April 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm #3951
So, my service is something everybody really can use at some level. But common sense tells me that it makes no sense to put effort and money into marketing to everyone because being a “Jack of all trades” in my service area would dilute my attention, my time, and my wallet.
1. How do I decide who to spend my marketing dollars on?
2. How do I know where to find them?May 8, 2017 at 11:51 pm #4051
Great questions, Rose! This is a situation a lot of business owners find themselves in, and too often, they run out of money marketing to too many people with little frequency and even less impact. Even though everyone can use your service, your marketing efforts will be optimized if you drill down to a specific target market. Take a look at your existing customers and determine the following:
What is the highest concentration of similar demographics within your customer base? Location, age group, gender, marital status, number of children, children’s age group, etc. For B to B companies you can consider industry, company size, position title of decision maker, location, etc.
As an example, we’ll use married women ages 30 to 35 with two children under the age of 10 living in New Tampa as your target market. Don’t be afraid to drill down to this smaller group to market to. Most of our clients are concerned that they won’t be marketing to the 25-year-old moms or other groups outside of their defined target market. Do they have 25-year-old customers who are moms? Sure, and they will continue to have them, they just won’t spend their dollars marketing to them since there are fewer of them who need their services than the 30 to 35 year-old moms.
Once you’ve figured out WHO you’re marketing to, there are many ways to figure out WHERE to find them. In the example above with the defined target of married women ages 30 to 35 with two children under the age of 10 living in New Tampa, the easiest way to find them is to ask your existing customer base where they spend their time in the following areas:
Reading (where do they get their news?)
Schools their children attend
Extra-curricular activities (their own and their children’s)
Groups or organizations
Social media platforms
You can ask them by physically asking them if there is a face-to-face interaction with them. If you have their email addresses (and I hope you do!), you can set up an emailed, online survey (created in a platform like Survey Monkey). You can also pick up the phone and call each one which will give you the opportunity to personally thank them for their business. Another great way to get this information is to invite a group of them to a local restaurant in their area for appetizers and drinks. This way you can host an informal focus group while again thanking them for their business. This is also a great way to create brand ambassadors and capture testimonial videos for your product or service.
Once you have gathered your answers, list those answers that have the highest frequency.
Reading: New Tampa Neighborhood News
Schools their children attend: Tampa Palms Elementary School
Extra-curricular activities (their own and their children’s): Moms: New Tampa YMCA Children’s: i9 Sports
Groups or organizations: The Junior League of Tampa
Social media platforms: Facebook and Pinterest
NOW you have your answers on how to find your target.
1. Contact New Tampa Neighborhood News to place an ad or see if they would benefit from you writing an article about your product or service
2. Contact Tampa Palms Elementary School to find out if there are speaking opportunities with the PTA (if you can speak on a topic that relates to your field that parents will find beneficial). Ask about their flyer policy (which can be strict) and have fliers selling your product or service placed in the student’s backpacks. Purchase yard signs and place them near where parents drop off and pick up their children at school (hint: they’ll be picked up by the city, so you need to pick them up before the city does!).
3. Contact the New Tampa YMCA and ask about advertising opportunities in their newsletter, website, community bulletin board, etc. And contact i9 Sports for partnerships or sponsorships that may be available.
4. Contact The Junior League of Tampa for sponsorship or advertising opportunities. Note that this might not be the best option for you if you are targeting only New Tampa since JLT’s members are all over the Tampa Bay area.
5. And finally look at Facebook and Pinterest to determine how much it would be to advertise to your audience.
I hope this helps! Good luck with your targeting and marketing efforts!May 19, 2017 at 4:18 pm #4146
Christy, how does your answer change for a business that can be operated from anywhere in the world?
Four examples that come to mind:
- writing and editing (my business)
- online book selling
- speaking, training (my husband’s business)
- marketing consultant (your business, yes?)
May 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm #4148
- This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by rose.cmllc.
Rose, are you referring to a business that runs virtually and the owner does not have face-to-face contact with them?May 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm #4150
Yes, Christy, exactly!May 22, 2017 at 1:14 am #4152
Great! That’s easy because, just as you said, that’s how we work! For this answer, we’ll use your business as an example: writing and editing.
How do you get the demographics of your clients if you rarely see them face-to-face? You can call them, but your best bet is to send them an online survey. If you keep their answers confidential, you can ask them questions such as:
Size of Company (revenue or number of employees)
Location of Company (city)
Social Media Platform(s )they use to obtain vendor information
Websites They Regularly Visit
Business Publications They Read
You can also take this opportunity to ask about what your customers think about your customer service, other writing and editing companies they considered before selecting yours (which will identify your competitors), and where they found you (if you don’t already know). I like to include the question: Please list one or two other people who could use our writing and editing services. Referrals are the best!
Once you’ve collected your demographic data, it’s time to find those prospects! Let’s say the majority of your customers answered the following to your survey:
Position/Title: CEO, President, VP
Industry: Cyber Security, Wealth Management, Employee Benefits
Size of Company (revenue or number of employees): 25 – 50 employees
Location of Company (city): Tampa, Florida
Social Media Platform(s They Use to Obtain Vendor Information: LinkedIn
Websites They Regularly Visit: WSJ.com
Business Publications They Read: Tampa Bay Business Journal
Where They Found You: referred by John Smith, LinkedIn Group, Google search
Based on the data collected, I’d recommend the following based on your desired marketing budget:
Start a LinkedIn Pay-Per-Click campaign offering your services, a white paper or a webinar on the topic of Writing or Editing 101. You can drill down to show your ads only to males, ages 45-55, with titles of CEO, President and VP. You can also target the industries they are in as well as the location. You can regulate your daily budget and your ads are easy to set up. No designer needed! If it’s a white paper or webinar you’re marketing, have your attendees sign up on a landing page and capture their email address which will allow you to stay in front of them via monthly email blasts.
Find out in which LinkedIn Group you have customers and remain active in them. Not, selling your services, but being engaging with helpful content that will give you credibility and let you show off your expertise!
Advertising on WSJ.com may be out of your budget range, however, if you set up a retargeting (or remarketing) campaign, your ad can actually “follow” people who have visited your site, therefore your ad could very well be seen on sites such as WSJ.com.
Even the Tampa Bay Business Journal can be expensive, but you could check out some digital options that may be more cost-effective for you. You could even inquire about their content calendar and only advertise when the content theme is Cyber Security, Wealth Management, etc. If you’re in the area, you can check out networking events they may offer.
As for John Smith being your biggest fan and referral source, keep in contact with him through hand-written thank you’s, lunch (if it’s geographically feasible), a complimentary bio update or a shipped box of toffee.
Whether you choose to do all of these activities or only one, do it consistently for at least a 90-day period and track your results. Happy marketing, Rose!May 24, 2017 at 11:55 pm #4160
Wow, Christy! This is a great checklist for getting started with finding my market.
I live in Colorado and, among other things, your reply reminded me that we have a Colorado Springs Business Journal that I could use as a resource.
I can also start my survey with the members of my weekly business development and referral group.
Thank you for the great ideas!
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