A Small Business Challenge
Targeting the right people.
Targeting the right people for your product or service is about quality over quantity. In our highly digital and social world, many businesses think that the number of followers or likes is vital to their bottom line. This is not the case. Small businesses need to focus on who they want to target and ensure that their advertising and marketing plan is highly targeted. If it is not the business is wasting $$.
"If done correctly your business will optimize the money spent on advertising and marketing, as you have discovered what really pushes your customers buttons".
Identify the Target Market
Step 1 is trying to find where you fit in the market. Some tips to consider when trying to identify your target market:
1. Who are your current customers?
2. Understand your competition and who they target
3. Analyze your product or service
4. Find your competitive advantage
5. Segment your target market into 4 categories:
The questions all small businesses should ask themselves when identifying their target market is:
Where do my consumers spend most of their time? Online verse Offline
Where do they live?
What do they like to do in their spare time?
How loyal are they?
You have to understand your consumers on an individual level. Determining their values, attitudes, friends, hobbies and influences will enable you to target the right market for your product or service. If done correctly your business will optimize the money spent on advertising and marketing, as you have discovered what really pushes your customers buttons.
Set SMART objectives to reach your Target Market
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely objectives. These are the 5 categories you must take into consideration when putting your objectives and goals together.
Specific: Clearly define what you want to achieve with your small business and who you want to target.
For example: a boutique hotel in Ocean View Norfolk, VA
Increase direct traffic to our hotel website by 300 new visits per week. This will be achieved by launching an online blog and posting an article once a week about Tourism in Norfolk, VA. Additionally, launching Instagram and being seen as a key driver to tourism in the Ocean View area of Norfolk. Launching Instagram and following your target market will provide awareness for your hotel and hit the millennial generation.
Measurable: Make sure that these specific goals can be measured as best as possible. Data is so important in making the right decisions for your business. This is why online advertising is becoming so popular as everything can be tracked, measured and used to improve your ROI.
Tips for understanding your target market is to find out as much as possible about them. You can do this by using the following tools:
Signing up to newsletters or enews
Reviewing their purchases and understanding what they like and need
Assessing what's in the shopping cart
Where do they live? Are they close to your shop front?
Do they only buy when there is a coupon or sale?
Are they an online shopper?
Understanding all this data will help your business better advertise to your target market.
For example: A Charter Fishing Business in Virginia Beach, VA
The Charter Fishing company's goal to increase new customers by 10% in the slow winter period will be achieved by targeting locals in Hampton Roads. Measuring performance by tracking conversions from emails and click throughs to the website. Launching promotional campaigns and gift vouchers for the Christmas period will also generate interest to the Charter Fishing company during the quiet season.
Achievable: Are your goals realistic? If so, have you created a strategic plan of how you are going to advertise to your target market? Once the strategy and target market is set, make sure that everyone in the business agrees and understands the objectives you have set. Enabling the goals to align with the overall business strategy will put you on the path to success.
For example: Water Sport Business in Norfolk, VA
In the quiet season, do not set goals that are targeted to your peak season. In the winter season ensure you promote sales, gift vouchers and winter versions of your activities. In the summer ensure that customer service is of high standards so that your goals can be achieved and your employees are positive about reaching the goals set.
These goals could include:
Increase locals to business by launching a flier drop introducing them to the business
Improving the shop front, so drivers and walkers see your business
Increase and improve online reviews by pushing customers to the site and reviewing
Ensuring customer service is of high standards by motiving staff members
Be professional - have a professional website, communicate on Social Media about things that interest your target market.
Relevant: How realistic are your goals? Have you clearly defined the right target market to advertise too? Is this target market listening to you? Do they want or need what you are selling? If not, is your plan strong enough to convince your target market that they need your business?
For example: Jet Boat Thrill Experience in Bayview Norfolk, VA
By increasing online traffic through geo-targeting we will get noticed in the local area. Increasing online traffic will also increase our email subscription lists and social media followers that will in tern lead to more qualified leads, directly improving the bottom line sales and revenue goals that the jet boat company has set.
Timely: Set a timeframe for your objectives and really stick to it. If the timeframe is simply too long, you may not have the determination to reach the goal. Have objectives that are both for the short term and the long term. Easy wins are motivating and will help you reach your long term objectives.
For example: An Escape Room in Virginia Beach, VA
A Short Term goal would be to increase week day customers by 10% through promoting corporate and group activities in the first month of advertising to this target market.
A Long Term goal would be to increase direct visitors to the website, minimize third party sales (e.g. Groupon) so that the Escape Room does not lose out. Groupon take 50% return of your sales made on Groupon, if you could move these customers to your website, you would not need to advertise on Groupon. Saving you money, increasing ROI and improving your brand.
For small businesses understanding your target market will optimize your advertising and marketing dollars. It is vital to not waste any money on consumers who are not interested in your product or service. Ensure you really review who your customers are, who you want your customers to be and identify where they are spending their time. Once you have this information you can communicate directly to them and begin to increase your customer base.