You don’t need to understand marketing to succeed...but you do need to understand people.

It helps to understand people when you're marketing
on Thu 20 Apr


Imagine practicing archery wearing a blindfold, or  going ten pin bowling with your eyes closed. In both cases being prevented from seeing your target means that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll hit it.


It’s the same in marketing - doing business without identifying your target market will stop you in your tracks. So let’s have a think about that challenge.


Firstly,  the term “target audience” or “target demographic” gets thrown around a lot in marketing conversations. But more often than not, it remains a vague term that gets filed away in the back of a business plan somewhere. So let’s refresh our memories: a target market is not just a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services


It is those who are MOST LIKELY to buy from you


This may not be who you initially thought you were aiming at. For example if you were selling books to children your target market is not the children but their parents. And if you were selling health tonic aimed at men it’s highly likely that it's the wives/mothers/girlfriends who would buy it for their menfolk to try. (Because that's how we roll...)


Even in corporates you may have to produce marketing material especially for the cheque signer as well as the person who is commissioning your product or service. And guess what that cheque signer is likely to require far more analytical data than you have previously shown…


I’d like to think that long gone are the days when a car showroom sold to the husband when a new car is being bought for the wife but  I recently heard from a friend that a local car showroom had lost his keen-to-buy wife as a customer because they did just that. Amazing! There are less overtly stupid actions than that which could lose you a sale through not fully thinking through your target market so be careful....


Create your virtual customer

It’s easier to market to someone rather than to some amorphous mass -  so spend some time thinking about your target client.


  • Are they mostly male or female?
  • Are they mostly in their twenties or fifties?
  • Where do they live? What kind of lifestyle do they have?
  • How do they behave in terms of the magazines they read or the television they watch?
  • Which social networks are they on?
  • What are their motivations - to be more healthy? More efficient?  More green? Less busy?
  • And how specifically are you going to help them with that?


Having sorted all this out ask yourself three questions and sort out the required solutions:


  1. Is it easy for your target audience to find out about your products and services? For example by visiting your shop; or finding you online; or seeing your advertisement or signage; or by reading about your business in the press or by having it recommended by affiliates?
  2. Is this target audience already inundated with other products and services that are indistinguishable from yours? If it is you have to DIFFERENTIATE.
  3. Is this target audience willing to pay a price for your products and services that allows you a reasonable profit margin?


I hope that has been helpful, if you want to look into the subject in more depth there is another post about researching target markets just here

And if you need help with campaigns or establishing that key differentiation just get in touch.


P.S. If you'd like to download a more detailed guide to creating your virtual customer you just have to sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of my home page to get it for FREE

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