Saturday, August 6, 2011

Who is My Target Market? (And Why I Should Care)

One of the most common marketing mistakes I see small business owners make is not determining who their target market is.  Or perhaps, more often, they don’t use this information when determining a marketing plan or when it comes time to make essential marketing choices. 

Chances are you know who your target market is, but how often do you use that powerful information to make important marketing decisions?  And how often do you remember to structure your strategic marketing plan around this critical target market?  The answer should be-always.

Simply put, your target market is the most likely buyer of your product or service.  There may be many possible buyers of your product or service, but there is always one type of buyer that stands out.  This is true whether you sell to consumers or to other businesses.

Look at the demographics and characteristics of your buyers.  Do they all fall within a certain age group?  Are they primarily from a certain area of town or the country?  Do more men than women purchase your product?  Do most of them exercise regularly?  Are they avid sports enthusiasts?  List all the distinct qualities your best customers have.

Once you have drilled down to the most specific attributes of your best customers, you know who your target market is.  When you know that, marketing for a small business becomes much simpler.  Why?  Because then the decisions you make in regards to marketing strategy become clearer.  This is where you spend your money in marketing.

One marketing tip you should know is how to use target market knowledge to keep you focused.  If a sales person from a magazine or radio station approaches you about advertising, you will know whether they are a good fit by who their target market is.  If the radio station targets 20-35 year old males and your customers are 35-50 year old females, it isn’t a good fit, no matter what type of a deal they offer.  See how much easier your decision became?

Don’t forget who your target market is and you will be making the right marketing decisions for your small business.  Small business marketing isn’t so tough if you remember who you are trying to please-your target market.

What do you think?  Do you use target market data to make your marketing decisions?  Any other thoughts on this topic?

Cindy Neky

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