How to Define Your Target Market When Nothing Is Normal


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defining your target market when nothing is normal
During these unprecedented times, please give special thought to the needs of your prospects and customers. They have more personal, professional and/or business challenges now than ever. Are your sales and marketing efforts helping or hurting your customer and prospect relationships right now? You may discover your best ways to help them by defining your target market — especially their new needs.

We continue to work with our client partners in sales and marketing as they reprioritize and reposition to support their customers and prospects in uncertain times.

What works in sales and marketing today may not work tomorrow. As we approach a new normal, new best practices will emerge from necessity and innovation. We are sharing the latest thoughts and observations I believe will most help you. We invite you to join us.

The Message Is Still About the Customer

Our best messaging is not about us. It never has been. We need to be thinking about our customers, our prospects, their challenges, their struggles, and their solutions.

Most of us who manage sales and marketing are spending our days (and sometimes nights) strategizing, implementing, and testing new ways to help our customers survive and thrive. I’m seeing a great need to refocus on defining your target market and relevant messaging right now. So who are you reaching out to?

As sales and marketing professionals, you are probably very busy solving your new daily struggles and challenges given today’s circumstances. Determining who your business serves best now requires immediate attention. Your old client profiles may be outdated or need adjustment for your business and outreach. That’s because, like you, your markets, customers, and prospects are faced with challenges that change daily. Their goals, priorities and challenges are evolving. So must you and your company, to align with customers and prospects.

We share these questions we’re asking on our end to spark ideas for you and your business.

Questions for Defining Your Target Market

1) Active and Dormant Customers In Your Vertical

  • You’ve served your customers well. How did you help them in the past?
  • What challenges do they face today?
  • Does the help you gave them in the past help them today?
  • Do you need to tweak your product or service to serve their changing challenges?
  • Do you need to find a better or different way for your customers and prospects to use your product or service so it helps them now?
  • How else can you help, serve, collaborate, and solve?

2) Prospects In Your Current Vertical

  • Are there are other businesses facing the same or similar challenges as your current customers?
    If you can still solve your customers’ immediate challenges in this environment, chances are that your business can help others in similar situations.
  • What if your customer’s business has changed dramatically? How has their business changed drastically? Is the change for the better or worse?

Do you know the new challenges they face? Will these challenges last?
If you know your prospect’s challenges and can genuinely help their business or personal life, you are in the right place.>

What if you can’t really help? If you can’t, then go where you can be helpful and be useful. Just as we help in family situations where we can, this approach can work in your business as well.

3) Your Geographic Territories

  • How is your offering needed in that particular geographic area now, this week, next?
  • Can your business help in those territories now? Can it be more helpful in another territory, that is a better fit or needs your business help right now?
  • How and where can you help?
  • These are just thoughts that all businesses should be considering when determining how to help our active and dormant customers first and in what industries and territories we can help our prospects.

3 Takeaways: Stay Home, Be Human and Be Helpful

As we help our sales and marketing clients reprioritize and reposition, our first concern isn’t about quotas or numbers. It’s about your wellbeing.

Please Stay Home

Please stay safe and stay home.

We so appreciate the work of those who cannot stay home. To essential workers supporting our communities, thank you. Our prayers are with you.

Please Be Human

Kindness matters. Be sensitive, supportive, positive, and thoughtful to everyone regardless of the uncertainty we all face.

Please be Helpful

Just do what you can. It will make you feel better. Creatively think outside the box. Aim to make a positive impact on someone else, their business practices, or their outreach.

If you need to rethink how to be helpful and want ideas for defining your target market, please reach out. Your comments are welcome.

Image credit: Background photo is of New York City by Free-Photos on

Elisa Ciarametaro
Elisa Ciarametaro is an Inside Sales Strategist and Principal of Exceed Sales in New York, NY. Sales and marketing executives work with Elisa to create strategies, inside sales teams and outbound prospecting initiatives that exceed prior results. Companies gain reliable market intelligence, well-qualified leads, more profitable pipelines and more accurate revenue forecasting. She's been repeatedly named among 50 Most Influential People in Sales Lead Management by the Sales Lead Management Association.


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