Every entrepreneur knows the importance of targeting the right people. But still, many of them make the critical mistake of assuming that they know what their target market is. For instance, car accessory retailers would often assume that their target market is “people who own a car”. Yes, it’s a fact that car owners are more likely to purchase car accessories. But that’s not a target market. The targeting cannot be so unfocused and broad. The business wouldn’t be able to tailor a strategy for specific types of car owners. So you see, targeting may not be so easy after all.
Businesses now have to be smarter because traditional methods of reaching out to the customer or understanding the audience aren’t working as effectively anymore. So the business will have to be inventive here. It’s essential to “think outside the box”, something probably similar to what Apple did in 1984 with Jay Conrad Levinson publishing a book that has become legendary now – “Guerilla Marketing”. It asked companies to spend smaller budgets and to be more imaginative in their approach.
To make the marketing campaign successful, it’s essential to know precisely who you should be targeting. It’s not a limiting approach. It’s a clear and refined goal-setting, and it gives the content and marketing better clarity and focus. This is the way to make it effective.
Those who are selling products directly to an end-user might have demographic information (such as education, average income range, geographical location, occupation, family makeup and such others) that helps the business understand their consumers better. Demographic information is measurable. It is tangible. This information is about individuals or groups of people. It could include age, gender, education level, income, marital status, ethnic or racial identity, occupation, size of the household, number of kids, geographic location or the size of the community.
This information focuses on intangible characteristics, because of which we are all unique. While demographic information just provides the facts, lifestyle information helps us understand the demographics better. For example, let’s assume that Roberto and Sofia are both American-Italians. But this demographic says nothing on whether their Italian background means anything to them or not. Lifestyle information like Roberto’s membership of the Italian Lawyer’s Association and Sofia’s frequent trips to Milan will tell something about them.
There was a time when big businesses obviously had a huge advantage because of their bigger market research budget. Small business owner were at a disadvantage in their customer research. But the Internet has now leveled the playing field greatly. Even small businesses can now gather a lot of data easily. In fact, they often have an advantage as they have direct access to their customers.
Every potential buyer is a market. But even then, a business stands to gain by dividing the market into small “segments”. It could be on any number of lifestyle or demographic factors. For instance, the segmentation could be done on the customer’s age or on the sex. Of course, customers in each segment will all have unique requirements, and would respond to different triggers. A business can generate solutions by addressing the requirements of each group.
Most marketers agree that 20% buyers consume 80% of the product volume. So the key is to identify this 20% and try and push others in a way that works best into this group. That’s the way to sell more with minimal effort.