marketing · target marketing · Uncategorized

Pick Your Targets

Good Marketers are Good CupidsFunny, you don’t look like Cupid…more clothes, no wings.  But if you’re a good marketer, you’re good at playing Cupid.  You’re good at making people fall in love with the product or service you represent.  In place of arrows you have an arsenal of marketing tools, from traditional to social.

Cupid, however, had a few advantages over the modern marketer.  Unlike Cupid, not everyone you hit with an arrow at is going to fall in love…and your arrows are going to cost you some money! So, you want to target the people who are most likely to purchase the product or service you are promoting.  But who are these people?

What characteristics should we be looking for in our targets and how do we find the information (or demographics) we need to select them.  The truth is, any choices you make about how to define your target market will be productive if they are carefully considered choices.

You are trying to match the qualities of a person that is likely to purchase your product or service with the qualities of your potential targets.  When there’s a match, you’ll aim one of your arrows at the matching target.

There are many ways to acquire a list of potential targets.  You might purchase a mailing list or use your list of existing customers.  Whatever the source,you want to make sure you are refining your list so that it consists of people who are likely to love your product or service.

List providers generally have a long list of demographic information that is available.  You can pick the demographics you are going to use to filter your list based on the demographics of your existing customers who have purchased a similar product or service.

If you don’t have that kind of information available, you can base your decisions on qualities of the product itself.  For example, is it something most useful in snowy climates? Target northeastern states.  Does it look like something that would be used in a boardroom? Target mature, high income individuals.  Is it something that would appeal to golfers?  Type “golf demographics” into your search engine and get access to detailed profiles of casual to serious golfers.

Here’s a good End of the Week Exercise:  Before you begin marketing any new products, put your pen and keyboard aside and think about who loves your existing products or services, or who would if they knew about it.  Create a list inspired by data you have about existing customers, then add to it the characteristics you believe should be on that list but might not be supported by data you have on hand.   This is not only going to help you in selecting your targets, it is going to shape the way you communicate with them and will ultimately make your marketing efforts and dollars more productive.  Don’t worry, you can back up your assumptions with data you collect moving forward…we’ll keep that on the back burner to talk about more down the road.


2 thoughts on “Pick Your Targets

  1. Greetings Patti,
    I’m in direct mail and believe one can measure a new market by a ‘test run’ rather than casting a wide net – thus testing the waters of your target market. Finding a few criteria that will help zero-in on your most likely prospects can save a great deal of time & marketing dollars. Say you’re marketing a product or service that will ‘most likely’ be used by professional women – (1) can they afford my product or service? (2) is there an age group that is better suited to my product or service? (3) where are my target persons located? Putting these three criteria together in a list search will greatly narrow the net you are casting. I sometimes suggest only sending direct mail pieces to the first 2,000-3,000 on the list as this is a good test run and a way to measure preliminary results of your mailer. Direct Mail is a powerful marketing tool! Everyone has a mailbox and they usually check it daily – personalized pieces gain immediate attention. Once the recipient reads the contents (call-to-action) they are likely to at least place the product or service in their memory banks and, when coming across it again, they will give it greater importance. Direct Mail is a great format to invite persons to your web or social media site or to call for additional information – it’s like receiving a personal invitation. I believe in layered marketing, Direct Mail being an integral layer, a collective effort aiming for one result – growing & sustaining business.

    1. Patty,

      Great insights! Thanks for this. You’ve outlined three basic criteria that most folks will be able to accurately predict even if they do not have access to data, simply by knowing their product.

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