Wouldn’t it be great if they came up with a dollar that gave you an extra 50 cents every time you spent it? When it comes to marketing, those kinds of dollars actually do exist—you just need to know how to find and use them. Wisely spent, marketing dollars have the potential to generate many times their value in increased business, but you need to follow a plan. Without a plan, those same dollars can disappear down a dark and slimy black hole, never to be seen again.
There are lots of marketing tactics you can use to multiply your results. Probably the most important of those is to market ONLY to your target audience. If you have the discipline to follow this one principle, your marketing investment can seem a mere pittance compared to the returns you enjoy.
In theory, it’s actually pretty simple: 1. Define your target audience, and 2. Ruthlessly avoid spending money on any segment outside that target market.
Do you think you know your target audience? Can you draw a word picture of your typical customer, including age, gender, hair color, socio-economic standing, geographic location, likes/tastes, the type of car they drive, and who they tend to associate with?
Unless you’ve spent some time and effort identifying with, and putting yourself in the shoes of your target customer, you are really only operating on a gut feeling. Don’t get me wrong, gut feelings are part of that intangible that makes a good business great—but it’s just a small part. To make good marketing decisions, you need the truth. And to get the truth, you need data.
For a fabricator or cabinetmaker, probably the best way to get that data is to go through your customer list and document what you know about the people you do business with. It could be as simple as a spreadsheet with categories such as, age range, estimated income, gender, geographic location, etc., etc., etc. It will take some time and effort, but it’s worth it. Be specific. As the data accumulate you will likely begin to see patterns emerge. Chances are some of your gut feelings will be vindicated by the data—congratulations—but the real nugget here is getting a crystal clear picture of your typical customer. That’s the person who pays your salary and supports your business, and to whom you must cater.
Put On Blinders
Once you know your target customer, every marketing dollar you spend should be directed to her. If you advertise on the radio, for example, be on the stations your customer listens to, at the time she is tuned in. Don’t be fooled by great cpm’s (cost per thousand) just because the price is right. If your customer isn’t listening, you’ve thrown away your money, regardless of how good the deal was.
The same type of reasoning goes with any kind of marketing buy. Television, newspaper, coupon mailings, magazines, the Internet all cater to specific demographics, and you need to know what those demographics are and if they include your target customer before you invest a single dime. If they don’t, stay away.
Speaking of the Internet, did you know that the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is seniors, 65 and older? Conversely, twenty- and thirty-somethings are migrating away from that tried and true social media platform in droves. That means your investment of time (which is a huge investment, by the way) and money should be directed to those channels that your target audience frequents.
Bottom line, targeting your customers means knowing who they are and having some kind of presence in their lives. That means putting yourself in front of them, at the expense of everyone else. It’s a big world out there. Make it simpler by focusing your energies on a single demographic.