It can be difficult to narrow down your target market, perhaps because you’re worried that you might miss an opportunity. The problem is, you simply can’t be all things to all people. And when you’re promoting your product, it has to talk to somebody. Somebody has to look at it and think ‘that’s just what I need’ or ‘that looks interesting, I’d like to know more’.
Even if your product is suitable for anybody and everybody, there will be a ‘best’ customer out there. And that’s what you need to focus on.
Let’s take a dog walking service as an example. The owner of the dog walking service initially decides their target market is anyone with a dog. But how about people in Scotland? OK, so now they’re clear that it needs to be within 5 miles of their location, so they have a geographical element.
Anyone with a dog within 5 miles … well, not everybody with a dog needs a dog walking service. Many people walk their own dogs, and would never think about it. So now, we’ve got people within a 5 mile radius who cannot walk their own dog for some reason. Perhaps they’re at work, are ill, are going away. But there is a condition attached.
Now that’s all a bit clearer, it’s easier to ‘talk’ to these people in language they can relate to. It’s not to say that the service isn’t available to anybody else – it’s just that the most likely customers will be those identified by the criteria identified above.
Choosing who you want
We all have customers that are not ideal. Perhaps they are unnecessarily demanding or fussy, maybe they take up a lot of your time, but don’t spend a lot of money. They could be really bad payers. Use the ‘bad’ traits to help you understand and work out what you DO want.
Once you know who you want to talk to, and what the message is, you can start to plan ways in which to do it. For example, the dog walking service could create a series of messages related to ‘what would you do if you couldn’t walk your dog for a week?’ or ‘who walks your dog while you’re at work?’. They could then:
- Send a press release to the local paper with a nice story about some of the people who use the service, or how they’ve helped somebody in temporary difficulty
- Advertise in the local community or parish magazine
- Post leaflets through doors that have dogs barking behind them
- Set up a facebook page, and encourage their customers to share it with their dog-owner friends
- Distribute leaflets through the local puppy classes
If you’re clear about who you’re best customers are, you will start to attract more of them.