The age old wisdom of creating a “target market” such as age, income, gender, and even where they live, really no longer hold up in today’s world of marketing. Social media and online tools completely changes the game. So how does a marketer describe their “target market”?
Go after the “BEST” customers – too many marketers cast a too wide of a net. Their focus isn’t narrow enough. Be it out of fear of missing a group or the misbelief that their product/service is for everyone, too many expects “everyone” should love them. Instead, define and go after the “best” customers. This narrow segment is made up of those who would LOVE you, not just like you. It’s about connecting with those who would have a strong opinion about you. If they can take your or leave you, then they won’t be a great brand advocate on your behalf. How do you determine the “best” customers? Here are a few points to consider:
• Less price sensitive – Those who put price above all other brand qualities are not the customers you want. You are after customers who are willing to pay more for the tangible and emotional value your products/services will give them and how it makes them feel. Those who are price sensitive view you as a commodity and place little value on quality. As a business, why would you want them as customers anyway?
• Solve big problems – There are problems that seem big to your “best” customers that you can solve. The bigger the problem, the more they will love your brand if you provide a solution. It’s not about solving world peace, but it must be seen as important to your ideal customer.
• Introduce new lines that thrill – You’re best customers will want to be surprised by you. Introduce new products/services that thrills, not just a small improvement. No person or brand has ever made an impact just by creating line extensions. Those who dominate market categories innovate and thrill their customers by giving them something that creates a wow factor.
• Enlist advocates – It’s not the passive customers you want. It’s the ones who influence and are anxious to spread the word that you should be after. They spread the word via text, social media, and go old fashion face-to-face. It is this customer who will give you the best ROI.
• Distinct needs and wants – Great customers have distinct needs and wants. The mass generic customers don’t have anything that is unique about them. Women 18-35 isn’t a group with unique needs and wants. Women who are professionals and have multiple kids are a unique group who have pressing needs and wants. If your brand can become a solution to one of their problems, they are yours for life, and they will tell 22 of their closest friends.
• Pre- and post- purchase – Find out how they interact with all forms of media pre- and post- purchase. Know how they consume traditional and new media and integrate your strategy. Many marketers get the pre-purchase, but most forget about the post-purchase. Know how your best customers want to tell their friends about your brand and give them the tools to spread the word. Let them be the torch bearer of the brand by giving them the resources to carry out their zeal.
Everyone knows the saying, “You can’t be all things to all people.”, but too many brands don’t have the courage to walk the talk. It’s hard for them to realize that the more narrow their focus, the more likely they are to attract the “best” customers. As a result, they become to be know for something great. And once you’re know for something great, all of a sudden, you become a well known brand that has powerful meaning and emotion connected with it. This is how brands become great.