What Is A Target Market?
Dumb question? Not from what I see everyday in my local newspaper, on TV and online. It is a fair question to ask as so few business owners practice it.
So, what am I talking about?
A target market is a group of customers that the business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise towards.
A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy.
That definition would seem to make the concept of a target market a top priority in one’s marketing efforts.
Then why do so few independent business owners target their market?
Why do they squander their time and money running around the Internet, placing boring ads in the local newspaper, blasting away online, shooting tons of arrows into the sky trying to touch every apple rather than targeting the specific apples that really matter…the apples most likely to buy their stuff?
I believe there are two reasons.
One is fear.
Why be afraid of target marketing?
One shouldn’t be, but there is an inherent fear attached to narrowing one’s focus.
Afraid that one apple or a specific group of apples won’t buy.
Afraid that there are fewer red apples than yellow or green, so why not shoot for all of them?
The reason this spray and pray technique doesn’t work and never has worked is a) business owners don’t have enough arrows to hit all of the apples and b) red apples are very different than green or yellow. Not only do they require different growing conditions, they taste different and very different properties. So it is with customers.
It is the smart business owner that recognizes that all apples are not the same.
The second reason is that these business owners haven’t done the work.
What work is require to target market?
The work that made William Tell such an excellent shot.
Tell wasn’t born with a crossbow in his hands. As does anyone who achieves success, Tell practiced and practiced until he knew his equipment inside and out. He understood how the crossbow and the arrows were made and how the both would react in certain conditions. He knew how to alter his stance or his arms in order to make the crossbow do his bidding. He was at one with the crossbow.
And so too do business owners need to be at one with their customers.
They need to narrow their focus to the 20% of their customers who represent 80% of their sales so they can capture more who are like the 20%.
They need to identify the behaviors and attitudes of these customers through observation, asking, listening.
They need to identify where their best customers reside online and offline and focus their marketing attention there and not scatter it.
That’s the work they need to do.
Once they overcome their fear and do the work, they’ll be able to capture their true share of the marketplace.
Is this the type of work you are willing to do to make your business a success? If not, why not? What’s holding you back?
You should put your thoughts and concerns in the comments box below. Or, if you prefer, send me an email and let me know what is holding you back. I may be able to help get some crossbow magic working for you.