Target Markets

There have been some wonderful business tips on marketing and advertising on the blog. To build on these, I’m going to draw upon my other professional life, as a business librarian. Librarians love to connect people with information resources, so I want to devote this post to census data. It can help you think through who your target market is. I know, it seems like the last thing you have time for as you gaze at your enormous to-do list, but take a few minutes and try this brainstorming activity with me.

Look up your community in American Factfinder. You can enter a city name, a zip code, county, state, etc. Browse through the profile, and look for data that might help you better articulate who your audience is.  How many preschoolers live in your community? What is the median income? How many people drive alone to work? Renters vs homeowners? Once you have a few data points that help describe your market, look at those same data points outside your local community. Try a Guided Search  to look at one of your data points across multiple cities or states. Do you notice any patterns? How do these stats compare to your Etsy stats? Make sure you try viewing your shop stats map. It’s easy to overlook– just toggle between Overview and Map when you’re viewing your stats page.

I’ve noticed, for example, that I’ve had a surprising number of customers in Southern California purchase warm wooly things from my shop. This surprised me, as a Wisconsin native living in Pennsylvania, imagining utopian warm weather year round in Southern California. It has prompted me to learn more about that population, which has helped me think through ways of connecting with them. The answers and strategies aren’t right there in the data, but the raw material is. Have fun exploring and let us know what you discover!

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