You acquired the target, but how’s your aim?

                  All businesses people have heard the term, “Know Your Target Market.” But do they really understand how to find out who their target market is? This is an essential step in successful advertising. Many businesses say everyone needs my product or service when I first meet with them. The truth is, not everyone needs your product or service. So my initial advice is they should quit trying to talk to everyone. 

                  Simply put, your target market should be one that produces the most profit for your store. I have talked with many businesses before that say, “We have women in their twenties who come in for our sales all the time.” While that can be great my response is always, “Who comes in and pays full price?  That is your target market!”

                   As an example, let’s say that target market is women 35 and up. Even with this answer, you only have about half the equation. You need to ask some specific questions as they relate to your target. What does this woman do?  Do they work, stay at home, go to school, or take care of the kids? What are her hobbies and interests?  What is she really concerned or care about?  Some women over 35 are so career focused they haven’t had children, are independent and aren’t married.  These women have a much different lifestyle that the one who is married, with kids and works. From most of the research I have done over 70% of women 35 and over work, care for the kids and take care of the house.  My conclusion has always been that thing these women care about is time! 

            Therefore, a business whose target market is women over 35 should speak to them from the perspective of time.  For example, if I was a car dealership trying to pull in this desired demographic, I would develop a marketing strategy not on price or value, but on the time that I can save her. Can you offer her something that will speak directly to her?  Once you answer that, you can develop a message that is going to speak directly to that person; quite simply, a message they can’t ignore. 

            So how does a business reach out to the over 35 working mom? If you think she is taking the time to go through the mail and look at your mailer you sent her, you are wrong. She is looking for bills and throwing the junk mail away–Remember, she doesn’t have the time. Now, if you were to talk to her during the morning news while she is getting ready, or on her drive to work and daycare, then you are getting somewhere. Another place you can talk to her is on her mobile device. Since she feels the time crunch, she is probably multi-tasking. As she is waiting in line at the bank, grocery shopping or waiting for coffee chances are she is reading the headlines or communicating in some way on her mobile device. Are you talking to her on her mobile device? You should be. 

            Success with your target market goes back to the hybrid media strategy I spoke about in my last article. However, none of it will work if you don’t know who you are talking to. Finding your target and hitting that target in today’s marketplace is a challenge, particularly with so many various ways to speak to people. You have to do the work before to define your customer and what is important to them before you can speak to them. Then you must speak to them consistently in the formats they are using each day based on their lifestyle.

            Businesses in today’s economy don’t have the budget or time to practice hitting their target or shooting their marketing ammo all over the place; they have to focus in on the target, aim and fire! 

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