Identifying Your Market

10/25/2012 | Roger and Susie Engelau

By the end of this month’s blog series, you’ll have a guaranteed strong return on your marketing dollars. With my 1st 2 blogs, you nailed down your USP. Last week you defined your Ideal Customer. Now, using that detailed definition of your ideal customer, you’ll precisely identify your Target Market

Like it or not, we live in a time when people want specialization. They want to feel that they’re receiving their desired product from an authority or expert.

You must position yourself and your business as the authority—and you can’t do that while trying to be everything to everyone.

Amazon didn’t start off as a general retailer. They built a strong customer base by being the best book-seller. Even Wal-Mart started by targeting rural areas without access to low-cost goods.

The big danger of not having a target market is this—it’s like shouting across Lucas Oil Stadium versus conversing with one small section. Companies that try to be all things to all customers are sure to fail. Narrowing your focus to one specific chunk of the market gives prospects a reason to notice you above the fray. If you’re not differentiating yourself, the consumer looks at price as the differentiator and they choose the cheapest. If you don’t know specifically which customers you’re speaking to, you’re actually speaking to no one.

For a refrigeration service company, a key target market would be restaurants with large coolers or freezers. To view all restaurants as your target would be a mistake because smaller ones with regular-sized refrigerators are better off using a small appliance repair service.

Targeting a specific market doesn’t mean you have to exclude people that don’t fit your criteria from buying from you. Small business can effectively compete with large companies by targeting a niche market.

Your target market is the market of potential customers who most closely resemble your ideal customer. They’re the kind of people you want to work with, who are raving fans of your USP, and who are already sending you business. Go through your data base of prospects and select the ones that most closely resemble these characteristics. Many business owners find their niche by focusing on areas they already have a strong interest in or in markets that already know about their services.

Choose a target market that can afford you. For the refrigeration service owner, small sandwich shops and convenience stores probably don’t have the means of paying for very specialized services.

Don’t go after the same market your competitors are targeting; you may find a niche they’re overlooking. Look for growth markets and expanding new areas not claimed by existing businesses. Look for areas where a gaping need exists that you can fill with your company’s services.

A grinding shop whose original target market was any manufacturing firm that might need grinding found that his ideal customers were aerospace companies who needed to have thermally-applied coatings ground. He narrowed his target and reduced the number of competitors he had. It guided his decisions on equipment purchase, website design, which tradeshows to attend, and the type of people he hires. He has substantially improved his profit.

Define your target market by demographics like age, location, gender, education, income, marital/family status, occupation, ethnic background and also by psychographics like personality, attitude, values, interests, hobbies, and lifestyle.

Don’t break your target down too far. You can have more than one niche market. Consider if your marketing message should be different for each niche. If you can reach both niches effectively with the same message, maybe you’ve broken down your market too far. If there’re only 50 people that fit all of your criteria, you may need to reevaluate your target.

If you’d like to get more, Reserve your spot NOW for my FREE webinar, on Nov. 7 at 12:30 pm EST, “The Foundation for a Guaranteed Strong Marketing ROI.” In just 60 minutes you’ll…

  • Create a guarantee that will make you UNIQUE in your market & DOMINATE your competition.
  • Learn how to implement a marketing strategy that will get your customers to LOVE you and keep coming back OVER and OVER
  • Discover how to find your niche market and watch your profits and revenue skyrocket while you work fewer and fewer hours

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