A free tool for market size estimation: Facebook ads

After you complete your market research and understand the market segment you want to reach with your product, the next step in your marketing strategy should be to do a market size estimation. This basically means that you need to understand how many people you can expect to be in a certain market.

For example, let’s say you want to open a yoga and fitness studio in Amsterdam and the customer profile you are trying to reach is: females, between 17 and 30, which speak Dutch or English, are bit more affluent and are interested in dieting, meditation, physical exercise and nutrition. Sounds like a complicated task isn’t it?

Luckily, since almost everyone is on Facebook nowadays and Facebook knows and learns so much about us, you can use the Facebook Ad  tool to estimate the size of your market segment.

Oh yeah, and it’s totally free.  How crazy is that?

Let me show you how to do that step by step.

First you will need a Facebook account. Once you have that, click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/creation .  Then pick one of the goals presented there. You can picks whatever you want, doesn’t matter, just click on one. And from here starts the fun part:

Define location of your target market

First set the location of your market segment. You can do that easily by simply typing the name of the city/country/region you are interested in. You can even refine that selection by selecting one of the predefined radiuses or define a custom one yourself.

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Define traveler vs local

After choosing the location you can select to see how many people  live in this location,  were recently in this location or intend to travel in this location. How does Facebook  know all this? Simple, based on your profile info, Facebook Checkins and travel updates. If your profile say you live in Brazil but you recently checked in  Amstredam, it’s safe to assume you were visiting Amsterdam. Same if you check in at the Sao Paolo airport and tell “your friends” you are going to Amsterdam.

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Define Sex, Age, Language spoken and a ton of demographics

Ok, so now you define the basic traits of your target market Age, Sex, Language and then you have a ton of options in terms of demographics. You can define: Relationship status, sexual preference, Education levels and schools, Work data, financial data … and so on and so forth. Basically whatever you dream of.

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Define the interests of your target market

And that’s not all, next are the interests. Again you can choose from a plethora of options. It never stops to amaze me how much Facebook knows about us.

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Define the behaviours of your target market

Yes, there is yet another step. Now you can define their behaviour. Are they early adopters, do they own a gaming console, are the expats from a certain country, do the work for a certain company and do the have a certain job title, do they use an iPhone or Android,  do they… and the list continues for ever. It’s insane how granular the data can get on Facebook.

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Your market size estimation

And voila, after all this hard work you finally have it. You have a pretty good idea of how many people are in your target market, and you had to pay $0 and did it in about 10 min. We live in the future huh?

So, let’s go back to our example. How many females in Amsterdam, are between 17 and 30, speak Dutch or English, are bit more affluent (I used iPhone ownership as a proxy for audience) and are interested in dieting, meditation, physical exercise and nutrition.  about 3700…  see below.

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Your turn. Let me know what you think about it in the comment section below.




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