Unless you have unlimited budgets, your Target Market is NOT everyone who has money. It is not anyone who could use your product or service. It is not any business. It is not all IT departments , or
Clients often tell me that they have defined their target market, but they just can’t seem to “find” them, or they just can’t seem to “convince” them that they need their product or service. Heed this warning: if you can’t find them and you have to convince them of a need, they are not a good target market.
A market defined in a way that can include just about everybody is not targeted enough to be effective-unless your budgets have no limits. And let’s face it, not even the big guys have unlimited budgets. But it is true, if you are fortunate enough to have a big marketing budget, you can better afford the mass marketing approach.
However, for those of us who have tight budget constraints, it is especially important to just as tightly define your target market. And then choose marketing vehicles that ONLY cater to that defined group of potential buyers. Not vehicles that reach 40% of your audience, not “some” of your target, but vehicles that reach very close to 100% of your target market.
Target marketing starts with the Define, Rank, and Profile process:
Define Your Target Markets
Start with a look at your existing customer list. Look for common elements within your customer list (i.e. specific vertical industries like healthcare, high tech, retail, size of company, specific personal characteristics, etc.), and categorize them into target markets. Be sure to think of target markets as customer group categories and be very specific in your definitions.
Then think of and evaluate “like” or “neighbor” markets that might be potential new markets for your company to work with. By choosing markets that are similar, you can leverage your experience and credibility within Market #1 to break into Market #2 more successfully and cost effectively.
Rank Your Target Markets
Once you’ve defined your possible target markets, you need to rank them in order of importance to meeting your business goals. To do this, determine which markets have the highest profitability potential, the least competition, and the most need for your expertise. Based on this analysis, categorize them as primary, secondary, and possibly tertiary markets. You will want to make sure your direct marketing budget and resource allocations are aligned with this rank that you’ve established.
Profile the Typical “Buyer” Within Your Target Market
For each of the target markets you’ve defined in your marketing strategy, profile the demographics of the “buyer.” Depending on whether your target markets are B2B or B2C, some demographics you’re looking to define can include title, role in company, age, gender, education, kids, homeowners, etc.
A good way to be sure you’ve defined your target market specifically enough is to verify that the market you choose to target can be “acquired” as a list from a list broker. There are several list brokers that will help you locate and purchase a mailing and/or calling list of your target market. This won’t tell you that they have a known “need” for your service, but it will tell you that you can “find” them.
Now that you’ve found them and have them so tightly defined, you can market to them much more effectively.