Probably the hardest part of the marketing system is choosing who you want to serve. This is because by choosing who you want to serve you are choosing who not to serve. It may feel like you are giving up opportunities. As you will see soon, we aren’t giving up all these opportunities, or other potential customers, at all. We will be strategically allocating certain funds that will target your primary audience and then our brand-building funds (more on this later) will be used to capture everyone else’s attention as well.
Part of the difficulty in this process is that most marketers and business owners don’t know why you need to target. Why do you need to choose who you wish to serve? It’s a nice sentiment, but why?
One word. Focus. By focusing on a group strategically, you are better able to allocate your funds properly. You have less wastage and a lot more opportunity to develop profits quicker. Explain this more. How is there less wastage? What are the guiding principles for choosing an audience?
How do you choose your target audience?
Step 1: Define the profile of the strategically aligned segment
After completing your MarketSnapshot now it’s time to go a little deeper into the segment. What makes this segment unique from the rest? Can you define further demographics? Age? Gender? Social class? Stage in sales cycle etc.
You should also look at the behavioural factors or the psychographics. Why do they buy the products/services you have to offer? You are going from a view of 100,000 feet to now about 10,000 feet.
To find your strategically aligned segment you must answer yes to these 2 questions:
- Is the segment worth pursuing? Or is the return worth the investment?
- Does your firm possess the ability to solve this segment’s problems?
Step 2: Asses the tactical viability of the strategic optimal segment
Can you actually reach the targeted segment you have chosen? It’s one thing to identify an opportunity, it’s another to evaluate if you are capable of taking advantage of that opportunity.
What channels does this target audience operate in? Can you be part of that channel? Can you purchase that channel? Ever thought of purchasing a list of your target audience? Now might be a good time if you want the attention of your target audience.
The question here is – is it possible to reach the target audience with respect to your ability to offer products they would like in a cost-effective manner?
A good rule of thumb is to conduct a projection of your audience. Since you already have the numbers by creating your market snapshot, what if you had 20% of the target audience? Is your business viable? This isn’t a law of marketing but it’s good to know. 20% is fairly conservative but could be helpful in making decisions.
Step 3: Commit to Target Audience
You have gone through the process and now you know it’s feasible. The challenge is to commit and stay committed to your plan throughout the year.
Now we must think about how we are to position ourselves in the hearts and minds of this audience. What do we want people to think?