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Finding & selling to your target market
Who are your customers? Who will buy your product? Otherwise savvy small business people either have no idea who will buy from them or they assume that everyone will. Assumptions like this can lead to wrong decisions, wrong pricing, wrong marketing strategy and, ultimately, business failure. The most successful small businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service. The task then becomes determining, as closely as possible, exactly who those people are, and targeting the business’ marketing efforts and dollars toward them.
1 . Become a specialist.
2. Understand that people purchase products or services for three basic reasons:
To satisfy basic needs.
To solve problems.
To make themselves feel good.
3. Determine which of those categories your product or service is the solution to and be prepared to market it accordingly. Your product or service may fit more than one category.
4. Create an effective marketing strategy is to zero in on your target market.
5. Zero in on your target market by using market segmentation.
First of all, is your product international or national in scope? Or is it more likely that you will sell it primarily in your own region or community? Determine your primary market and secondary markets.
Let’s say that your primary market is local or regional, and that you live in a community with a population of 25,000 people. The first thing you’ll need to do is research the demographics of your community, and divide it into market segments:
Age: children, teens, young, middle, elderly
Gender: male, female
Education: high school, college, university
Income: low, medium, high
Marital status: single, married, divorced
Ethnic and/or religious background
Family life cycle: newly married, married for 10 to 20 years, with or without children.
Next, you need to segment the market as much as possible using psychographics as your guide:
n Lifestyle: conservative, exciting, trendy, economical
n Social class: lower, middle, upper
n Opinion: easily led or opinionated
n Activities and interests: sports, physical fitness, shopping,
n Attitudes and beliefs: environmentalist, security conscious.
By now you should have a picture emerging of who you think your ideal customer is or who you want it to be. Depending on the nature of your business, you might even be able to write a description of your customer.
Based on the numbers you uncovered in your research, above, you may even know, for example, that there are approximately 9,000 of those potential customers in your area! It may well be that 3,000 of them are already loyal to a competitor, but that still leaves 6,000 who are not, or who have not yet purchased the product from anyone. Do the research.
The most successful small businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service.
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