You’re always hearing about targeting an audience, but what does this really mean and how do you go about doing it?
To target means to focus on a select group of shoppers who are likely to buy your products or services. This means thoroughly understanding your business and the type of person that would be best served by using your goods or services.
But before I say anything else, know this one fact: the entire world is NOT interested in what you’re offering. By knowing and accepting this truth, right from the start, you will save yourself time, money, and aggravation – not to mention, you’ll get better results from your marketing.
Why is that?
Common sense dictates that if you spend all your time and money trying to convince all the uninterested people to buy your stuff, you’re missing out on a greater opportunity to sell to the responsive individuals who desperately want your help.
This is why it’s important that you remain focused on the people who are likely to make a purchase. Trying to cater to the entire marketplace is merely presenting your offer and hoping it sticks while focusing on the interested consumers is apt to put money in your pocket. Which is more acceptable to you?
How to Distinguish Your Target Buyers
Let’s use an example of baby clothes. It would be pretty silly of us to believe the entire world is interested in buying baby clothes. Females would be better target buyers, but not all women are expecting a baby.
Alright then, let’s narrow our focus on just married women. This might be a little better, but some women are done having babies and others never want children. Obviously, we can change our focus to pregnant women or new mommies. That’s how you target the REAL buyers.
I can honestly say, this is one area of your business where being narrow-minded comes in handy. 🙂
How to Locate Your Prospects
So, how do you find the women who want to buy your products or services? Well, you can start by thinking like them. Yep, crawl inside her mind. Where does a pregnant woman spend her time? Who does she talk to? Where does she shop? How can you reach her?
Take me for example. When I was pregnant, I spent countless hours going back and forth to the Gynecologist. Most women follow suit. This gives you an opportunity to hand flyers to the doctor to give to his patients.
The soon-to-be mommy will shop the baby department in stores. Consider selling wholesale to these outlets. Eventually, she will go to the hospital to give birth, so why not give something to the hospital to place inside her “baby care package” to lead her back to your business?
Additionally, some new parents will want to learn all they can about their newborn and the idea of parenting in general, so advertise in parent magazines. They may join a parenting group for support, so join these groups and be a helper. Are you starting to get the idea?
You must think like your prospects and mine them out of the masses in order to communicate with them. The more helpful you are in making their lives easier, the most profitable your business will become. Just remember to narrow your audience to find your target buyers before delivering your marketing message.
Now it’s your turn. Can you describe your target buyers? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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Bonnie thanks for reminding your readers that marketing to everyone is like marketing to no one.
It’s an ongoing battle sometimes, Debra. You get people online who feel everybody is their target market simply because they’re an entrepreneur. 🙂
Try and tell them differently and see if that doesn’t give you content for the next week! LOL
It’s so nice to see you visiting. What an honor! I’m sorry I’ve been absent. I have a Facebook writing group now and it’s taking TONS of my time! We’re doing a Series challenge this week. (It started today!)
Thanks for prompting me to think about my target market, which is….
People with an interest in health and complementary therapy, probably baby-boomers, they’re either in great health and want to stay that way, or in poor health, have not been helped by their doc, and want to feel better. About 70% of my clients have been ladies.
I have a sub-niche of migraine sufferers, but for various reasons I prefer to concentrate on the broader mineral therapy market-place.
I wish you great success in finding the right mix of customers. You might find it easier to separate each audience into different mailing lists. This way you can help them in the niche they fall under.
Oh, Bonnie. Another great post. I am just beginning to find “me” so I had no clear idea of who my target market was/is. I’m still not sure. I do know this. I want to write.
That’s broad, but I am settling down a little. I don’t want a PLR store, although I wouldn’t turn down article writing and blog posts, or answer email (is that what you call a VA?) I could do that.
Then there is ghostwriting. Give me an idea and I can run with it.
I did not want to become “transparent.” I am coming along with that.
You really have to stop with the thought-provoking questions. 🙂
If you want to write, there’s a big target market just waiting to buy your goods!
You just need to let them know you’re out there ready to serve.
Thought-provoking questions? Who… me? Sounds like something I’d do. 🙂
Oh, Bonnie, I’ve spent the last eight hours and 300.00 on tech support for my computer. Got nothing done as far as work.
I am going to write, Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise.
I can’t wait for the challenge you have cooked up. I hope Murphy’s law doesn’t kick in. 🙂
I love your new blog theme over on ruth-clark.com
Snazzy indeed – very bright and it puts me in a good mood. 🙂
This is definitely something I need to work on. If I don’t know who I am looking for how are they going to know I’m looking?
Thanks for the food for thought, Bonnie.
Welcome to the blog and thanks for visiting!
If you don’t know who you’re looking for, how will you know where they’re hanging out and how to find them? That’s so true.
Now go get ’em, tiger! 🙂
Great advice! It’s also a great minder that going into 2013, that we should narrow our focus to increase our business.
That’s so true, Liz.
Excellent blog and thought provoking. My target market are administrative professionals! another great analogy with the baby clothes:)
Thanks Debra! 🙂
I definitely fight the need to target my people. My main website is all over the place. My biz site is definitely more targeted but it’s still not quite right yet.
Since I do editing and proofreading it would seem to make sense that my target be writers – but even that’s too broad. Okay back to thinking about this so I can create some quality “targeted” content.
Where’s your lovely photo?
You’re right, Minna. There are different types of writers. 🙂
You must determine which genre of writers you want to service and where you’re able to find them so you can strike up a conversation.
I took most of my comment out and saved it, but it said essentially the same as Minna. Great post.
Thanks Ruth! Glad you enjoyed the post!
So true! I still find it hard to do sometimes especially in the biz market. It seems so much easier in other markets like for example weight loss – you can niche your buyer down to the tee – women, women who have had babies in the past 5 years, who want to get rid of the extra baby weight. Or fitness – men – men ages 18-35 – who want to get ripped. I should probably send you an email so you can help me lol.
From what I remember Lisa – your business has two legs. Isn’t that how you describe it?
The question for you is – do both legs service the same type of buyer? And if not, this may be where you’re having difficulty deciding which buyer suits which leg better.
Yes two legs. I think they service the same market. Biz owners – internet entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. Those wanting to work smarter and grow their business.
But I can’t seem to find that mental image of my typical buyer. Some are men, some are women, some have families, some dont, some want to quit their job and work for themselves fulltime, others already do.
That’s a pretty broad market, Lisa. 🙂
Let’s start out by saying your market is business owners, okay. Which segment of business owners will you target, specifically?
Remember, you have to narrow your focus.
– Women entrepreneurs
– Male entrepreneurs
– Small mom & pop shops
– Offline brick & mortar businesses
– Online start up companies
– Internet marketers
It’s imperative to distinguish a smaller group to target with your marketing message. While all the groups you mentioned may very well need content, you CANNOT market to them all at once, using the same marketing message.
You wouldn’t talk the “same language” with each of these groups I’ve listed above. Each group of business owners have their “slang” words that make them sit up and listen.
After they read your marketing message, you want them to think to themselves, “hey, this girl ‘gets’ me, so I need to pay attention.”
Once you choose one market to focus on, you’ll narrow it down to age group, marital status, yearly wages, education level, where they live, etc.
Your message will change for each of the groups listed above, simply because they are comprised of different age groups, educational backgrounds, geographical locations, among other things.
Until you can decipher which ONE market you’re targeting, you can’t fine tune your message. The message will never be just right.
Look at it this way.
Pretend you’re a waitress in a small diner. When you walk up to a table that has 4 teenagers sitting there waiting to order, you would interact with them differently than say a 70-year old couple.
Each table has their own “slang language” when they are communicating with you. While the teens may ask you, “yo, I got me a thirst that needs quenching lady, what kind of POP ya got?” The elderly couple would ask, “dear, could you please tell me what kind of cold beverages are available today?”
Just like each of these groups speak differently to you when they place an order – your marketing message will communicate differently as well.
Therefore, you can’t market to teenagers and elderly couples with the same marketing message. Plus, their hangouts online would differ. This is why I ask you to narrow your focus so you can communicate (speak the language) of your target buyers.
I hope this makes sense. 🙂
Yes it totally makes sense and my target market has been internet marketers/online entrepreneurs. Why do I feel the need to expand my market????
Once you narrow it down, you’ll do fine (and save money in the process when it comes time to advertise).
Food for thought. Thanks Bonnie.
You’re welcome Jenn!
So true! A while back I was promoting a Clickbank product on Couponing pretty heavily. How did I advertise? I started putting up fliers in grocery stores. I went to a local mommy group and gave them a set of cards for anyone who was interested. I found the people who were most likely to be doing the shopping and looking for ways to save money.
My audience is mainly people doing content marketing. I really focus on people who want to focus their business around creating content, mostly written content. My main audience is also ethical marketers who want to do things the right way, not the easy way, so they can build a real business.
Sounds like you have your niche buyer down to a science. 🙂
This reminds me of a Mary Kay consultant friend of mine. She always says that her target clients are “anyone who has skin”. Hmmm, rather broad I’d say.
Now, that might be true to a certain extent, but I’d explain to her that just because everyone has skin doesn’t mean everyone is her target market. You’ve got people who have allergies, people who already have a Mary Kay rep, people who sell other skin care products, people who can’t afford Mary Kay, people who run the other way from a Mary Kay rep because they don’t want to host an at home party, or Mary Kay doesn’t work well with their skin. There are a dozen reasons why someone wouldn’t be a MK target customer.
Now, I would assume that finding that potential Mary Kay customer might be a bit more difficult to track down than a pregnant woman… but I’m sure there are ways.
But, you’re right, you need to know more about your target market aside from the fact that they have skin. LOL
Believe it or not Eydie, your friend is not alone in her thinking. Plenty of business professionals target the wrong audience and then walk away and say Internet marketing doesn’t work!
Great post, Bonnie! I’m guilty of just saying, “newbies.” That’s not enough! I HAVE learned to have thicker skin when weeding out my audience (okay sometimes) and that not everyone will like or need me.
Thanks dear… now and then this noggin delivers the goods. ROFL
You’re not alone in the idea of thinking “newbies” are your target audience. I was guilty of saying the same thing not too long ago in my video.
Yet, I do so out of being lazy. The less words I have to speak, the shorter the video. LOL
I’d rather deal with the ladies. I’m not sure why, but working with men makes me rather nervous even though I understand they need my help too!