Your Target Market
The first step in marketing your product or service is identifying your customer. This may include key demographics. Is your customer:
- Income level?
All of these factors will help you pinpoint exactly who your customers are. And by finding out everything you can about them, you will be able to construct a marketing campaign to reach them.
The next step is to find how those people in your target market behave. Where do they live? What are their preferences? Lots of information can be found online, or you can ask your Small Business Counselor to run a report.
You will use this information to decide how best to reach these future customers.
Marketing Mediums: Free or Paid?
Paid advertising or free? Depending on your target market and your budget, it may be a little of both. Here are some avenues to consider:
- Social Media – start a following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. One secret to get followers is to post meaningful content so that people can see the value in what you are offering.
- YouTube – Post a few videos about what you do, or “how to’s” to link to your website or social media pages.
- Word of Mouth – Talk up your business! Make sure others are talking it up too, especially satisfied customers. It is extremely important that you address any problems or customer issues immediately because bad reputations travel faster than good ones.
- Speak at Events – Position yourself as an “expert” in your field by speaking at events or reporting them.
- News Stories – Circulate a press release about a milestone you have reached. Or, write articles for different blogs or websites about your field.
- TV/Radio – Target advertising messages around the times you know your customers will be driving in their car or sitting in front of the television.
- Newspaper – Although many people primarily do online searches for information, there are some demographics that continue to read the paper; for example, senior citizens and parents with kids in sports.
- Internet – The internet is so vast. Adhering to social media and having a webpage is just a drop in the bucket. You will need to find the websites where your target market frequents.
- Yellow Pages – An oldie but a goodie – if this is where your target market looks for local resources.
- Direct Mail – Can get expensive, but can be very effective. The U.S. Postal Service is trying to make direct mail options more affordable, and their Every Door Direct Mail program, which targets specific neighborhoods or postal routes in a radius of your business, might be a good option.
- Websites –At the very minimum, your business should have its own Facebook page. Depending on your business, having your own website might be needed.
- Trade Shows/Journals – Sometimes the best marketing is in person. Although attending/presenting or having a table at trade shows might get expensive, it’s a great opportunity to make a personal impression.
Promotions and Events
You only get one shot to be the new business in town. Take advantage of it! Have a well-publicized grand opening event. Or, perhaps work with your Chamber of Commerce to do a ribbon cutting.
Creating a special event for your business can drive sales, introduce new products or services, and create awareness of your business. Plus, it will constantly remind customers you exist.
Creating a Marketing Budget
After you have identified your target market and determined the best way to access these future customers, you will have to put together a budget.
- Decide which mediums you will use.
- Get the costs, and analyze how much you will spend.
- Determine your expected results – how many customers will this advertising bring in? This is your ROI or COA (Return on Investment, or Cost of Acquisition).
- Constantly track your advertising success by asking your customers, “How did you hear about me?”
- Will show what worked, what didn’t
- Adjust your budget accordingly.
We encourage you to take advantage of free/reduced priced training and complimentary counseling services available here in northeastern Missouri, featuring resources to help grow your business! Have a counselor contact you, or call 660-665-3348 to make an appointment.