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One of the most important challenges in developing marketing strategy for your business is the identification of your primary target market. A target market is a definitive representation of the most attractive person within your priority market segment. The ‘bullseye’ if you like who represents your ideal audience because they are most likely to buy your product in the greatest volumes for they are sufficiently plentiful and have the greatest need or desire for your product.

This is the person whose shoes you are stepping into when deciding what to do in relation to every element of the marketing mix, from brand image to product design to pricing, channel selection and message creation. These decisions are made so much easier when we know who we are talking to and what they would expect or prefer. In order to get the very best out of marketing service providers like graphic designers or advertising agencies, you need to be very clear about exactly who you are targeting. This is one of the keys to successful marketing.

You are going to get a far greater return for your limited marketing ammunition if you use a rifle instead of a shot gun. A scatter gun approach results in too much wastage. Now I know what a lot of you are thinking right now, “How can my business possibly survive if I only target one type of person when we service many different types of people?” I would like a dollar for every time I’ve heard this from business owners.

The fact of the matter is that you will fail if you try to be all things to all people. As I explained in my last post on segmentation analysis, it’s important that you identify your different markets or potential markets and prioritise them based on their relative attractiveness. You focus all of your efforts on successfully marketing to your priority market segment, also known as your primary target market. Only once you have achieved this and providing there are resources remaining, you may try to reach and convert your secondary and tertiary target markets.

As the Pareto principle dictates, 70% of your sales and profits will come from 30% of your customers, so know who those 30% are and focus your efforts on them and more like them. Your primary target market should be slap bang in the middle of that 30%.

In describing your target market, it’s good to include the following;

  • demographics eg. females aged 26 -39
  • socio-economic status eg. middle to upper income, living in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide
  • household profile eg. married with two children aged seven and nine
  • lifestyle preferences eg. loves to cook interesting new dishes for family and friends
  • media habits eg. big Facebook and Pinterest user and loves reality TV shows
  • shopping patterns eg buys meat during the week at supermarkets and her butcher on weekends

The more detail in the picture you paint when describing the person you are primarily targeting, the easier it will be to pin point their needs and desires. If you are hiring a person to write sales copy or create website images or any other form of creative communication, it helps them immensely if they can clearly imagine the audience to whom they are talking.

This leads me to a tool that is commonly used as part of marketing strategy development, and that’s the target market persona or avatar. The target market persona for your brand is the culmination of all the descriptors mentioned above in the form of a fictitious person, so the human element becomes tangible and less abstract. This fictitious person also has a name well suited to their age, socio economic status and nationality eg. Sarah.

Creating your own target market persona is not only fun, it ensures that you remain focused and consistent when developing your brand. When combined with your brand positioning, which I’ll cover in a later post, it forms the vital core or essence of your marketing strategy.

The next post in this series on developing your marketing strategy involves identifying your customer’s needs.

If you would like Baker Marketing to help you determine and define your target market, please contact Baker Marketing on 8352 3091.

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