A Trade Magazine for New Age Retailers
 

Achieving Business Goals: Marketing Targeting

If you’re planning to expand your business into new markets or launch new products, you need to find your target markets to maximize your success. A target market is a group of people, also known as end users, that are identified to be your product or services best potential customers. They are categorized in a group because they share certain characteristics.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a book, your end-user customer is a reader who has the desire and the money to buy your book. So, knowing who your potential customer is very important and that target market is important because the more you know about your customer, the easier it is to reach them.

 

Who Is Your Customer?

You will need to know your customer demographic, geographic and psychographic information. Plus, you will also have to include your own categories to really know who your target customer is. To this end you will establish and set up a Customer Profile. This will include answering these questions:

Hint: You can get some of this information from marketing surveys and industry magazine advertising demographics Ask for them from the advertising department.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS – Is your customer male or female? What is their age and education level? Are they single, married or divorced? What is their occupation? What is their religious and ethnic backgrounds?

GEOGRAPHICS – Do they live in a city, suburb or rural area? Do they rent or own their home? What groups, associations or clubs do they belong to? What do they do in their leisure time? Do they have any hobbies? What stores do they shop in? Do they buy from catalogs? Do they use cash, credit card or digital currency?

PSYCHOGRAPHICS – What is their lifestyle and perceived social status? What is their knowledge level about your product or service? What are their personal attitudes, values and beliefs? How are they like you? How are they different from you?

 

 Why Do Customers Buy?

Customers buy from either a ‘want’ or a ‘need’. So, take some time to discover the wants and needs of your customer. What you do next is very important. Figure out how your product or service fills that want or need. Finally, the sale of your product or service is determined by the benefit the customer will receive from a feature (fact or attribute) of your product or service.

A benefit is intangible. Example of a product ‘Benefit’: Symbols of You book will increase intuition, mindfulness and give insight into life’s challenges.

A feature is tangible. Example of a product ‘Feature’: Symbols of You has 160 pages, 40 Ancient Wisdom Topics, 83 charts, 22 illustrations.

To create your own Benefits and Features list start with the benefits of your product or service. Start with your Benefit list. You can even brainstorm with others and write down every benefit you can think of no matter how crazy it seems. Next establish your Features list. Once you have listed all the Features match a benefit to a feature. Example of a merged Benefit and Feature: Symbols of You combines 42 Ancient Wisdom topics to help increase your intuition.

These matched benefits and features will help you in develop targeted promotional, marketing and sales materials that will engage your customers. Using your combined “Benefit & Feature List’ to create your own 30-second commercial of 75-100 words on why someone should buy your product or service. Why? You usually have one minute or less to describe a product to a buyer or distributor before they zone out. So, if you have the reason to buy ready to go it gives you an extra edge.


Hint: Create your own 30-seconds commercial.

 

Primary and Secondary Markets

Now that you know your customer in depth, and how you can satisfy their needs and wants, it’s time to research your markets. Business may have more than one target market. There’s a primary target market, which is your main focus and a secondary target market, which is smaller but has growth potential.

Example: If you’re a bookstore or retail store your primary market would be your store. Your secondary market could be online sales, expos, mail order, local community functions, community and like-minded clubs and associations, discounts to large like-minded businesses and organizations and more.

If you are a seller of a product or service, it will be different. Here is a list of markets that I came up with for my latest book:

My Primary Market: New Age gift/bookstores, chain bookstores, and independent bookstores.

My Secondary Market: College bookstores, libraries, gift stores, religious stores, recovery bookstores, mass market chain stores (e.g., Kohl’s), book clubs, massage & holistic practice schools, Alt. Medicine doctors’ offices, associations, supermarkets, drug stores, airport gift shops, coffee shops, discount stores (e.g., Costco, Sam’s Club), fitness centers, health food stores, hotel gift shops, newsstands, novelty shops, prison commissaries and tourist shops. I encourage you to think beyond what I’ve put together and come up with your own new markets that are niche places for your product or service.

 

Reaching Your Markets

Now it’s time to make and implement a plan to get into these markets. Your plan should include media strategies, specific messages, and market penetration techniques.

 

Media Strategies

To support your target market expansion efforts, identify your important media outlets like TV, radio, podcasts, industry and consumer magazines, newspapers, social media and digital media or other influencers. Media usually has the largest audience reach and clout. So, if you can secure media coverage you will gain greater awareness for your product and services in both your primary and secondary markets. Media establishes your visibility, as well as credibility while reaching your audience effectively. Remember, free stories and interviews are great but that’s a one-time hit. Advertising over a period of time gives you longevity, renders your product or service to be more visible, and believe it or not, gives you more sales in the long run because you are continually reaching your target markets effectively. Choose your outlets wisely.

 

Targeted Campaigns

It is very important to design messaging campaigns that resonate with your specific markets to reach your customer audience effectively. The types of targeted messaging you want to do include: e-mail campaigns, press releases, posts in social media (including groups), flyers and sometimes even regular ‘snail’ mail campaigns. When designing your messages keep in mind the individual interests, needs, wants and preferences of your customer in your new market and you may have to use different campaigns based on the method you are using to deliver your targeted messages.  Remember to include the benefits and features and the unique value of your product or service plus how you can distinguish your business from other businesses.

 

Partnerships

Partnerships help you reach more people so that you gain more visibility for your product or service. Who can you partner with? Connect with local community leaders, influencers, and strategic partners. Then identify and collaborate with the influential individuals and organizations so that they can support your expansion efforts.

An Influencer is a person who can affect their viewers’ purchasing decisions to buy your product or service. Remember to choose the right influencers. They gain authority in their industry by building a strong reputation with their audience. An Influencer’s reputation comes from experience, expertise or knowledge. Make sure your Influencers can do what they say and that their audience metrics are real.

A strategic partnership is a business partnership that involves sharing of resources of one or more companies to help everyone succeed. Normally strategic partners are non-competing businesses that share the risks and rewards of the decisions of both. Look for ways and opportunities where you can cross-promote and market each other for mutual benefit. Again, these partnerships expand your product or service’s visibility which means expanding the sales of your product or services.

In conclusion, remember if people don’t know you are out there how will know to buy? The more markets you can expand to the greater your chances are for successful recognition of your business and the greater the sales of your products and services.

 

Linda Mackenzie
Author: Linda Mackenzie

Linda Mackenzie is the Founder/GM of Creative Health & Spirit, a media and publishing company, which includes HealthyLife.net - Positive Talk Radio is a globally known radio/TV psychic, bio-energetic healer and award-winning author who appeared on almost all TV networks and in several award winning documentaries. Her 4th book Symbols of You: A Self-Discovery Reference Guide is now available on New Leaf, Ingram or your favorite supplier.

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