLedge®. Our 15-week course in STEM innovation, business and entrepreneurship equips you with critical thinking skills and tried and tested templates to ask the right questions before you take your innovation to market.
From identifying your customer segment, to deciding when and how to expand your customer base, to understanding what the customer application and core Job To Be Done is, we take you through it with detailed case studies and hands-on project work.
Our innovation framework has been validated by the CSIRO and helps you move from idea to product to market effectively.
Learn more about the course here.
What is the meaning of target customer?
Before you begin an innovation project or embark on a new business proposition, you need to know who you will be selling to. Or, who are your target customers? These are the people who have a problem that your product or service can solve, either faster, better and / or cheaper than the existing options available in the market.
Who are your target customers – examples?
An example of your target customer is someone who needs your product or service to get their job done. Now, the final person purchasing the product may not be the individual who actually makes use of the product — but you need to target them in order to make the sale. For example – a surgeon needs a scalpel. But they may not be the one buying it, it will be the hospital administration or purchase team. So, define who has a need for the product and who makes the purchase and build your target customer accordingly.
How do you write a target customer?
To define and speak to the few who fall into the “who are your target customers” segment, understand what the problem is and how you can solve it. Once you uncover the core Job To Be Done, you can delve deeper into understanding who the job executor and purchase decision maker are, and create messaging that speaks to them.