One of the basics of marketing is to define who you are targeting – to be able to articulate the best market or audience for your product or service. Sometimes the market is obvious – but sometimes it takes a bit more work to identify who your best future customers or clients are. Also, sometimes the market is quite narrowly defined, for example an insurance product specifically designed for retirees, whereas in other cases the market definition is very broad, such as pitching a product to Mums.
For narrow markets you need to ensure you are not limiting the scope of your market. For broader markets, unless you have a huge marketing budget and existing avenues to reach the masses, it will be necessary to be quite specific about the definition and demographics of your market.
Let’s break this down using Mums as our example:
- Where do they live – international, Australia, which state, what types of suburbs?
- How many children and at what ages?
- What are the interests or hobbies of the Mums and/or their children?
- Do the Mums work in the home and/or outside the home?
- What income levels might be required to afford your product or service?
- Will the price point affect the buying habits of some Mums? Is it a major investment, a small but regular investment or a one off cost?
- What are the current fashions and/or trends in products for Mums?
- Is your product or service familiar to Mums or will they need some education about its use?
- Who are the competitors in your market space?
- Where are your suppliers and are you selling online?
- When might this offering be needed – or wanted – by Mums? Is it seasonal or relevant all year around?
This is just a sample of some of the questions you need to consider to specifically articulate your market. Large organisations can spend huge chunks of the marketing budget on research to get this step really right. For smaller businesses where this spend is not possible, much of this can be determined using online survey tools (like Survey Monkey), feedback from existing customers, simply asking people you know and plain old common sense.
Once you are reasonably clear who you are targeting, you should work out how to get to your market. What are the channels of promotion and communication to tell your story to your market? Take a big picture view and think laterally. There may be direct and indirect ways into your desired market.
- Who are the voices your market is listening to in the media?
- Are there identified influencers who are leading relevant discussions across social media?
- Are there specific referrers, suppliers or stockists who provide could provide a channel directly to your market?
- Are there other like-minded brands who you can form an alliance with for promotional purposes?
- Who are your contacts, supporters and key customers? Can they help spread your message?
- Are there other advocates or patrons working within the market who may provide positive feedback or speak highly of your product or service?
Finding the best way to reach your market can be tricky – particularly with limited resources. For best results, take the time up front to think widely about who you are targeting and how. The more specific you are in your planning, the more effective you can be in tailoring and delivering solid messages to your market and ultimately generating the sales you need.
If you need help defining and targeting your market, give me a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Have you been stumped by how to reach a particular market? How did you tackle this problem? Leave a comment below to tell me your story.