If you want better results from your marketing you need to know your audience!
Then you can set a solid foundation to build your marketing plan and activities on.
An upside to being in business for yourself is that you can choose who you work with and for. You get to define who your target market (your ideal client or customer) and then get your marketing to reach out to those people to fill a need they have.
One of the mistakes I see business owners making time and again, is coming up with their marketing slogans, words, content and stuff because they think it is cool, they are selling features rather than benefits, talking about how great they are or their product is, instead of making their marketing all about the customer or client they are trying to reach. BIG mistake, what you think is cool, clever or ‘fun’ may be way different to how your target audience thinks, speaks or makes purchasing decisions.
TIP: Research is not asking a spouse, friend or family member what they think looks or sounds good, unless they are a marketing expert and know your product inside and out and use it themselves, even then it is one opinion only. So many try to do this stuff on the ‘cheap’ and ‘save money’
TRUTH: Business owners often waste way more money on their marketing by doing it on the fly, using guess work and on the cheap using friends and family for advice, design and content, getting it wrong costs way more!
I always start marketing planning with some key questions about the audience:
- Who are you marketing to?
- Who is your ideal (favourite) client? What makes them ideal or favourite?
Defining your target market – when sitting down with a multi-talented small business owner, this question is usually answered with a loud and enthusiastic, “Everyone!”
People often get really stuck here, so here is an example, some tips and a bit of myth busting for you.
Example to prove my point:
Let’s just say you are selling high performance sports watches with a GPS function, they are waterproof, smash proof, measure exercise, water depth, have a compass and some other cool sporty features.
I say: Who is your target market?
Owner says: Everyone who wears a watch! Or they think they are getting the point by saying ‘Everyone who plays sport who wears a watch’
Is this specific enough to run a marketing campaign from? Not really to be honest.
I call this ‘shot in the dark marketing’, your perceived target is so wide, that you throw your ‘dart’ (marketing efforts) at it and hope that it will hit somewhere in there. This can be costly and time consuming.
When you get specific and narrow your market down you are ensuring you get more of the clients you want.
MYTH busted: “I will miss out on business if I narrow it down”
Not true, you will still get other types of clients or customers along the way, it just won’t be your target.
The research factor:
To ensure you get results from your marketing, you need to understand some other things about your customer
TIP: The better you know them, their likes, dislikes, pains and language the more likely you are to be able to appeal to their need and solve their problem with your product or service
1. Who are they specifically, what sport do they play, at what level? (if we are sticking to the watch example but you can tailor this to suit your product or service)
2. What are their pain points, the things they can’t get from a possible current watch?
3. Where do those people look for products like yours? What are they reading, and why?
4. What language do they speak? (not necessarily about native tongue but what words to they use when they talk about their sport and lifestyle needs, what slang or acronyms might they be using)
How do you find this stuff out?
- Ask around, ask your current customers if you have them, why they purchased from you
- Use a cool free tool like google forms or survey monkey to help you out here, have a little fun and create a survey. Get specific in your questions, record and compare the answers and offer an incentive.
- If you have had favourite clients before or do currently, sit down and write up why they are you favourite, what you know about them, what solutions you solve for them etc. Then just build your ideal client profile around that information.
TIP: This is also a good process to go back to and revisit for any product or service changes or editions, always come back tot his as your anchor, if your marketing gets off track or isn’t bringing results, perhaps a few tweaks in this space will help.
Marketing is about ensuring that the right audience links to the right message, links to the right timing, links to them seeing you have the solution for a problem they have, which then links them to take action to purchase your services and products.
See the links? The links are where the work needs to happen, and in order to link them to the next step on a buying journey, you need to know as much about them as possible.
TIP: When you ask, make sure you listen.
Any questions let me know in the comments section of this article, I hope you found it valuable