A Targeted Marketing Primer

By Mash Bonigala

Are you doing everything you can to market your business but finding that many of your fantastic ideas fall flat? Sometimes the cause may be a lack of targeted marketing. To put it simply, targeted marketing is identifying and marketing to the exact people who would become customers if they knew about your business. As many small business owners know, this is easier said than done. However, the following tips should help you get started.

Know Your Customer

Only a very small number of people are going to become your customers. The first thing that needs to happen in order for you to target your marketing more effectively is finding out who these people are. What key element do all of your customers have in common? Sometimes this is as simple as an age range or a geographical area, but in other cases it is more complicated. Your target customer may be defined by a psychological aspect such as political preference or a more pragmatic one such as dog ownership. There may even be a few different groups or a list of overlapping factors. Know exactly what you are looking for, and you will quickly find that your marketing is more effective.

Become a Specialist

There’s a market for everything; once you know who your target market is, you must begin marketing specifically to them. Design a brand that will appeal to them specifically. Invest in marketing that is highly targeted. Don’t mail a flyer all over town if only people in one neighborhood are going to be interested. Every dollar that you spend marketing to people who are not in your target group is a dollar wasted. Your product or service needs to fulfill a need or a desire for your target market, and everything else is irrelevant.

Define Success

What kind of success are you looking for? Sometimes a marketing effort may seem to fall flat, but it in fact is working in a more subtle way. If your target audience is learning about your business and your brand, the venture is not a total loss. They may not buy today, but rather in the future. Sales are important—after all, they are the only way to keep your doors open—but building your brand will lead to future sales.

On the other hand, you need to have a dollar amount that you plan to get out of every marketing venture. Define how much you realistically might earn from a marketing scheme and then use this as a guide for how much time and money that venture deserves. If a particular type of marketing doesn’t meet your expectations, either adjust your expectations or adjust your actions.

Targeted marketing is essential to success because it will allow you to get the most out of your marketing and lead your business in the right direction. If these tips seem confusing, it may be time to talk to a branding expert about how to develop and market your small business brand.