When it comes to business, the customer is always king. After all, businesses wouldn’t survive very long without them.
But you can’t define your customers as “everyone” either. A potential marketing list that includes seven billion people just isn’t realistic.
So instead as business owners and marketers, our goal is to identify various market segments to create a targeted list of those that would actually benefit from using our products or services the most. Simply put, it’s best to narrow down a targeting to the individuals most likely to be interested in the product or service we have to offer.
How To Select A Target Group
To start, a company should collect as much data as possible within the industry, including who their competition is, what consumers are asking for within the industry, and expected growth in the coming years. With all of this in mind, you can begin asking questions to further define:
- How big are the segments I’m looking at?
- What are the demographics of each segment?
- Which segments have the most competition?
- Which segments have the largest growth potential?
- Which segments are most closely aligned with our goals?
These questions are your starting point. The further you dive into your research, the more questions will appear based on what you are looking for.
Choosing a Segment
At this point, with all of your research in hand, it’s fairly simple to begin assessing your resources and using them to optimize your marketing plan. The key here is to get the greatest return on every marketing dollar you spend by strategically selecting the right channels using the right messaging to reach out to your target audience. They are broken down into four categories:
Age Target Marketing
By focusing in on the age of your consumer, you can reach out in a way that is most conducive to that group. Millenials are targeted differently than baby boomers. A grandparent is targeted differently than a new parent. And a fifty-something will be targeted differently than a twenty-something. By using age as one of your strategies, you can concentrate your efforts on specific nuances that attract this age the most.
Income Sensitive Marketing
We all have different needs and desires. And in most cases, they are built around our particular income and economic status. By looking at the income of your target market, you can look at the prices you charge as well as the campaigns and discounts you use to drive action. For example, products marketed to higher income levels will have higher prices than those goods marketed to lower income levels. This separation is based on perceived value as well as how much your customer base is willing to spend.
Gender Specific Marketing
Gender specific marketing reaches out to the needs and desires of specific consumers based on gender. For example, targeting pregnant women would appeal to the emotions and issues a woman is currently facing as she lives with her changing body and needs. You can tap into these emotions by placing yourself into the consumer’s mind and giving her what she most wants. Anticipating her desires before she has the need, to reach out in such a way that you are there to answer her questions.
Geographic Target Marketing
Depending on your geographical location, your needs can be met in a variety of ways. Certain services – restaurants, plumbers, hair stylists – have narrow target markets for their selected audience. Their clients won’t come for hundreds of miles away. Therefore it’s important to reach out to those consumers that can truly have the greatest impact on your bottom line. Anything else is simply a waste of time.
Why You Should Target
Choosing a specific audience for your business is a powerful form of focus. Not only does it reach out in very specific ways, but it also eliminates the cost factor involved of overtargeting people that have no interest at all.
Yes, the seven billion people approach will never work. Because people don’t “feel” good when they are simply another number. They want to believe your product or service was created just for them, to help them do what they have to do, even if hundreds or even thousands of others share in their belief.
Having a target audience towards a specific core market means:
You’ll eliminate the bottom-feeders, the people that don’t really care what you do, and will not place value on what you have to offer. Your clients and customers will be based on people that resonate with your core beliefs and become fans of your business over time.
You’ll have the most effective marketing. There’s a saying out there that half of your initial marketing dollars will be a waste of time; the problem is finding out which half that is. The more you can define your audience, the easier it is to capture the attention of the market that means the most to your bottom line.
You’ll be able to better focus your messaging. Talking to everyone is throwing copy to the wind. But when you know exactly who your target audience is, you can be very specific in the details. “Anyone” is difficult to talk to. But when you define your audience as a thirty-something woman who just found out she’s pregnant, for example, all of a sudden you have a lot more to say.
You’ll have better use of your time. We all have twenty-four hours in the day. And in most cases, only forty hours of work per week. It’s easier to spend your time talking with people that love what you do than wasting time on people that have nothing in common with what you do.
You’ll build a larger group of fans. Once you penetrate your target market and begin talking with them on a regular basis, you’ll find your marketing works even harder for you. That’s because you’re working with like-minded people and they are happy to share your message. That makes every dollar you spend work twice as hard.
Who is your target market? Have you defined them? If not, maybe we can help.
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