Small businesses can compete with “the big guns” by making wise choices about their marketing: who to market to, and where to market to them by defining your target market.
The keyword here is “niche.” Focus your marketing dollars on specific groups of people that are more likely to buy from you. You’ll get an affordable, efficient, and effective return-on-investment.
How do you determine who’s in your target market? Think about the following:
What is your current customer base & Target Market?
- Who are they?
- Why do they buy from you?
- Do they share some common characteristics?
What’s going on with your competition?
- Who are their current customers?
- Who are they targeting? Is there a group they have missed?
What are the benefits of your product/service?
- List all the features of your product/service and the benefits those features provide.
- Then list the benefits of those benefits! For example: Redwood Productions offers high-quality design services; this benefits a small business by building a more professional image; the professional image attracts customers; more customers means more profit!
What are the demographics of your target?
- Consider age, education, gender, income, location, marital status, and occupation
- For example: A beauty salon might want to target college-educated single women, aged 25-35, who make around $45,000 and live within 25 miles. That’s the kind of market that would use their disposable income and treat themselves (and/or their friends) to a full-service salon day.
What are the characteristics of your target market?
- Consider attitude, behavior, interests, lifestyle, personality, and values.
- How does your product/service fit into the life of your target market? How/when will they seek your business?
- Where do they go for information – newspaper, radio, online news?
Once you’ve addressed all these factors, evaluate your target market as a whole. You don’t want to be too general (“homeowners” or “stay-at-home moms” are really broad categories) but you don’t want to get too specific either (55 year old men who play golf on Tuesdays and wear the color purple at least once a week – way too niched!). Make sure you understand what drives your target to your product/service, why they need it, who can afford it, and how it benefits them. Your niche market should be accessible to you.
And don’t get caught up in defining one group of people – you can have more than one target market!
If you can find your niche(s), you’ll open up your business to the right customer. They need you, but don’t know about you! Target them!