Many times when I talk to business owners about who they like to target their marketing campaign to, they will say: we target to everyone… Of course, we would all like to sell our products to anyone who walks into a store, however you cannot market your products to everyone. You have to define your ideal customer and who you like to target your products or services to. Instead of the shotgun approach also referred to as spray and pray, it is much more effective to use a sniper approach where you target the audience that is most likely to buy your product. This will reduce your cost per conversion and increase your Return on Investment on you advertising spend.
According to Wikipedia, “a target market is a group of customers towards which a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts and ultimately its merchandise. A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy.” This does not mean that your business can only have one target market, but each marketing outreach should reach one particular target group so that you can increase the overall conversion rate.
Last weekend during the Superbowl there was a commercial from Mercedes Benz that showed the Rabbit and Turtle race, and how the Turtle was able to win by driving the latest Mercedes sports car. Although this cartoonish advertisement looked really cool, correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the target audience for Mercedes Benz a 40-65 year old, C-level Executive male with expendable income. I don’t see how this commercial speaks to that audience…
— Jeroen Corver (@jcorver) February 2, 2015
If you don’t talk to your audience, you are just wasting money. As consumers get overwhelmed by 1000’s of advertising messages every day, they are now trained what type of advertising to pay attention to and which ones to ignore. Even with extremely targeted marketing, the way to the customers wallet continues to become more challenging.
To really have an effective marketing strategy, we have to go a little deeper into the target audience. Just the age, sex, and personal preferences aren’t good enough anymore. In order to understand the buying process of our consumers we have to understand how they think, how they act, and what triggers them to buy. Instead of using generalized target audiences for your marketing messaging, create a buying persona for your marketing strategy. You want to understand what type of messaging is going to make them pay attention and react. A buying persona is a full profile of a fictional character that fits your target audience. This will include where they work, what their personality traits are, and most importantly what their buying habits are. Once you uncover the buying habit of the consumer, you can position your targeted marketing to guide the buyer through the buyers journey, from awareness to purchase.