Define Your Target Market First, Then Decide Where To Market

September 6, 2011 by

Many times business owners shell out cash for marketing and then wonder why they’re not getting business. Before you throw another dollar in the wind, ask yourself: who is your target market? Then you need to figure out how much time and money you have to spend to reach them. I made that sound real simple didn’t I? Here’s the two-fold scenario:

First, define your target market. This includes

  • Key decision makers for purchasing your product or service
  • Where your customers look for and buy your product/service
  • Customers’ buying habits and buying cycles
  • Factors that influence purchasing decisions – don’t just assume price is the primary reason

Next, determine how much money and time you have to spend to reach your target

  • Can you reach them by joining industry organizations?
  • Placing ads in business newspapers/website or trade magazines?
  • What’s your advertising and marketing budget?
  • How much time can you commit to pursuing a target? Do you follow-up and engage leads, or push sales and move on?

Once you figure these out, this next question is really what we’re after:

What is the estimated return on your investment of time and resources?

  • Is attending a few networking mixers going to get you in front of the right decision makers?
  • If you place a pricey ad in a conference program will you get the greatest exposure to your target audience?
  • Maybe you can place recurring ads in your local business publication if you’re a B2B, but does the reader profile match your target?
  • Are magazine ads too expensive for your budget? Can you broadcast yourself across social media and attract enough clients there?

These are just a few real examples you will face as you decide how to best market your business versus ROI for your money, time and effort.

Consider a typical example to illustrate the importance of these concepts:

I’m a strategic marketer, and I see XYZ Company has a sponsorship offer out for a local women’s retail shopping event. The company estimates 500 attendees, so I can put my promo literature in their goodie bag for $50. Getting my business in front of 500 people via a goodie bag for only $50, oh my goodness, what a deal!

Not so fast… my target market is entrepreneurs and small businesses. Women going out shopping has nothing to do with my target market, so that $50 most likely will result in 0% sales conversions. Yes, some attendees might be business owners, but their purpose for attending the event is completely unrelated and my fancy promo literature will be in the trash.

Next, consider all the time and resources that would be invested in order to get a return. In other words, my investment would be:

  • cash and materials: $50 plus the cost of the promo literature
  • time: contact with the event host, pickup and delivery time, follow-up with event host and attendees

As you can see, this opportunity costs far more than just $50! And the ROI is almost non-existent.

Remember, marketing is more than your website and networking. You need to have a marketing plan that includes all the elements above, and then some.

Ciao,
Miss Kemya 

Meet the Author

Miss Kemya is a Marketing Strategist & Social Media Manager at Phisco Marketing, a marketing consulting firm that facilitates the growth of small businesses through conventional marketing techniques merged with social media tactics. When DIY marketing doesn’t get the job done, hire Phisco Marketing to revitalize your marketing and fall back in love with your business!


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6 Comments

  1. I like how you remind us that marketing is more than the website and networking (which a lot of us do online, too). I try to keep things from getting too focused on the online sphere on my blog, too, especially because a lot of the people I work with don’t live in the digital world nearly as much as I do.

    • Thanks for commenting Shakirah! I also have this same challenge in my biz. I help develop social media strategies and many of the people that need to read my blog aren’t active online for business.

  2. Great article. A topic that I need to really delve into especially since I just re-located to a new city and state.

  3. This is certainly an issue I need to find more information about, many thanks for the publish.

  4. Thanks! Grab the RSS button at the top of the page or subscribe via email on the sidebar of the blog page. And thanks in advance for subscribing!

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