How To Target Customers Effectively

There are numerous elements to consider when marketing your business. In order to promote your business successfully you need to understand the fundamentals of your business offerings, market, objectives and strategy. Once you have established this, the key is to then target your customers effectively. If you can manage this, you will inevitably save yourself a lot of time, money and effort with a positive return on investment. To achieve this, you need to assess two factors. Who are your customers and who do you want your customers to be?

It is important to evaluate if the customers that you currently have are the same as those you would like to acquire. Ask yourself if they are profitable, regular and loyal? Are you targeting the B2C or B2B market – or both? You may want to add a new product or service that alters your usual customer profile. If you are satisfied with the customers that you have, study who they are.

We often refer to the term demographic, which categorises such factors as gender, age, marital status, family circumstances, socio economic group and disposable income. Or for Business customers what their position is within the company. Beyond this data, we need to also consider their geographic location; not just where they live, but where they work, shop and congregate. What might they drive past on the way to and from work? Where do their children go to school and what clubs or associations do they support? Additionally, and commonly overlooked is the psychographic; the thought process of your target audience.

Go beyond the basic profile and understand how they think, what influences them, what their interests and ambitions are, what do they like, how do they spend their evenings and weekends, what are their attitudes, what kind of everyday problems might they have? What motivates them and how can you anticipate their needs better. With this knowledge, you should proactively manage your database and initiate forms of trigger marketing.
If you endeavor to think like your customers, then you are much better placed to distinguish what forms of marketing are more likely to appeal to them. What do they read, listen to, do they watch TV, are they internet savvy, do they use social networking sites, do they go to the cinema, would they have time to read all their mail?

Consider your own habits and those of people around you. With this in mind you will be in a stronger position to communicate with them, which is usually half of the battle.

The next part of the process is tailoring your message. Most businesses have more that just one type of customer – yet we try to send the same message to them all as a whole. You run the risk of going over everyone’s head if your message is unclear, so once you have broken down the groups go further and break down what products or services fit into each category. Target your message specifically to your audience providing a key message, with relevant headlining, compelling content and a strong call to action. If you spend the time and effort planning your approach correctly, you are less likely to spend money on targeting the wrong people.

Written by Sandra O’Neill

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