What is your marketing strategy? To whom do you market? To whom should you be marketing? Are you marketing to the right group? If so, was that planned? If the group you’re marketing is not the group you should be marketing to, why aren’t they?

These questions are critical to the success of any marketing program.

You can have the very best product or service on the planet. You can have the most attractive offer, the lowest prices, plenty of bonuses, personal attention, and the best service available. But if you offer this wonderful package to the wrong market, you’re sure to fail.
On the other hand, what if your package or total offer isn’t that good? Let’s say it’s just average. Let’s also assume your prices are not the lowest but they’re at least in the ballpark. You really have nothing special – nothing your competition can’t offer as well.

But what if you have a great list to market to: well-qualified, highly motivated prospects with the authority and the ability (money) to buy?
With that kind of market, you just about can’t lose. Targeting your marketing strategy to the right people can make or break your entire advertising or marketing campaign. And if you’re a small business, you can’t afford to expend your marketing efforts in the wrong direction too many times. It’ll drive you right out of business!

One of the best ways to make sure you’re marketing to the right group is to go back over your records and create a list of your current and past clients and customers. You know the people in this group are the right people to market to because they’ve worked with you before. Everyone who inquires about your services or who has worked with you in the past should go on a list.

You should capture, at the very least, their name, address, phone number, date of purchase, what they needed, and how much they spent. If you’re using the Internet for marketing, you should also try to capture their e-mail address.

Radio Shack is one of the best companies at doing this. Even if you just buy a 79-cent battery, the clerk gets or updates your mailing information. The next thing you know, you’re getting all kinds of mailers, promotions and ads in the mail. It’s been a very important and successful part of the company’s marketing program for years.

If you’ll do the same thing – get contact information from all your customers – the next time you want to make a special offer or run a certain promotion, you’ll have a very targeted list of people who have used your products or services in the past, or who have at least inquired about them.

And remember, all things being equal, people would rather do business with people (or businesses) they know, they like and they trust — especially with legal matters.

Another thing you can do is send a Customer Questionnaire to all your existing customers asking for information that can help you determine your market’s needs and the reasons why they’ve chosen you in the past.

By analyzing the characteristics of the people on this list, you can then develop a demographic model of other people who would be likely candidates for the kinds of products and services you offer.

Not only will your hard marketing costs be considerably less, but your response rates will also be significantly higher. You can spend a lot of needless time and money marketing to the wrong market.

So why use target marketing as part of your marketing strategy? Because you’re not marketing to the general public; very specific offers can be made to these target markets.

If, for instance, you advertise you have the lowest prices, you’ll undoubtedly attract people who are price shoppers. That’s not altogether bad, but if you’re looking for long-time relationships with your customers, low-price shoppers may not be the best market for you to attract.

As soon as a competitor advertises a lower price or gives a little more away for the same price you’re charging, your client is likely to bid you adios.

Long-term relationships presuppose loyalty, loyalty from both the client and loyalty from the business owners and employees.

If, as a business, you provide exceptional and continuing value to your clients, they, in turn, will continue to buy from you as long as the need exists.

By identifying the kinds of clients you wish to acquire and then targeting those kinds of prospects, your client acquisition costs will be reduced, and your client retention percentages will soar.

Now, here’s a bonus: If you run an ad or promotion in the paper, on the radio, or on TV, not only will your customers and prospects hear or see it, but so will your competition.

By advertising or promoting to your own customer list by direct mail, no one knows what you’re doing but the recipients. It’s “stealth” marketing at its best!

Interested in knowing more about target marketing and how to use it as part of your marketing strategy? Email the experts at VisionPATH Business Solutions via info@visionpath.com. Mention this blog post, and we’ll send you a copy of our recommended Customer Questionnaire free of charge!

VisionPATH Business Solutions offers personalized consulting and advisory services to companies large and small. We have a long-standing reputation of providing honest, individualized advice to our clients. No matter your need, whether it is to capture new market share, to streamline processes and cut costs or to add services and grow your business, you can rely on VisionPATH to provide you with honest advice to help you achieve your goals.