Small Business Marketing

Understanding Your Target Market

Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures

The more intimate you are with your target market the better equipped you will be to reach out to them. And that means more precision in your marketing which in turn leads to greater sales.

The established business owner and the newcomer alike hear a lot about the importance of understanding their target market.

Understanding Your Target Market

But many fail to fully comprehend this important demographic which can render expensive marketing ineffectual.

No matter what line of business you are in, your purpose is to sell your product or services to your clients. In an ideal world this would mean selling to as many clients as possible. However, aiming to do so often means that the business owner slips up when it comes to accurately targeting their prospective customers with promotion.

For example, just because a national publication has a huge readership doesn't necessarily mean it's the right place to run your advertisment. This is especially true if your product or services cater for a niche group. Why, after all, should you spend resources on a costly advertisement that will be seen by a 60/40% male female readership if your product is designed for women only. You only have the potential to appeal to under half the people who will see your ad.

Given that the actual lead generation from newspaper adverts is far less than that it really is vital, if the entrepreneur aims to create as many sales as possible, to avoid this sort of tactic. In fact, it's not much of a tactic at all, more like a throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks.

In business your aim needs to be truer and your weapon sharper than this. That's where knowing your target market really comes into play. Some successful entrepreneurs joke that they know their target market better than they know their husbands and wives.

So what do you need to know about the group of people you aim to make your clients? In short the answer is 'everything you possibly can.' You might argue that you don't need to know much more than their age, sex and location.

What good will it do you knowing what time they go to bed at night? Actually, this sort of seemingly trivial information is something it is well worth knowing. After all, if you're considering placing an advert on TV or radio, you do need to know that your prospective customers will be awake to hear it. Put like that you can see how important every scrap of information is.

The basics, of course, are to know the following:

- Sex
- Age
- Income
- Location

But you'll have a better grasp of who it is you are selling to and how to effectively sell to them, if you have a insight into further information, such as:

- What publications they read
- The sort of music they listen to
- The jobs they do
- The food they eat
- Whether they have children or not
- Their religious views

Equipped with that sort of information you are able to build up a better picture of the type of person, their probable likes and dislikes, that you aim to reach out to. The more information you have, the better.

Still not bothered whether or not your potential clients drink or smoke? Maybe you should be if you sell tooth whitening products.

Knowledge is power, as they say; increase yours tenfold by knowing your target market.

Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."

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