Target Marketing: Who They Are,
How To Find Them

by Tom Egelhoff

Have you ever been to a sold-out baseball game? Look at the whole stadium: There are three kinds of fans:

1.) Home Team,

2.) Visiting Team,

3.) People who could care less who wins.

Within the home team fans are:

1.) Fanatics,
2.) Rabid,
3.) Fair weather fans and probably a couple of more.

The point is, in that stadium we can, by observation, identify some of those fans. Can't we?

They wear the team colors, they cheer when the team does something good.

If we are selling a product related to the home team these people are our (target market) customers. They are most likely to buy our product.

Create Groups

Each group of customers will be composed of people having common characteristics of some kind.

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Study The Groups

Not every group is your target customer. Study their ages, education, household income, occupation, TV shows they watch, children and so on.

What do they want or expect from your business? Where do they buy now? Why? Reduce each group to a basic customer type.

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What's The Competition Up To

Are your competitors successful in the marketplace? If so, Why? You must know what works in your market. Keep track of their ads.

What ads and promotions do they run over and over?

How do these promotions relate to your customers groups. You need to "steal" market share from your competitors.

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Sort The Market

Your primary market should be people you can reach easiest and cheapest with the greatest expectation of ROI (Return on Investment).

Don't waste your time and energy on those who "might" buy from you if conditions are exactly right.

Identify your best market and go after it. Secondary markets can be courted later.

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Look At Your Top Markets

Take the top markets and do an in depth analysis of each. What are the common characteristics we talked about above?

Who do they think is the top business in your field? The more you know about each, the easier a plan to reach them will be.

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What Works

"How did you hear about us?", works wonders in finding out what specific message brought the customer in. Studies show if people hear about your business four or more times they perceive you to be a creditable business.

Find out what advertising is working for you and build on it.

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Test, Test, Test

Any successful marketer will tell you that testing is a necessary evil of business. Make an offer, record the results. Make an offer, compare the results to the first offer. Key all your ads.

A key is something to let you know where the customer saw your ad. "Ask for Don, when you call." is in the ad. All calls asking for Don came from that source. Put small code numbers in the corner of newspaper coupons.

A code for a coupon in todays newspaper might be 511BDC. Which means May 11th, Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Contact a few of your good customers and ask if they saw your ad. If they didn't maybe you're advertising in the wrong place.

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Make Sure You Can Do What You Can Do

How many customers must you see to make a sale? Face to face, on the phone, by mail, or storefront. Can you deliver customer service to that number of people?

If I sell fifty books a day on my website that means I have to process 50 orders a day. That's pretty easy. An hours work. If I sell 500 or 5000, then what?

I need a few more computers, employees to answer the email and process all the orders. Are you ready if your business is good?

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Choose Markets Carefully

It's not how many markets you can identify and open -- it's how many you can profitably market to and service. Markets are always going to be evolving.

With the web, who knows where we're going and how fast and what it will cost. Keep on top of what's happening in your marketplace.

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