I will show you a method that will let you cut back on your marketing costs AND increase your customer base.
I asked a business owner last week who he considered to be his target audience
“Families with kids” he answered.
“That’s great, but it would be reasonable to say there are about 40 million families with kids in the United States.” I answered. “If only one percent (400,000) order from you tomorrow, can you serve all of them? Do you have the capacity to serve them? Wait, that’s not all! Do you have enough money to advertise to all 40 million?”
It’s a common mistake of business owners to think they have a huge target market. Of course they hope that’s true because they are trying to sell to a lot of people, and they would like a lot of customers. They are afraid to restrict their list of potential customers, out of fear that they will lose some.
This is simply wrong. You can be more profitable if you restrict your list of potential customers, and focus on a niche that you can serve better. Not the huge market you already have picked out. A smaller one = a manageable one.
How can you narrow your target audience?
This is the most obvious segmentation for a small business owner. How far away are your customers? But just because you offer products or services in a small geographic area doesn’t mean that you have found your niche.
This is tougher, but it will bring results. What kind of problem do your products solve? Where do your target customers search for answers? What kind of media do they use to educate themselves? Videos, articles, forums, social media?
The answers to these questions will help you write your offer. You will know who needs your help, what kinds of problems you have to solve, and how to reach your target customers.
Who is your ideal customer? Who is the customer you want to duplicate over and over because they are so easy and pleasant to work with?
If you don’t know who these good customers are, you can’t create a marketing plan to attract them. How can you catch them if you don’t know who they are? How do you go hunting if you don’t know what you want to catch?
Ok, I have my ideal customer. Now what?
If you know who they are, you know the marketing message you need to deliver to them and through which marketing channels. Your marketing will be cheaper and more effective, because you won’t spend advertising money on channels that your ideal customers don’t use.
If you know:
- who they are,
- what problems they face,
- what solution they seek,
- and what language they speak,
you have your advertising message. Just say these words back to them and they will happily buy from you. Your advertising won’t target “Families with kids”. It will speak to “Families with their first newborn”.
You might be talking to a smaller target market, but it’s one wanting YOUR specific services. They are waiting for you!