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Why Targeting Your Market Is Essential to Your Business Success

No matter what type of business you have, you must target a specific market. There are folks who want and need your products, and the goal of your marketing efforts is to connect with them. Without a clearly defined market, you’re taking shots in the dark and just hoping that you’ll find people who will buy. You have no real idea if you’re aiming too high, too low, or in the wrong direction entirely.

What Is a Target Market?

A target market is a group of people who have related characteristics and need, and to whom you direct your marketing and product efforts. It’s a specific audience. Markets are defined by demographics such as age, gender, location, economic group, social status, family situation, country and language. A few examples of businesses with target markets would be:

  • A shopping network that targets working moms over 30
  • A resort that targets retirees
  • A store whose target market is young families
  • A clothing store that targets teens who see themselves as ‘alternative’
  • A winter sporting goods supply store that targets people in cold, northern areas
  • A blog that targets well-to-do expatriates

You’ll notice that in the examples above, not all the information is demographic. For example, take teens that see themselves as ‘alternative.’ Other factors in targeted markets include psychographic data, like how your audience sees themselves or see the world around them. This is just as important as demographic information.

Why Laser-Target Your Market?

In marketing, there is no in between. You either hit or miss. If you don’t target your market perfectly, you’ll waste your advertising dollars broadcasting your message to the wrong people. Again, to take an example above, an ad for your resort for retirees would be pretty ineffective if it showed teens snowboarding and loud punk rock music.

Your target-market needs to be specific, because you can’t make everyone happy. If you cast your net too wide, you’ll be speaking to people who have no interest in your products or services. They’ll just tune you out like white noise in the background.

Benefits and Solutions

The key to successful marketing is to identify your market’s pain or problem and offer a solution. If you know exactly who they are, you can communicate your product’s benefits and the results they can expect in a language they understand. Tell your target market of retirees that at your resort, they don’t have to fight the crowds. Tell your alternative teens that they don’t need to fit in with the squares.

One added benefit is that your target market can relate to each other. By identifying them and marketing to them, you can create a ‘tribe’ based around common interests. This is especially powerful online, where people spend a great deal of time on social networking sites, forums, and blogs.

When defining your target market, be careful about making assumptions. Marketing is a science and you need to look for objective data. Research your target market and they’ll tell you what they like, what they think, and what they want from you.

Business Marketing Tips – Making Your Business Grow

One important part of making your business grow and make profits is marketing. Of course, you have to market your business, market your products, and get in touch with your target customers. Whether you have a small or a huge business, marketing is never absent as an essential component in making your business succeed.

If you have a small business or you are trying to venture into selling something online as a start, then learning a few business marketing tips will help you have a good start in making your business grow as well. Here are a few of those business marketing tips that you might find useful in marketing your business offline and online.

1. Take advantage of newspapers of local circulation. Indeed, one of the popular ways to market your business, especially if it is still a small-scale one, is to take advantage of print media. Newspapers readily welcome advertisers, thus you can make use of it especially if your target customers are locals or your business is just small-scale.

2. Create your brochures, flyers, press releases. These are still effective today especially if you want to reach out to people just within your vicinity. This also helps attract customers already in the venue of your business and lead them to your shop. Even for those who are just ‘looking around,’ these advertising leaflets can help them know more about your products and your services.

3. Provide free information to potential customers. This is one of the effective ways to promote your business and encourage people to take a look and know more about your products. You can sponsor free classes and workshops every now and then and provide them with inputs and information that they will find valuable. If your shop is an arts and craft store, then you can provide good training and workshops on card-making or some other interests and hobbies that is related with your business.

4. Network. Create connections and networks with other businesses and networks, from home based business groups to other business people. Of course, connections and networks are good for your business. As all of you are looking for ways to promote your products, you can mutually benefit by promoting each others products, especially if your business complements.

5. Go online. Strive to make your business visible on the internet. These days when people are relying on the internet for information and even for shopping and finding answers to their questions, it is indeed wise to expand your marketing efforts to the online world. Going online also helps expand your business and your target market to a worldwide audience. If your product can be easily shipped anywhere in the world, then you might also find that going online is one of the best ways to expand and grow your business.

These are just five of the many business marketing tips that you can implement and do with your business. It is important that you also learn constantly and update your marketing techniques as well so you won’t left behind my competitors, especially in online marketing where the pace is fast and you need to keep up as well.

Small Business Marketing – The Power of a Market Review

Conducting a market review is one of the most important steps in the small business marketing process as it provides together with a business review the information you need to create a dynamic marketing plan. All big businesses conduct these reviews as they know it can save time and money for their business.

A market review does not have to be complicated and a lot will depend on what information you can source. The important factor regarding a market review is to understand the key elements of your market and how these elements can affect your business now and in the future. The key elements you need to look at when conducting a market review for your small business include:

Size of Market

Your market is simply the overall industry in which you compete. For example if you sell juice then you compete in the Beverage Market. If you sell holidays as a travel agent then you compete in the Tourism Market. Analyzing the size of your market can tell you whether it is growing or declining, help you to identify growth opportunities and for a new small business can determine if the market is large enough to compete in and operate a profitable business. There are many sources you can use to gather information on the size of your market and these include trade magazines, industry associations, search engines and local government websites and resources.

Market Segment Analysis

Segmentation is a process that looks at the total market and then divides the products or services into broad groups that have similar characteristics. In the examples above, whilst the total market is beverages, the segment that is the most important to a juice manufacturer is the Juice Segment. Looking at the total beverage market today throughout the world the leading soft drink manufacturers have entered many of the market segments such as bottled water to expand their business. Market segment analysis also helps you to determine where your small business marketing efforts should be concentrated.

Distribution Channel Analysis

A distribution channel is the way in which your product or service is made available to your customers so they can purchase it. Examples are supermarkets, personal selling (face to face selling), distributors and the internet. Analyzing the sales of each distribution channel in your market enables you to identify which channels are the most important for you to compete in to grow your business.

Market Trends

A trend is any significant change to your market that your business may need to respond to. Examples of market trends include changes to the economy, changing customer demographics, social and global factors (to name a few). If you conduct business in the USA at the moment or are intending to compete in the USA then the concerns about a possible recession and how it could affect your small business needs to be identified so action plans can be put in place to minimize the impact.

Market Seasonality

If a product or service is seasonal it means that the majority of the sales occur at one or a few times a year. Tax accountants obviously have increased sales when the end of the financial year occurs and tax returns and other government reporting are required. Understanding market seasonality factors can lead to your small business maximizing sales through this period and also may highlight opportunities to spread your sales throughout the year.

Competitor Analysis

Your key competitors need to be analyzed in order for you to identify their key strengths and weaknesses and how they compare to your own small business. Reviewing this area means that you can be smarter with your marketing efforts and be proactive against their weaknesses and of course defend against their strengths. One tip that all big businesses do is to have a competitor file with examples of their marketing activities, products or services.

Big businesses know the value of reviewing the market in which they compete and you can to. Remember you can start slowly and just review one section at a time and then put in place activities or make business decisions based on the review to grow your small business.

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