Article #90, February, 2010
"The Key to Successful Marketing”
When you first start a business, you have a million marketing ideas! Most of them are great – brilliant even – but exactly how do you do them, and which ones do you do first.
The best marketing tool you will ever use is knowing your target market. You may have heard that target marketing is important, but probably didn’t fully understand why. Even if you understand the concept, you may feel like you are turning your back on a lot of potential revenue by using target marketing.
Most people feel this way in the beginning; it is very normal. It does feel like that in the beginning. However, once you communicate your target to your business community and use it in all of your marketing, including your website, for awhile, you will be amazed at how efficient your business building becomes!
Your target market is the one segment of the entire marketplace who is your best potential client. Think of your target as an individual person. What does she do for a living? What are his hobbies? Where do they gather?
When you are able to clearly describe your target to people they are much more likely to send you referrals. If you are vague, then it is difficult for your network of acquaintances, friends and family to identify a good prospect for you. When you are clear, they can easily recognize a good referral for you and may even be on the lookout for you. People really want to send referrals to you – make it easy for them to do so!
Sometimes identifying a target is easy because of your niche, or area of expertise. For example, if you used to be a lawyer, and now you coach lawyers who are over-worked and burned out, your target is obviously lawyers. Find out where lawyers gather at alumni meetings or networking groups (or online) and start building relationships.
You would also want to build relationships with other business owners who target lawyers so you can create strategic alliances and send referrals to each other.
All of that would be impossible to imagine or execute if you did not have a clear target market.
Often it is not so obvious or easy. For example, if you sell skincare products with a network marketing company, you truly can benefit every human being with one product or another, right? Picking one narrow target is extremely difficult! So, why should you?
If you do not select a target, all of your marketing efforts become generic as you try to appeal to everyone and nobody connects with your message or your product. On the other hand, if you aim your words and your look at a targeted group, they are much more likely to feel an emotional connection with you and your products.
The emotional connection keeps the prospect listening and acting. If there is no connection they forget about you instantly – you have not made an impression on them and have made yourself forgettable. They stop listening, click off your website and don’t refer.
Here are some examples of good, viable target markets:
- Skincare Consultant marketing to parents of teens with acne problems
- Wedding Planner marketing to Armenian brides in Glendale, CA
- Real Estate Agent marketing downgrades to seniors in an older, established neighborhood
- Life Coach marketing to men going through an unwanted divorce
This is sometimes more of a process than a one-time decision. The viability is important. If they have no mo’ney to spend or there are too few of them, you will never make enough. You may not find out right away that the target you selected is not viable. There is an element of trial and error to this process.
One more thing – you can only have one target, unless you have enough in your marketing budget to pay for 2 websites, 2 sets of printed marketing materials and 2 sets of networking groups. If you try to market to more than one target, you cripple your referral opportunities.
Of course you have choices! You can keep doing what you are doing and keep getting the same results, or you can decide on a target market, communicate it in every possible way and become a well-oiled machine. Your efficiency will go through the roof, making it easier to write marketing copy, including your 30 second intro, create strategic alliances and receive referrals.