Breaking down your market

At HandMade News, they recently took a look at how to successfully identify who your customers are and what the target market is shaped like. It’s obviously a very small market within your population, but how is a small business to find the market?

They start by identifying market segments:
Age: Are your customers young, middle-aged, or elderly?
Gender: Male or female?
Education: Have they graduated from high school? College?
Income: How much money do they have to spend? Are you targeting people with more or less disposable income?
Marital Status: Single, married, divorced, or widowed?
Ethnic and religious background
Family life cycle: Newly married, new baby, married for years, how old the children are

And then they go on to narrow it down further:
Lifestyle: trendy, conservative, pinching pennies, extravagant?
Social class: lower, middle, upper?
Opinion: open-minded or set in her ways?
Activities and interests: how does she spend her time? Reading? Watching TV? Riding her bike?
Attitudes and beliefs: is she interested in green products? Is she a community activist?

Figuring these things out can help you narrow down your target market and successfully find the right people to market your product to. If you’ve already done this, how have the demographics above changed with fewer customers spending less money these days?