Define your target market and save squillions in advertising

target market

I’m currently doing professional development, a Marketing Diploma, to facilitate the skills I’ve acquired over the last ten years. Some learnings seem so obvious and others shot me down in flames with how efficient I could’ve been. At the moment we’re going over target market theory. Pretty obvious to me but I had to have a giggle at someone from my past who worked at a university bookshop who had no idea of marketing… but of course knew everything.

Long story short, this person has a meeting with the Uni marketing head to discuss potential collaboration. The bookshop guy knowing everything already doesn’t want to collab so dishes out an attitude. Marketing Manager asks Bookshop Guy what their target market is. Bookshop Guy shoots off his know it all answer: “My god you should know that! It’s everyone on the internet.”

Now fully aware of what the situation looked like, the Marketing Manager decided to leave Bookshop Manager to blanket message everyone on the internet, realising he didn’t know jack shite. I was blessed with this gem of a story by Bookshop Guy who knew my background in media, he was looking for backup. All I could do was have a laugh with him about how he looked like a bit of a dick.

How many small business owners have no planning in place to target their market? From my experience, HEAPS!! They also think along the lines of ‘everyone on the net.’ But when the penny drops that a business can establish a key target identity and market solely to them, saving bucketloads of money in the process, the happiness is tangible. There is also a bit of dismay over the amount of money lost in wasted targeting. But never mind. Live and learn right?

So, I’ve one question for you. Do you know your target market? Please don’t say everyone on the net. If you’re a university bookshop manager please at least say university students. You’ll be on the right track.

Need a bit of info on how to find out your target market? YES, PLEASE! Coolio, read on and go to it. Let me know if you have any questions.

Who is your target market?

If you’ve been in business a while you’ll have a list of buyers already that you can glean info off. So look at your current customer base. Look for commonalities. For example, their demographic: what age are they, are they married – kid free or families, where do they live, male or female, what are their income brackets.

What problem do you solve for these people? Again, if you’ve been in business for a while you’ll have a fair idea, but if you’re just starting out then this is SOOOOO important. You can’t expect people to buy something from you if you aren’t solving the problem they are having. e.g. Buyer wants a car for their P plater child. Their problem? Their child is a new driver. They’ll want a safe, reliable car second hand car that doesn’t break their budget. What do those parents look like? Most likely baby boomer/Xgen family, owning their own home, definable income bracket, looking to be kid free 😉

Look at your competition. Want an easy insight into your target market? Look at your competitors adverts and marketing material and see who they identify as their target market. However, if they aren’t doing so well, look at them then figure out where they’ve gone wrong. Then FIX IT and smash them.

target market
Defining your target market means you have a better idea where to find an audience for what your selling. Image courtesy of picjumbo.

If you want to take it a step further, and I really recommend you should if you want an edge, look at the psychographics of your target market. When you’ve established the basic demographics (age, location, gender, income level, education level, marital family status, occupation, ethic background) dig a little deeper. Who do you solve problems for? What are their lifestyle choices, hobbies, values, attitudes, behaviours and personalities? To make this beamingly obvious… BCF marketing… their target psychographics are glaringly obvious!

Woohoo! You’ve made great start towards saving yourself many dollars in marketing by knowing your target market. Great work! Now you know who they are, lets look at how to find them and get them buying from you.