Do you find yourself saying any of the following statements?
“I want to sell to everybody.”
“Everybody can benefit from my product/service.”
“I want to cast a wide net – everyone should know about us.”
If so, I want to give you a high five for your enthusiasm – but I also want you to read the rest of this article so you understand why your marketing consultant looks really uncomfortable when you say any of the above.
The world would be a wonderful place if everyone was the perfect candidate for your product or service. But the truth of the matter is, we’re all different. We all have different wants, needs, tolerances, and preferences. We’re all drawn to different things and we’re all trying to solve different problems. Which is why when you try to sell to everyone, you end up wasting a lot of time, energy, and money on people that are never going to spend money on you.
When you properly identify your perfect target market, you get the most bang for your buck. Instead of spending time weeding through all the “potential” customers that aren’t a good fit for your business, you go straight for the ones that are most likely to turn into a sale and keep coming back for more.
What does it mean to define your target market?
1. Identify the type of person you want to reach with your messaging
The more detail you know about who you are talking to, the better you know how to reach them. Start with demographic information, like age, gender, education level, or income and go from there.
For example, if I sold clothing for small dogs, I may define my target market as females with small dogs, aged 25 – 45, with an average household income of $90,000.
This is just a tiny example and the deeper and more detailed you get, the better.
2. Know what they’re looking for and where they look
What are your market’s secret dreams, hopes, desires, and fears? When you know this information, you can address it in your marketing materials and on your website to show them that you understand their needs and are the perfect match. You can also find out what places they go to for information, whether it be magazines, blogs, tv shows, or anywhere else.
Let’s consider my lapdog loving ladies. Through my research, I’ve learned that they worry that their pooches will eat their clothing and the ladies are worried about the effect of synthetic fabrics and dyes on their sensitive stomachs. For this reason, I might play up the fact that our pet clothing is made of all-natural materials.
3. Figure out your next steps
Now that you know who you are marketing to, what they need to hear, and what resources they look to, you can start to make a list of to-do items. Set goals for things like making contacts, placing articles and ads, or attending tradeshows.
While it may feel like you’re turning away customers by focusing on a specific group, knowing who you really want to (and can realistically) sell to will end up saving you a lot. You’ll stop wasting time and energy on leads that will never go anywhere and you’ll be able to focus all that energy in places where the chances of success are much higher.