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    0 Replies Latest reply on May 20, 2009 8:02 AM by 8acompany

    Improve Your Image, Improve Your Sales: Target Audience

    8acompany Wayfarer
      Now is the time to for all small business owners to
      step out of their routine and examine how their customers view their
      business. It is time for action with an emphasis on marketing, branding
      and outreach.


      Here are some simple proven steps to follow to increase
      visibility and sales in a short time. In this series we will examine
      five key strategies to getting more sales. The starting point towards
      improving your bottom line is identifying your target audience.

      does power washing, concrete curbs and pilates have in common? Small
      business owners come in many varieties, but they can only succeed when
      they identify their target audience.

      Who is your target audience?If someone was to ask you this question, what would you say? Could
      you explain your target audience in two, three or four words? Many
      small business owners fall into the trap of thinking that everyone is a
      potential customer. This is not true.


      The companies that succeed are
      ones who know who is their target and are focused on creating their
      business message that reaches them.

      Your target audience will be
      a unique customer base that has specific characteristics. Target
      audiences can be classified in many ways, here are a few to consider:

      • Male or female: Does your product meet the needs of men, women or both?

      • Location: Is your product or service targeted to people in a specific state, city or a specific zip code?

      • Residential or Commercial: Do you sell to homeowners or other business owners?

      Life Style: Are your potential clients first time home owners,
      apartment dwellers, new parents, young mothers, college students?

      you identify your target audience, suddenly the marketing plan becomes
      a set number of choices, narrowing your efforts to a manageable number.
      Let's examine some real case studies involving small business owners
      and they defined their target audiences.

      Case Study - A power wash company in HoustonPower washing is a broad field with many potential customers. We
      advised the company owner to describe five of his most recent and
      profitable clients. While he worked on both residential and commercial
      properties, he determined that commercial propertties were of more
      interest because they were recurring revenues and more profitable
      overall. Suddenly commercial properties became the focus as a target

      Next we examined the target radius for potential
      clients. With gas prices biting into profit margins, it made sense to
      market to nearby zip codes within a 10 mile radius. Using an online
      search engine, we targeted businesses in those zip codes. We quickly
      came up with a list of potential business clients.


      Upon further
      examination, we determined that property management companies might
      also be a target audience since many buildings are managed by third
      parties. So suddenly the target audience was taking shape and the
      marketing strategy became more clear.

      As we prepared the
      marketing materials. suddenly he had a clear message for a specific
      target audience. It was easy to create the website and printed
      materials that spoke to those clients. Focusing on defining the target
      audience helped save time and energy in overall marketing efforts.
      Using this data, the client was able to start marketing in a organized
      manner and build new clientele rapidly.

      Case Study: Concrete curbing companyThis company specializes in working with prime contractors to build
      curbing. We advised them to target their marketing efforts to major
      construction companies and local municipalities. We also suggested they
      take time to become aware of upcoming capital projects.


      Their marketing
      efforts were on a broader regional scale including the Houston
      metropolitan area, south Texas and even adjoining states. Helping to
      identify key contractors has focused their marketing efforts and
      increased profitability since they spend their time on targeted sales

      Case Study: Pilates studioThis company offers pilates workouts in a suburban area of Houston.
      We asked the owner to describe three typical clients. From this
      information we were able to create three fictional characters that we
      built marketing profiles around. We identified where they lived,
      shopped, hobbies and other life interests.


      In this way our client was
      able to co-market with other small buisness owners in non-competing
      areas. We also suggested targeting apartment complexes in key zip codes
      to reach more people with less effort.

      Bottomline: Identifying
      your target audience and focusing on marekting to those specific
      characteristics improve sales and profitability.