Understanding Target Markets
Who is your target market? If your answer is “everyone” then you don’t have a target market. If you try to sell to everyone then you’re hurting yourself and diluting your efforts. There are no shortages of markets. If you pick a market to hone in on, then you can refine your marketing and networking efforts for that particular group.
Some potential markets could include:
- Moms with young children
- Pet owners
- Empty nesters
- Single men
- Corporate gift givers
- People with disabilities
- Military folks
- High income
- Low income
- College students
- Night Schoolers
- Apartment complexes
- Senior Communities
- Pregnant Moms
- New Home Owners
- Community organizations
- So forth and so on
Can you see how a marketing campaign for a college student would vary from that of a mom with young children? Can you see where you’d hang out in different places to find teachers vs. single men?
Another benefit to finding a particular target market is you’ll be come known as “the person to call” within that circle. Referrals will be easier to get.
Think of a target market like archery (or deer hunting). You have a particular target (bulls eye or Bambi) that you’re trying to hit. If you have “several of these” then you’re going deer hunting but just spraying bullets willy nilly all over the forest and you’d be happy if you hit a squirrel, or bunny, or toad or possum, or deer or elephant. Heck, I’ll take anything.
Having a target market means setting your sights on a particular, specific market – one six point buck – and then taking all the necessary steps to bring home the bacon.
You’ll be much more successful if you actually plan to hit a target rather than spraying your Uzi in hopes you might nick something!
It’s often a natural fit to pick a group that you can easily identify with. If you’re a grandma your first choice may not necessarily be to target young moms.
Targeting merely narrows the focus – like focusing a camera lens so that you get a better photo. And it also does not preclude you from selling to others.
If you were to choose college students as your target market – you’d not waste your time going to business luncheons or chamber meetings. You wouldn’t advertise at a WAHM forum but rather you’d look to advertise in the college newspaper. You’d make fliers that talk about dorm safety (or college smells) or speak in a language that co-eds use.
If you were to pick college students then you may choose to sponsor some event involved with athletics or get your information into the new student orientations. You could offer opportunities to students looking to earn some extra money while staying in the dorm. You could promote Mother’s Day gifts and girl friend gifts to the male college students. There certainly is no shortage of colleges across the states and country.
That doesn’t mean you can’t participate in an occasional vendor event to open up another vein or do a party for a group of moms – but if you spend a majority of your time and efforts on a target market then you’re more likely to have better success and you’ll be working smarter, not harder.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan. She started her first home business in 1988. As a single parent, Laurie has supported her family by working at home as an Independent Consultant and Star Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start a candle business. You can find Laurie at http://www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com/