Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Focusing on Target Market (Audience)

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself.”
-          Peter F. Drucker on the power of really knowing your target market.

A well-defined target market is the first step to a marketing strategy. It is important to acknowledge the need to understand your target market, without it, you cannot zero in on the people who will buy your products. Therefore focusing on the target market is crucial for the growth of every business, whether small or big.

 Your value proposition must be relevant to your ideal buyers so that they recognize your direct address to them. For instance, a jewellery brand launching a new line of products should not target all women. It must rather target the ideal customers based on the kind of product; if it is more suited to working women, the focus must be on targeting working women instead of marketing the product to all women groups. The taste of McDonalds and KFC is different for different geographies. McAlu Tikki is specifically conceptualized for Indian vegetarian target group. This implies that the target market must be clearly defined.
Michael Porter, in his 1980 classic Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analysing Industries and Competitors, has described three best strategies that are commonly used by businesses to achieve and maintain competitive advantage.
They are, cost leadership, differentiation, and market segmentation (or focus). Market segmentation is narrow in scope while both cost leadership and differentiation are relatively broader in market scope.

So the primary need is to conduct a marketing analysis that is in depth, providing all the data that is needed to focus on your target audience effectively.
Define your target market by analyzing these four preliminary categories of information about your target customers:
  • Geographics: The location, size of the area, density of your customers.
  • Demographics: The age, gender, income and occupation of your customers.
  • Psychographics: The general personality, behavior, life-style, rate of use, repetition of need, benefits sought, and loyalty characteristics of your customers.
  • Behaviours: The needs they seek to fulfill, tastes, preferences, emotional and logical reasons to use a product.

    Then answer the following questions to get well rounded definition of your target market.
·         What do your customers currently think about your brand?
·         What would you like them to think about your current brand?
·         Who else is competing for their loyalty and devotion?
·         How will you attract them to your products or services?

The final definition of your target market will help you to focus on all customer groups which your product or service is capable of impacting.
        You may then design your marketing strategy without being speculative of your marketing efforts because you are now confident of hitting the right market after your detailed analysis.

How to manage wooing the target market on a shoe string budget?
        Normally, for start-ups, the budget for marketing is too small. They have to think about marketing wisely and cannot afford to throw away their money. One has to be smarter, leaner, and meaner than the competition. While your competitors hide behind their marketing, you have no choice but to find creative, low-cost, high-impact ways to get visible and become attractive to your prospects.
      Blossoms suggests a simple yet effective way, without incurring much cost on paid researches to understand the demography and psychographs of the target market; assuming that you have what it takes to be a survivor initially and gradually climb the ladders of success.
a.       Identify your target audience/market.
b.      Project your USP through a strong communication message which will create an image of your product/services as they are intended to be.
c.       Decide on the media usage as per the plan or prepare a media plan.
d.      Be visible through low cost mediums, depending on the business and its target audience.
e.      Build on every opportunity to create more inroads through credibility and improving on the features, there by overtaking the competition who might want to catch with you.


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