Selecting target markets
Have you defined your ideal target markets? Do you understand the buying criteria of the potential customers in your target markets? Have you segmented your markets to take advantage of using unique marketing messages to each segment? A target market is a group of customers that your business has decided is the best place to focus your time and efforts, and the first element to an overall marketing strategy.
Target markets are defined in many different ways. Most small businesses start with a geographical location and then add additional criteria, such as demographics, to hone in on the best people to market to. Demographics could include gender, age, income, occupation, education, household size or many other criteria to slice up the marketplace.
Using specific criteria allows you to avoid using “mass marketing” as your only approach. Mass marketing, which often doesn’t include demographics, is the least effective way to reach your target audience. Sending out brochures or doing random robo calls is not nearly as good as targeting your potential customers. Positioning your products and services with your target market is also very important. This could be differentiating based upon price or other factors that highlight the uniqueness of what you provide. The marketplace is always changing, so it is a best practice to continue to evaluate whether you are focused on the right segment at the right time. Determining your target markets is the first step in developing a marketing plan, and then it’s all in the execution.