Marketing Strategy: Making A Smart Investment

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A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

A Change Of Mindset

First and foremost, marketing is an investment. You only get out of it, what you put into it. Therefore CMOs need to begin looking at marketing as the financial investment that it is towards meeting the goals of the business. When you make a financial investment you investigate the risk potential, growth expectations, and your portfolio as a whole. When looking at your marketing spend and strategy, you can start with the same discussions.

To think of it in another way, look around your business at the way investment fundamentals are applied all around you. Why is this not the case in marketing as well? Forget the way that marketing is typically done. Forget what your company has focused marketing dollars on in the past. Then open yourself up to the possibilities that a creative marketing investment can have.

Goal Alignment

Now you’re ready to start getting your goals and your marketing investment in line. But first, make sure that you have the right goals. Of course, this depends on your business. A new business will need to focus more of their investment on brand awareness. You’ll need to make a splash in the market and get your name out there. your marketing spend in that area will be high because your primary goals is brand awareness.

But for most established businesses, awareness is only a portion of the marketing spend. Too often, businesses are focused on the wrong marketing metrics. You see that you’ve gained a bunch of Facebook likes, or you’re getting a lot of return visits to your website. These are positive things, but do they align to your goals? Marketers tend to focus their investment of marketing dollars on the channel itself – whether boosting search rankings or building an email list. But was your goal to create a higher search ranking? Or was your goal to use search rankings as a way to build leads and conversions?

Your marketing strategy needs to be relative meeting the financial goals of your company. If your company is looking for slow and steady growth, you can invest your marketing budget accordingly. But if you really want to get your business off the ground quickly, you’ll have to ramp up your spending for your maximum return.

Execution And Adjustment

Now that you have your focus for your investment from the goals of your business, you’re ready to get started ramping up your marketing strategy. Don’t limit yourself. Your mix of marketing strategy is dependent upon your business, of course, but consider every channel and it’s effectiveness for you.

Make sure you have the right tools in place to measure the return on the investment you’ve made. When you make a financial investment, you will always have these tools in place, so why wouldn’t you have these in place for marketing investment? Again, be focused on the right metrics and making sure you have a system in place to see the results of your hard work. Then you can make the adjustments needed in your strategy. You can identify where the issues are in your marketing funnel and change your marketing investment based on that information.

Conclusion

Thinking of your marketing as an investment, makes you shift your thinking for your marketing strategy and budget. You are only going to get out of it what you put into it – so invest wisely.

A marketer can easily fill up their day with a plethora of so-called “marketing tasks.” Post to Facebook, retweet a twitter mention, send out emails to prospects and clients – these tasks can be very valuable for a company, but too often they are used merely as hopeful shots in the dark instead of part of a distinct marketing strategy. Just like a financial investment, marketers need to start paying more attention to the specific financial goals of their business and investing in their strategy accordingly.

Source: Mike McDermott

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.

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How To Write A Mission Statement In 5 Easy Steps

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I’ve had a 30-year love-hate relationship with mission statements. I’ve read thousands. I love it when a mission statement defines a business so well that it feels like strategy—and that does happen—and I hate it when a mission statement is generic, stale, and completely useless.

Your company’s mission statement is your opportunity to define the company’s goals, ethics, culture, and norms for decision-making. The best mission statements define a company’s goals in at least three dimensions: what the company does for its customers, what it does for its employees, and what it does for its owners. Some of the best mission statements also extend themselves to include fourth and fifth dimensions: what the company does for its community, and for the world.

The vast majority of the mission statements are just meaningless hype that could be used to describe any business in the category. People write them because some checklist or expert said they had to.

A well-developed mission statement is a great tool for understanding, developing, and communicating fundamental business objectives, and should be expressed in just a paragraph or two. If you read it out loud, it should take about 30 seconds. And it should answer questions people have about your business, like:

•   Who is your company?
•   What do you do? What do you stand for? And why do you do it?
•   Do you want to make a profit, or is it enough to just make a living?
•   What markets are you serving, and what benefits do you offer them?
•   Do you solve a problem for your customers?
•   What kind of internal work environment do you want for your employees?

Unfortunately, few mission statements actually do that.

So how do you make sure yours isn’t one of the bad ones? Over the decades I’ve spent reading, writing, and evaluating business plans, I’ve come up with a process for developing a useful mission statement, and it boils down to five steps:

1. Start With A Market-Defining Story

You don’t have to actually write the story—it’s definitely not included in the mission statement—but do think it through:

Imagine a real person making the actual decision to buy what you sell. Use your imagination to see why she wants it, how she finds you, and what buying from you does for her. The more concrete the story, the better. (And keep that in mind for the actual mission statement wording: “The more concrete, the better.”)

A really good market-defining story explains the need, or the want, or—if you like jargon—the so-called “why to buy.” It defines the target customer, or “buyer persona.” And it defines how your business is different from most others, or even unique. It simplifies thinking about what a business isn’t, what it doesn’t do.

This isn’t literally part of the mission statement. Rather, it’s an important thing to have in your head while you write the mission statement. It’s in the background, between the words.

2. Define How Your Customer’s Life Is Better Because Your Business Exists

Start your mission statement with the good you do. Use your market-defining story to suss out whatever it is that makes your business special for your target customer.

Don’t undervalue your business: You don’t have to cure cancer or stop global climate change to be doing good. Offering trustworthy auto repair, for example, narrowed down to your specialty in your neighborhood with your unique policies, is doing something good. So is offering excellent slow food in your neighborhood, with emphasis on organic and local, at a price premium.

This is a part of your mission statement, and a pretty crucial part at that—write it down.

If your business is good for the world, incorporate that here too. But claims about being good for the world need to be meaningful, and distinguishable from all the other businesses. Add the words “clean” or “green” if that’s really true and you keep to it rigorously. Don’t just say it, especially if it isn’t important or always true.

3. Consider What Your Business Does For Employees

These days, good businesses want to be good for their employees. If you’re “hard numbers”-oriented, keeping employees is better for the bottom line than turnover. And if you’re interested in culture and employee happiness, then defining what your business offers its employees is an obvious part of your strategy.

My recommendation is that you don’t assert how the business is good for employees—you define it here and then forever after make it true.

Qualities like fairness, diversity, respect for ideas and creativity, training, tools, empowerment, and the like, actually really matter. However, since every business in existence at least says that it prioritizes those things, strive for a differentiator and a way to make the general goals feel more concrete and specific.

While I consulted for Apple Computer, for example, that business differentiated its goals of training and empowering employees by making a point of bringing in very high-quality educators and presenters to help employees’ business expertise grow. That’s the kind of specificity you should include in your mission statement.

With this part of the mission statement, there’s a built-in dilemma. On the one hand, it’s good for everybody involved to use the mission statement to establish what you want for employees in your business. On the other hand, it’s hard to do that without falling into the trap of saying what every other business says.

Stating that you value fair compensation, room to grow, training, a healthy, creative work environment, and respect for diversity is probably a good idea, even if that part of your mission statement isn’t unique. That’s because the mission statement can serve as a reminder—for owners, supervisors, and workers—and as a lever for self-enforcement.

If you have a special view on your relationship with employees, write it into the mission statement. If your business is friendly to families, or to remote virtual workplaces, put that into your mission.

4. Add What The Business Does For Its Owners

In business school they taught us that the mission of management is to enhance the value of the stock. And shares of stock are ownership. Some would say that it goes without saying that a business exists to enhance the financial position of its owners, and maybe it does. However, only a small subset of all businesses are about the business buzzwords of “share value” and “return on investment.”

In the early years of my business I wanted peace of mind about cash flow more than I wanted growth, and I wanted growth more than I wanted profits. So I wrote that into my mission statement. And at one point I realized I was also building a business that was a place where I was happy to be working, with people I wanted to work with; so I wrote that into my mission statement, too.

5. Discuss, Digest, Cut, Polish, Review, Revise

Whatever you wrote for points two through four above, go back and cut down the wordiness.

Good mission statements serve multiple functions, define objectives, and live for a long time. So, edit. This step is worth it.

I’ve been writing professionally all of my adult life. I was a foreign correspondent for a decade, and then I billed more than $2 million in business plan consulting, and then I wrote books published by Entrepreneur Press, McGraw-Hill, Dow Jones-Irwin and others, and thousands of blog posts for this site and a number of high-profile sites; I’ve never written anything that wasn’t better with editing. And most of what I’ve written was better after I cut it to half its original length.

As you edit, keep a sharp eye out for the buzzwords and hype that everybody claims. Cut as much as you can that isn’t unique to your business, except for those special elements that—unique or not—can serve as long-term rules and reminders.

Read other companies’ mission statements, but write a statement that is about you and not some other company. Make sure you actually believe in what you’re writing—your customers and your employees will soon spot a lie.

Then, listen. Show drafts to others, ask their opinions, and really listen. Don’t argue, don’t convince them, just listen. And then edit again.

And, for the rest of your business’s life, review and revise it as needed. As with everything in a business plan, your mission statement should never get written in stone, and, much less, stashed in a drawer. Use it or lose it. Review and revise as necessary, because change is constant.

Final note: Should I apologize for putting the word “easy” into the title of this piece? Sometimes I confuse interesting, useful, and important with easy. I always underestimate tasks I like doing.

Source: Tim Berry

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Marketing Decision Making

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Marketing personnel must make decisions whenever they perform any of the marketing functions. Marketers must continuously decide what is to be done, who is to do it, how it is to be done, and when and where are the best time and place to do it.

How To Make Decisions

Step 1: Define idea or problem to be acted upon. Before seeking answers, you need to identify the real problem. The first step in decision making is to find out what the problem really is; only then should you work toward a solution or answer. Defining the problem is not an easy task in most cases. What appears to be the problem might at best be merely a symptom that shows on the surface.

Step 2: Collect, interpret and evaluate relevant information about the problem.

Usually there are many sources from which to gather information affecting a decision. Sometimes standing orders, policies, procedures, rules, and regulations provide relevant information. Other sources of information include your own experience, company records and reports, discussion with individuals and personal observations.

Step 3: Develop possible alternative solutions. The next step is to develop alternative ways of solving the problem or taking advantage of the opportunity. Alternatives are possible courses of action that can satisfy a need or solve a problem. Usually several choices are available to the decision maker if he or she is able to identify or develop them.

Step 4: Select the preferred or “best” alternative. You have reached a point where you must make a decision. You should logically and rationally pick the alternative you think is most desirable for all concerned from an objective, ethical, and practical point of view. Sometimes the preferred alternative involves cost/benefit analysis and risk analysis.

Cost/Benefit Analysis:

You estimate what each alternative will cost in terms of human, physical and financial resources. Then you estimate the expected benefits. Finally, you compare the two estimates and select the one with the greatest “payoff” where the ratio of benefits to cost is more favorable.

Risk Analysis:

Risk, which is the possibility of defeat, disadvantage, injury, or loss is inherent in decision

making. You should try to minimize the risks involved by effectively forecasting outcomes and considering all variables involved.

Step 5: Implement the decision. Effective decision making doesn’t stop when you choose from among alternative solutions. The decision must be put into operation.

Step 6: Follow-up, evaluate, and make changes if needed. Follow-up and the evaluation of the outcome of a decision is part of the process of decision making. Follow-up and evaluation of a decision can take many forms depending on the nature of the decision, timing, costs, standards expected, personnel, and other factors. If the follow-up and evaluation indicate that something has gone wrong or that the results have not been as anticipated, then the decision-making process must begin all over again. This may even mean going back over each of the various steps of the decision-making process in detail.

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12 Ways To Measure Your Marketing Impact

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With the proliferation of tools for both measuring and automating your marketing efforts, startups aren’t exactly wanting for real-time marketing data. But while spreadsheets and dashboards are nice, actually being able to prove your marketing works is far more useful.

Interested in how other startups are measuring their marketing efforts, I asked a group of entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council to share how they currently track their successes (and failures). Their best responses are below:

1. Tracking

“Now that high-quality content has so many benefits in the marketing world, it’s important to track all its different uses. For example, when you share specific pieces of content, use Buffer to track it. Or, when you send someone an email that includes a specific type of content, use HubSpot or Infusionsoft to track the results. It can be as simple as tracking the clicks on your recent post that’s in your signature line.”

John Hall

2. Acquisition Channels

“We track every single acquisition channel through which our users register. This includes blog posts, press, organic search, paid ads, partnerships, etc. We do weekly meetings to review the data. It shows which channels convert the highest, generate the most loyal users and more. This data signals which channels to “double down” our efforts on and which to let die.”

Danny Boice

3. Google Analytics

“We place heavy focus on margins to optimize ROI on Adwords marketing campaigns. We want to constantly optimize our spending and make sure we get the most conversions possible on targeted customer acquisition cost. We use Google Analytics to do this mostly.”

Pablo Palatnik

4. Iterative Testing And Strategizing

“We end planning sessions with different hypotheses to test and measure. Lean, agile marketing is baked into our process, and we’re always thinking about the goals of each action and variations of actions to be tested. Right now, analyzing data like open rates, click-throughs and social performance from content and formatting is shaping our email marketing strategy iteratively without slowing us down.”

Lauren Perkins

5. Inbound Leads

“The biggest thing we use data for is tracking inbound leads. We experiment all the time. We change up our welcome email, give a phone call instead, attach explainer docs and then see which ones convert. If you don’t use data, you’ll have to guess without any evidence.”

John Meyer

6. A Marketing “Stack”

“Our marketing stack includes Segment.io, Marketo and Salesforce.com. We use Geckoboard to make the data available to anyone in our company and display it on screens around the office. My philosophy is that any number important enough to report to our board of directors should be available to employees all the time, and we have biweekly meetings to discuss trends in our key marketing metrics.”

Ryan Buckley

7. Salesforce

“We’re using Salesforce.com to track the productivity of our marketing efforts, which are segmented into a variety of categories like campaigns, lead types, company types and more. Marketing really is the top of the sales funnel, and with Salesforce.com, we can create and share several dashboards and reports to use across the team. We can then follow the sales process from beginning to end and use the quantitative data to make improvements to our processes.”

Doreen Bloch

8. Cost Per Acquisition

“Marketing dashboards can bog you down with extraneous data. CPM, CTR, impressions and impression share — it’s enough to bury you in numbers. The way that we stay afloat is the discipline of only looking at the king of marketing metrics: CPA, or the cost per acquisition. Ultimately, marketing exists to move the needle on acquisition. If you don’t know how much each new customer costs, you’re just throwing your money out the window.”

Emerson Spartz

9. Customer Engagement

“Data informs almost every decision we make, and it allows us to communicate with our users in a way that is thoughtful and impactful. We recently launched engagement campaigns based on behavioral data, and we’re analyzing the successes and failures of those campaigns to create content that improves user experience while helping achieve our marketing goals!”

Erica Bell

10. Customer Lifetime Value

“Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a great way to reveal the quality of customer segments. We segment our customers by referral source (ad campaign, social network, etc.) and look at their LTV. Just because an ad is converting doesn’t mean it will bring in high-LTV customers. Word of mouth and social network referrals lead to customer LTVs that are worth several times more than the ones that come from some of our ad campaigns, which is apparent when you look at the churn rate for each customer segment. Conversion rate can easily become a vanity metric, but focusing on LTV and churn are how you build a long-term business.”

Jared Brown

11. Audience Opinion

“It’s important to track your marketing efforts so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Our team collects information and suggestions directly from our customers. We want to go straight to the source to get quality feedback, and the customer using your product will have the best insight. Social media is also an indicator that can identify which topics seem to be sparking a conversation in your customer community.”

Michael Patak

12. Data Collection

“In marketing, data is crucial — it’s how we find out if our creativity is actually delivering. We use what’s called dollar productive activity (DPA) metrics, such as how many calls/emails/meetings occurred and how many of those activities converted into a closed deal. There’s a very distinct difference between being busy and being effective. From these metrics, we can see if our activity is actually effective. If we notice that calls are working better than emails, we adjust. Also, if we know that it takes three calls to get one closed deal and our goal is 10 deals per week, then we can work that math into our goals and ensure that our sales team is making 30 calls per week.”

Jason Jannati

Source: Scott Gerber

Complete Media Inc is a Sioux Falls marketing, advertising, website design and web hosting company specializing in web design, maintenance and hosting services.
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Tanner Chambers – Production Strategist

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Tanner is a Minnesota-born graphic designer with a background in television journalism, broadcast technology and marketing. He landed his first TV job while in college, working first as a part-time assistant webmaster and then as an associate producer for Valley News Live in Fargo, North Dakota. He graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science studying graphic design and mass communications.

A marketing internship brought him to Sioux Falls in the summer of 2014, where he continued to add to his experiences, working as an advertising copywriter, KELOLAND reporter, non-profit administrative assistant, business-to-business broadcast technology marketer and digital freelance artist specializing in graphic design, videography and motion graphics.

Tanner joined the Complete Media team in October 2016 and has thrown himself into his work, developing built-to-last business brands while expanding his web skill set with HTML coding, email and web builders, WordPress, Google AdWords, Facebook ads and more.

He and his wife live with their three small dogs near downtown Sioux Falls.

Reach Vs. Frequency

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Is it more effective to touch 100 potential customers once or 25 potential customers 4 times?

Reach and frequency are terms generally used when planning advertising campaigns. However, the concept of reach and frequency applies to any promotional activity you undertake: direct mail, direct selling, and even networking.

Reach is the number of people you touch with your marketing message or the number of people that are exposed to your message. Frequency is the number of times you touch each person with your message. In a world of unlimited resources, you would obviously maximize both reach and frequency. However, since most of us live in the world of limited resources we must often make decisions to sacrifice reach for frequency or vice versa.

For example, an air conditioning repair service who has decided to do a direct mail piece has to decide whether to mail the entire Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex once or to mail a quarter of the Metroplex four times. An attorney who receives many of her clients through networking may have to decide whether to attend one weekly networking meeting or four different monthly meetings.

When faced with decisions of reach vs. frequency remember this rule of thumb:

Reach Without Frequency = Wasted Money.

Marketing is the process of building a business relationship with potential customers. Have you ever established a lifelong friendship with someone you had contact with only once? Probably not. Generally, friendships (and all relationships, for that matter) grow as a result of frequent contact over time. Even when the potential to form a great friendship is there at the first encounter, it is unlikely it will grow without nurturing.

Seth Godin in his book Permission Marketing uses an analogy of seeds and water to demonstrate the importance of assuring adequate frequency in your promotional campaigns. If you were given 100 seeds with enough water to water each seed once would you plant all 100 seeds and water each one once or would you be more successful if you planted 25 seeds and used all of the water on those 25 seeds?

While intuitively and even conceptually we understand the importance of frequency to successful promotional and sales campaigns, somehow when it comes to actually implementing the campaign, we opt to sacrifice frequency for reach. And then we complain about the ineffectiveness of our promotional efforts. Undoubtedly one of the biggest wastes of marketing dollars is promotional activities that are implemented without adequate frequency.

When faced with the decision of mailing one direct mail piece to 10,000 people or mailing to 2,500 people four times think about the fate of those 100 seeds you can water only once. Unless you have water rights and can obtain additional water, opt for less reach and more frequency.

Source: Julie Chance

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What Are Your Long-Term Marketing Strategies?

Developing a marketing plan takes time. It is a step-by-step process that includes identifying and researching your target audience, understanding your competitive position, branding, messaging, separating your business from the competition, mapping out your marketing mix and more. Establishing a marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success and sustainability of your business.

In order to create a successful marketing plan, you will first need to define your marketing strategies. Simply focusing on your short-term successes will put your business in a bad position for future growth.

Long-Term Marketing Activities

Long-term activities establish brand awareness and continue to produce results even years down the road. Without long-term marketing strategies, short-term success may be short-lived. Where will your business be in five years? How about in 10 or even 30 years? What initiatives are you going to put in place to reach your goals further down the road? Growing your business takes time and you need to have a plan for every step or milestone along the way.

Here are a few tactics to achieve long-term marketing success:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is a long-term play that can take several months, but it is crucial for success because organic search engine traffic has been found to be the best source of B2B leads. Knowing your audience and optimizing your website for keywords and phrases that potential customers would use in their online search is critical to being found on the Internet. SEO is an ongoing process and to do it effectively takes time. Businesses should consider engaging experts they can trust to keep their website optimized.

Public relations (PR)

PR efforts, in general, are proactive actions that positively build a company’s brand online and offline over the long term.  PR teams often accomplish goals by strategically sharing information with relevant media outlets. A well-executed PR strategy builds over months, not days, and takes time to succeed.

Publishing and Promoting Content

Developing a stream of fresh, relevant content like newsletters, tips or blog posts will result in quality traffic to your website, but will also place you among the top thought leaders in your field. Content that is posted, updated and archived on a regular basis will provide you great ammunition for long-term nurture campaigns and encourage visitors to return.

Social Media

As a collection of communication channels, social networks can be used to achieve both short-term and long-term strategies. In a short-term context, you can use it to monitor and manage your online reputation. In a long-term context, you can use social media to promote content, support lead generation activities, and engage in online communities.

Engaging in social media is necessary and important because social networks are increasingly considered one of the top channels for generating brand awareness.

At the end of the day, it’s a finely tuned balancing act. The key is to build a marketing plan that values and achieves short-term and long-term marketing strategies simultaneously. Doing so will ensure that your business is better poised to prosper for years to come.

Source: Launch Marketing

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‘Everyone’ Is Not A Demographic: A Guide To Target Markets For Small Businesses

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What Is A Target Market?

Simply put, a target market is a specific group of people you have decided to target with your products or services. It could be a large market or a niche market.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, the concept of target markets can become much more complicated if you offer a product or service with wide appeal, or you have a diverse customer base. If you sell to “everybody,” then how are you supposed to define your target market?

The Difference Between A Target Market And A Demographic

Although target market and demographic are closely related terms, they are not interchangeable.

Compared to demographics, target markets tend to be much broader. This is because, for many businesses, their products or services appeal to a wide range of individuals. Target markets can also be affected by considerations such as buying cycles, product shelf life and other elements that may not be driven by people who might be interested in buying what you’re selling. In addition, marketers often take the long-term profit potential of a target market into consideration when developing their models and marketing strategies, meaning that they have to focus on the bigger picture.

Demographics, on the other hand, are subsets of a target market that share particular attributes. For example, many television advertisers purposefully target the coveted (and notoriously fickle) 18-35 age demographic. That does not necessarily mean that people who are older than 35 fall outside of the advertiser’s target market – it just means they are part of a different demographic.

In other words, you can think of target markets as a collection of demographics that may be interested in your product or service.

How To Identify A Target Market

So, now we know a little more about what a target market is (and isn’t), how do you go about identifying one for your business?So, now we know a little more about what a target market is (and isn’t), how do you go about identifying one for your business?

Start With Your Existing Customer Base

One of the first steps to identifying a target market for your business should be to take a long, hard look at the people who already buy from you. Even if your current customers seem like a diverse bunch, the chances are pretty good that they will share at least one or two common characteristics. If they don’t, perhaps a shared interest is the common thread.

Once you begin to identify commonalities between your regular customers, you can begin to use this information to refine your existing customer base into a target market.

When researching target markets, it’s vital that you start broad, but become increasingly granular as you progress. For example, you might start by identifying homeowners as a potential demographic, but then drill down deeper and discover that homeowners with older children, earning a certain annual income who work in a particular sector are your best customers. This level of granularity makes it easier to tailor your messaging to appeal to these individuals, even if your customer base is actually much broader.

A Note On Demographic ‘Gray’ Areas

One of the most common mistakes made by businesses of all sizes is a failure to recognize that not everyone fits into neat little demographic boxes.

For example, you can use gender as a starting point when conducting research into your existing customer base. However, gender isn’t always binary and some people, such as transgender individuals, may not be easily categorized into narrow demographics. It’s important to be as inclusionary as possible when looking at potentially sensitive demographics, especially in the imagery and language used in your messaging, otherwise you risk alienating members of your community and prospective customers.

Refining Market Segmentation

So, if a target market doesn’t encompass all of your prospective customers, what can you do? Segment and refine your target market.

Market segmentation can help you understand how your products or services appeal to individuals across several demographics within your target market.

Market segmentation typically falls into four distinct categories:

• Geographic
• Demographic
• Psychographic
• Behavioral

Let’s take a look at each of these categories in more depth.

Geographic

As its name implies, geographic segments can be used to target people living in a specific area. This could be as large as an entire continent, or as regionalized as a specific bus stop.

Geographic segmentation typically includes at least one or two of the following criteria:

• Continent
• Country
• Country Region
• City
• Cities/Towns Of A Specific Population Density
• Climate
• Areas With Specific Population Thresholds
• Localized Areas (Neighborhoods, Specific Retail Outlets)

Demographic

Yes, we’ve been talking about demographics throughout this post, but demographic targeting is an important part of market segmentation. Since we already know what a demographic is, let’s look at the most commonly used demographics:

• Age
• Gender
• Family Size
• Household Income
• Occupation
• Level Of Education
• Religion
• Race
• Nationality

Psychographic

Psychographic segmentation categorizes people by their personality, interests and other factors. This can be a powerful way of marketing the same product to people from seemingly radically different demographics, and plays a crucial role in businesses’ target marketing.

Psychographic segmentation can focus on:

• Personality
• Attitude
• Personal Values
• Lifestyle
• Social Class
• AIOs (Activities, Interests, Opinions)

Behavioral

Behavioral segmentation refers to – yep, you guessed it – how people behave. However, this type of segmentation refers specifically to what potential customers expect from a product or service, and how their actual experiences influence their behavior.

Behavioral segmentation includes factors such as:

• Benefits Sought
• Buyer Readiness
• Degree Of Loyalty To A Brand/Product
• User Status
• Occasions

Hitting The Target (Market)

Just because your product or service appeals to a broad range of people doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about them and market your business more effectively as a result.

Source: Dan Shewan

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How Does Target Market Media Consumption Affect Strategy?

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Knowing the media-consumption habits of a target audience can help a business owner create an effective marketing campaign. For example, if target consumers favor a particular media channel – such as a television station, radio station, magazine or newspaper – you can use that information to deliver your marketing messages directly to them.

Consumption

Your target customers may enjoy a particular aspect or offering of the media channel. For example, they might watch a specific television program, listen to a particular radio show or flip directly to the sports section of the newspaper. Understanding media consumption habits in this respect helps you place your advertisement effectively within the media channel.

Context

It also helps to know what consumers are doing while they are using a media channel. Suppose a car dealership decides to reach its audience by advertising on a radio station in the morning. Knowing that most people are driving to work at this time of the day, the dealership might design an advertisement that speaks directly to commuters by explaining how a comfortable car can ease the pain of sitting in traffic jams. Similarly, if the dealership knows target consumers tune in to the radio station while they are busy working or making dinner, its advertisement might use loud jingles and sound effects to catch the listener’s attention.

Market Research

Business owners can hire a market research firm to help determine strategies for reaching a particular segment of the population. Market researchers draw on a large variety of techniques to study consumer behavior to create behavioral profiles and help advertisers tailor marketing campaigns to the consumption habits of their target audience. Researchers might use surveys, focus groups and questionnaires to generate a database of media consumption habits. They then use statistical methods to identify consumption patterns, providing valuable insights that help advertisers identify the most cost-effective strategies for reaching an audience.

Media Planners and Buyers

Media planners and buyers help businesses implement marketing campaigns. These experts can orchestrate complex strategies, such as airing television commercials in short bursts during periods when the target customers are likely to be watching. The alternative approach – airing commercials during every available period – would drain an advertising budget unnecessarily. While hiring all these marketing experts might seem expensive, the investment pays off if you can avoid wasting money on ineffective strategies.

Source: Stan Mack

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How to Create a Target Market Profile

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Creating a target market profile and positioning statement is a process that helps business owners to identify and communicate with the prospects that offer the greatest chance of sales success. A target market profile is a concise description of the type of prospect you want to sell to. A positioning statement is a brief summary of the way you want prospects to perceive your product or service.

Define the target market for your products or services as precisely as possible. A target market profile identifies the characteristics of the prospects most likely to purchase from you. Use characteristics such as age, gender, location, income level or education to build the profile. Age or gender are important characteristics if you sell products such as clothing or children’s games. Focus on location if your products are only available in certain areas or if they are location-specific, such as hiking or skiing equipment. Income is important if your products carry a premium price.

Profile business customers by a different set of characteristics, including size of business, industry sector and location. Identify the decision-makers in target companies. The decision to purchase your product may involve business, financial or technical personnel as well as senior executives if the purchase represents a significant capital investment. An example of a business target market profile is medium-size companies in the manufacturing sector, based in the Midwest, with a turnover of more than $2 million.

Research the interests and preferences of your target market to find out what they feel is most important about a product like yours. Approach customers for feedback, asking them about important features and benefits. Consumers might consider factors such as “the product improves my lifestyle,” “it saves me money” or “it makes me feel healthier.” For business customers, identify the opportunities and problems that face different types of businesses by monitoring customer feedback or reviewing industry surveys. Challenges such as reducing costs, improving quality, speeding up time to market, or improving competitiveness are issues facing many types of business.

Build a more detailed profile of your target audience by capturing information on their interests and requirements on your website. Offer website visitors publications or special offers that they can download after completing a registration form. Provide a page where visitors can create and update their own profiles and request certain types of information from you. Analyze their preferences and record the information they request to build personalized profiles.

Identify the product benefits that represent the greatest value for your customers. Compare the important factors with the performance, features and benefits of your products. If your product aligns with the main customer factors, use those factors as the basis for your positioning statement. Compare your product with competitors’ offerings to assess how you can differentiate your product. Relate your differentiation to the most important customer values.

Create a positioning statement for each distinct customer sector. Use a consistent format such as “for this target audience, our product provides these important benefits that our competitors cannot match.” Use the positioning statement to create compelling messages to motivate the prospect to buy. Incorporate the key elements of the positioning statement in all your marketing communications so that prospects receive consistent messages at each point of contact with your company. Share with employees target market profiles and positioning statements so that they not only have awareness, but also going forward they are constantly reassessing the criteria used to define the target audience and how elements may influence that audience and what adjustments might need to be considered. It is crucial to the culture of any company that employees are keenly aware of who it is they serve: the customer. Who they work for is the boss.

Source: Ian Linton

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