Many new entrepreneurs assume that if they open a business, customers will just show up – no marketing needed. Other business owners treat marketing like a food fight, throwing all of their resources in the general direction, of where they think their audience is, hoping that something hits the mark. Neither of these strategies really work - What we want to do, is find the sweet spot in between marketing just enough, in the right places, to the person who desperately wants to buy our products. If we market specifically to these individuals; We will spend less & gain more without any old school, HARD SELL tactics.
The word of the day today is “target.” As you’ve probably noticed, this term is used... A LOT: Target audience, targeted advertising tools, target market. Target is a hot word for a reason. Without a target, you don't know if you're making any progress. Image walking into a field with a bow & arrow and no target to shoot at... That's what I image marketing without a target to be as productive as.
The key to targeted advertising is to attract customers who will buy what you’re selling. That sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? However in order to attract these specific customers, you need to know precisely who purchases your products, why they buy your products and how to reach them. Getting this kind of information requires research, planning and a keen eye on detail. It’s really important to market to consumers based on knowledge about their interests, needs and wants, if you're going to turn them into your customers. “Identifying” your “Target Market” means isolating the group of people who will pay for your product or service.
How do you get started? You get started by making LISTS!
Make a list for each of the categories below, for each of the products you want to sell and it won't take long for your "target" customer to step into view.
WHO needs your product/service? Get right into the details of how old they are, what gender they are, their occupation, education, family situation and other factors like these.
WHERE are your clients? List the places they can be found – their postal code, which social media channels or websites they hang out on and details such as population density, climate, etc. – these are all great things to know.
WHY do your customers make their choices? Why might they need your product? This is called psychographics – another really important word. Personality and lifestyle information will help you map out your customers’ buying patterns. If you know why your customers purchase your product/service, you can determine how much they need, how often they will buy it, what benefits you can provide over and above the competition, how loyal your customers are and for what reasons.
Despite the reams of lists/definitions, researching who your target customers are, is simpler than you think. Social media profiles (Facebook ads, Google ads, blogs and search engine optimization – SEO) are powerful targeted advertising tools because they provide free demographic breakdowns of your followers. Nail down who they are, what they need, where they're located and find out which key messages you should use in your ads to speak directly to each targeted group of customers. Using different messages in order to appeal to isolated groups of people directly, is much more effective than using the same generic, blanket message across every campaign. Instead of throwing things out there and hoping to catch someone’s interest - Arm yourself with the knowledge of what you know interests your customers and speak directly to that.
You can't speak to everyone in the world at once, but you can have a conversation with a group of like-minded people.
After you identify and “target” your audience, you’ll find that you have defined your business. But it can’t end there. After the definition stage, building and keeping a loyal customer base requires constant R & R: Research and Refinement. Research is a powerful tool. Use it to carve out your space in the market place. If you are refining your approach correctly, you are asking your customers what they like about your business, products and services. What do they like about doing business with you? What worked with your last campaign, and what didn’t?
Measuring the success of your campaigns, and speaking directly to your good customers using targeted advertising, means that you will be able to attract more new customers just like them. Your regular clients will become even more loyal; and they will spend more money. Get to know your customers! Target what they want and give it to them, in order to rake in those 5-star reviews and have clients tell family and friends how much they love you. Don’t shout information that you think MIGHT work, into a megaphone in the HOPES that customers will come to you. Have a REAL conversation with your target audience and get REAL results.