How To Determine Your Target Market

You can reduce your marketing costs and increase profits by targeting specific groups of people when you market your business. When you understand your target market, not only will you easily reach them, you will also be in a better position to provide services and products tailored to their needs. Here are 5 steps to help determine and better serve your target market.

Step 1: List the types of services or products your business provides. For example, if you run an Accounting and Taxes firm, list the types of services you provide, such as general accounting, tax preparation, notary public, eldercare accounting, and payroll services. The services  you offer will determine if your firm caters to businesses rather than individuals. If you can determine which of these markets your business caters to the most, then you can narrow your search by targeting specific industries or types of consumers.

Step 2: Create a profile for your ideal customer. A customer profile is a list of descriptors such as gender, age, industry, profession, ethnicity, education level, income and lifestyle. Understanding the types of people or industries interested in purchasing your goods and services allows you to market directly to them instead of marketing to a general group. While you should still market to those outside your target market, most of your marketing efforts should be toward this group. One way to create a customer profile includes writing and distributing a survey to existing customers via email, traditional mail, by phone or in-person when they visit your place of business. Another way is to review sales records for the past year to determine which industries or types of consumers purchased your goods and services.

Step 3: Gather information about your customers via a survey. Include questions (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, yes or no) to determine the average age of customers, income level, occupation, number of times they use your goods and services each year, reasons for purchasing and other places they go to purchase the same or similar goods and services. Include a comment box so customers can express their opinions about your business or ask for additional goods and services. Place this survey on your website so it will pop-up when people visit your site. Add the survey to your business social media page to gather even more information. Analyze this information to determine which age groups, income levels, industries or specific customers, such as parents, working professionals or retirees, are most likely to make a purchase.

Step 4: Research your competition. Learn what other businesses have done to increase their sales by reading industry reports, business articles or by visiting competitor websites and social media pages. Create a list of markets your competition has cornered to see if there are smaller niche markets closely related to those larger markets that could be profitable for your business. For example, if you are in the event marketing industry and your competition is profiting from doing events for hospitals, investigate the possibility of doing events for medical doctors, dental facilities and other associated niche market in the healthcare industry.

Step 5 – Determine the best ways to reach your target market. Online marketing may be the best way to target younger audiences like the Gen I, Gen X and Gen Y; while business networking events, trade shows, community networking events and cold-calling may be the best ways to reach business owners. Review your customer surveys and take note of which surveys (online, email, traditional mail, in-person) receive the most responses. This may help you determine the best ways to market to a specific group.

Do share with us if you are already engaged in these target marketing activities and how they are working for you. We welcome any comment that can enhance this process.

Share

Discover Your USP and Use It To Power Up Your Sales

Discover your USP & differentiate yourself from the rest

Discover your USP and stand out from the rest

The key to effective selling is what advertising and marketing  professionals call a “unique selling proposition” (USP). Unless you can  pinpoint what makes your business unique and makes you stand out  from your competitors, you cannot target your sales efforts successfully.

 So what is USP?
USP is the reason presented by the seller that a product or service is  different from and better than that of the competition. This is the  benefit that your customer or client receives that makes your business stand out. It’s what makes you different and earns you a special place in the minds of your potential customers.

The point is, differentiating your business is a Good Thing, whether you’re talking about the business itself, your products or your marketing. Think about it from your customer’s point of view. With tens or hundreds of potential options out there, you have to answer the question, “why should I buy from you?” If you don’t answer that question quickly and effectively, your potential customers will move on.

USP Is Not About Being the Best
Having a great product or superb content is probably not enough of a difference to make your business stand out. In most markets, having a great product is just the price of admission.

When you’re small, it’s hard to compete on product or content quality alone. You need to change the conversation. Instead of screaming “hey, look at me, I have great stuff too,” you want to confidently say, “hey, I’m all about X, we do things differently. If you’re into X, we’re the only place you can get it.” The answer is that you don’t compete at all. Instead, you become the best at something no one else is attempting.

Discovering Your Unique Selling Proposition
There are a lot of different approaches you can take to discovering your USP which might end up being a combination of things. There’s no one right answer and depending on what business you are in, even a small amount of differentiation could lead to a much greater shot at success.

Here are a few simple ways to differentiate your business. These aren’t the only ways, but it’s a starting point to get you thinking.

Use Your Personality
If you’re running a very small business or are the primary owner of your business, sometimes your personality alone can be a powerful difference. You have to have a personality that resonates with people to pull this off however. Putting your personal stamp on many aspects of your business will allow you to create something no one can directly compete with.

Explore The Intersection Of Ideas
Interesting things happen at the intersection of ideas. Mix collective buying power with the social web and you get Groupon. Mix retail buying with the web and you get Amazon. Think about the industry your business is in, and what you could add to the mix to make it more interesting and unique. It doesn’t require inventing something new, just combine two things you already know about.

Narrow Your Target Market
You can choose a narrow target market who has never had a business like yours cater specifically to it. For example, become a Financial Advisor just for Registered Nurses (RN), or a CPA just for Restaurants or an Event Planner just for large outdoor events. Think about this from the customer’s standpoint. If you were a RN and need help with financial advice, you would be inclined to choose that person who that specializes in RN.

The other benefit of specializing in a narrow market segment is that promotion becomes much easier. You know where to find your target market  and you will better know what marketing message will be appealing.

Finally, Remember You’re Not Trying to Appeal to Everyone
As you begin to develop your USP it might seem like you are leaving out some potential customers as it is a natural tendency to want to please everybody. But when you try to please everybody, you end up pleasing no one. The goal of your USP is to connect more strongly with some people, and not so much with others. This is what you want because when you connect strongly with a smaller lucrative market your revenues will increase quickly.

Share

10 Reasons For Using Email Marketing

Email Marketing Has Global Reach

If targeted correctly and message crafted aptly, email marketing can help you deliver the right content to the right prospect at the right time in the selling cycle and continuously achieve high response rates from quality prospects. It is a great way for maintaining a close relationship with your present customer base by sending them information that they consider valuable and essential to them. Microsoft sends out over 20 million email marketing pieces every month.

If you are still unsure, then here are 10 reasons, why you should start email marketing right away.

1.  Very Easy: Executing an email campaign is easy and simple; you can do it sitting at home without any extensive resources.

2. Inexpensive: Costs incurred in designing, executing, testing, sending and receiving an email is up to 78% less for a run of 5000 over paper-based direct mail version. When you add e-mail to your marketing mix, you spend less time, money and resources than with traditional marketing vehicles like direct mail or print advertising. I find one of the cheapest  and effective email marketing system to be Express Email Marketing.

3. Interactive: You can innovatively initiate campaigns using graphics, videos, music, quiz, game or whatever that will be of interest to your prospects, to grab their attention and interest immediately.

4. Highly personalized: Email enables you to personalize and greet every person by name. This helps create a special bond.

5. Round the clock marketing: Your prospects can access your offer through their emails anytime of day and night.

6. Measurable results: Special tools are available that accurately measure click-through rate, conversion rate, how a person one arrived at your website, and enable you to assess the success of different email campaigns.

7.Targeted marketing: Since prepackaged and custom-built lists are available, you could reach only those who might require your services, solutions or products without bothering those who do not. You can select each one of your targets based on geography, age, income, spends, and many other parameters.

Email Marketing Results Are Measurable

8. Opt-in or unsubscribe options: Emails contain opt-in and opt-out options which help you to shortlist your prospects and reach only the ones genuinely interested in your offerings. It also helps protect you from being reported as spam and spamming fines can run in the thousands.

9. Faster response: Time to receive responses through e-mail is one to three days, where you will get maximum responses on day one itself, while a direct mail campaign would take minimum 7 to 12 days to generate any responses. Further, responding to a direct mail is more cumbersome, while a person can respond to an email immediately.

10. Global reach:  No matter where you are or whom you need to reach, targeted emails pave the way. Borders are no obstacles in email marketing.

Email marketing is a high response and opportunistic medium for communicating with customers, and if executed right, has the power to bring huge benefits to your business. Go ahead, initiate an extremely targeted e-marketing and see your profits grow. Many of your competitors are doing it already!

 

 

Share