Target Market: The Key to Small Business Success

target marketOne of the most important, yet most difficult things for small business owners to do is "target market." To gain traction and success, small businesses need to identify who it is that their products or services are right for, or they need to identify the customer and adapt their products or services to fit the customer. This is called targeting. The target market is a group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts toward.

Why is it important to identify a target market?

When I ask most business owners who their "ideal customer" is they typically give me an answer like, "Anyone with money," or "Everybody." The problem with this answer is that you cannot afford to market to "everybody" or "everyone with money." In order to be efficient and effective in your marketing efforts you must target. Unfortunately a large percentage of small business owners want to market like big corporations do, but that's a mistake! What most large corporations do is not right for the small business. We must use "direct marketing" (sometimes called "direct-response marketing"), which means that we need to get a direct response for every dollar we spend to market. Small businesses cannot afford to spend their precious marketing dollars to just build a brand. We need customers. And we build our brand by taking exceptional care of our customers. Thus, we spend marketing dollars to get customers. Period. With that said, we must target because we want our investment to give us the greatest return possible. We may sell our products or services to "anyone who has money," but we should only spend on efforts that will generate exactly the kind of customers we want.

Sell to anyone, but target your marketing efforts!

Why is this so difficult for most small business owners? Simply put, we think there is low hanging fruit that we might miss if we don't mass market. Trust me - the mass-market approach for small businesses seldom works! What we have seen over and over again is that the owners who discipline themselves to target, track, and measure everything are the ones who experience the greatest success. And yes, it is a discipline! So let me encourage you to be thoughtful, strategic, and disciplined in your marketing efforts. Start by identifying your ideal prospects and customers. Describe them on a piece of paper demographically -
  • Age,
  • Gender,
  • Location,
  • Income Level,
  • Education Level, etc.
Then describe them psychographically -
  • Personality,
  • Attitudes,
  • Values,
  • Interests/Hobbies,
  • Lifestyle,
  • Behaviors, etc.
The better you describe this ideal customer the more focused your efforts can be. And, more importantly, the higher the probability that you will attract the customers that you really want to do business with, as well as the customers who really want what you have to offer.

Don't be afraid to target market.

If you would like some help, contact us. We will be happy to give you a complimentary 1-hour marketing strategy session to help you improve your marketing and grow your business. There is no obligation. Also, subscribe to marketing tips for weekly encouragement.

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