Only the Whole World has Changed – Target Market Selection in 2014

business meeting, business peopleAnswer YES 7 times and your World remains Calm

If you can answer YES to the following questions below then I would relax and keep doing what you have been doing:

  1. Are you still selling to exactly the same customers this year as you were in previous years?
  2. Compared to previous years do you find the same customer groups equally as easy to convert from the prospect stage to the customer stage?
  3. Do you find your customers are equally as loyal to your business today as they were in previous years?
  4. Do you find the same customer groups to be equally profitable for your business as they were in years gone by?
  5. Are your competitors marketing themselves in exactly the same way as they did in years gone past and are they avoiding all use of the internet, Google and social media?
  6. Do your customers avoid using the internet, Google or social media and therefore are not exposed to online messages?
  7. Is your business growing and generating sales and profits as rapidly as you would like?

If you answered YES to the seven questions above I would relax, make a cup of tea and keep doing what you have been doing.

On the other hand,

If you have noted some significant changes in your customer groups and your marketplace then it might be useful for you to review your target market groups

Why Review your Target Market Groups?

The objective of reviewing your target market groups is to do your best to ensure that your business is still focussed on targeting the most attractive and profitable customer groups.

It is important that you align the resources of your business with the customer groups that are the most attractive and/or most profitable.  These groups are most likely to lead to more harmonious and profitable relationships for you in the long term.

Delighting your Customers

Some customer groups are just a better fit for your business.

If you can identify which groups are the best fit then you are more likely to achieve:

  • Customers who are looking for (or have a need for) exactly what it is that you have to sell
  • Customer relationships that are more profitable for your business
  • Longer term customer relationships
  • Customers who are delighted with the overall experience of dealing with your business

So what has changed?

It is sometimes deceptive, because humans are still humans and for the most part your customers may look quite similar today as they did in previous years.

However, there are numerous factors that are likely to shape their behavior towards your industry, product/service category and even your business itself.  Here are a few examples to get you thinking:

  1. Change in Political climate
  2. Change in the actual climate
  3. Increased regulatory impact (e.g. OHS, Environmental etc.)
  4. The impact of changes in the country’s economy
  5. Increased affordability of communication and travel
  6. Access to information
  7. The internet, Google and social media
  8. The behaviour of your competitors
  9. The behaviour of other players in your marketplace such as suppliers, allied organisations and Government departments
  10. Innovation within your industry and/or product/service category
  11. Numerous other factors that impact on your customers, competitors, suppliers and/or other operators within your industry

Only the whole world has changed!

Completing the Target Market Selection process in 2014 is quite similar to completing it in previous years.

Only your customers, industry, marketplace and entire… whole… wide world have changed

It is important that you treat target market selection as an element of strategic marketing planning and decision making.  This means that you don’t change things around every five minutes.

However, most of our customers live in fairly dynamic, changing societies and so there is a good chance that your target markets are changing the way they behave in 2014 much faster than in previous years.

 This means that you may need to revisit some of your original target market decisions more frequently than in previous years.