Each time I meet with a new customer wanting to market his or her products or services, I ask them the same question, “Who are you trying to target?” 80% of time I get the same answer, “Everyone.” While it may seem like everyone in the world should want or need your product, “everyone” does not. Even if they did, you could not afford to market to them. My next question helps narrow the field, “if everyone is your target market, then you mean 5 year olds are in your market?” The answer is obvious.
Why should you narrow your target market? Narrowing your target helps you gain more clarity about your message and how you serve your customers. The result is you become more efficient with your time because you are not trying to be all things to all people. You are also more effective with your investments because you are now focusing on talking to the people who are most likely to buy from you. This is true whether your marketing investments are in social media, advertising, public relations, sales, or attending events.
When you narrow your target, you can maximize your message by honing in on your brand identity. You can more carefully choose the right words and phrases that resonate with your target, the right color palettes, and the right vehicles to reach them. You can tailor your products and services to meet more of your targets’ desires. You can distinguish your unique selling proposition so you set yourself apart from your competition. Depending on the business you are in, you might also serve a larger population because when you focus in, you can go broader geographically with your message. Narrowing your target helps you become clear about where to network and where to educate your potential customers.
Are you asking yourself where do you start? You start with your current customers. Pick 20 of your top customers and conduct market research. You can develop 10-12 questions that focus on why they do business with you. It’s best to do this over the phone or in person because the interpersonal part of the conversation is very valuable. In addition, the way they answer may lead to more questions. If you need help developing those questions, email me email@example.com, and I will provide you with 7 questions to get you going.
The beauty of narrowing your target is that you can advertise in less places more often. An important part of becoming known in your business is your presence. Find the right target, find the right places to be, and be consistent. Too many times, I’ve heard, “I tried that and it didn’t work.” The problem was the business owner or marketing director did not give the campaign enough time to work. You cannot jump in and out of something and expect it to work, in anything you do… marketing, working out at the gym, investing in the stock market, you must be consistent. The value of targeting is that you spend time on the front end researching, identifying, and testing your target market so that you are sure who they are before you invest too much. You actually save tons of money because you reduce error and waste. You can make changes in your messaging because your target may want different offers, or may learn differently (auditory, visual, or kinesthetic).
Is this only a good strategy for retail business? Absolutely not! This is the right strategy for any type of business who has customers. Unless you are McDonalds, Google, or Apple (and even they have specific target niches they reach with their messaging), you must narrow your target. Next time you meet with someone who is going to help you talk to your future customers, make sure you have a narrow target or be willing to allow the person to help you use their research to narrow it for you.
If you need help identifying your target market, selecting the right words or phrases to get them to react to your message, writing copy so your message is desirable and gets action, and increasing your sales, I can help. Just email me firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website, www.darlingcoaching.com to learn more.
Learn more about these popular programs by emailing JENNIFER@DARLINGCOACHING.COM
- Make It Happen Goal Setting
- Selling Like a Woman in Life & Business
- Kick-Start Media Sales Training
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About the author: Jennifer “is a powerful, enlightening, positive force to be around!” Jennifer Darling is a business growth coach. She has worked with 1,000s of small businesses in strategic planning to grow their businesses. She provides consulting for small to medium businesses, and personal development coaching for individuals. Jennifer possesses 20 years in sales, marketing, leadership and personal development for companies such as NBC, CBS, and Comcast. She holds a Master’s Degree in Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising & Promotion. Visit her website at www.darlingcoaching.com