Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Local Target Marketing Primer

targeting your market
There many types of “general marketing” activities out there, but if your business has not done real “target marketing” before, you probably need this primer. While anyone can advertise to everyone easy enough these days, getting real results for those efforts can be a hit and miss affair. Target marketing, or more precisely targeted marketing methods can offer you a better chance, efficiently getting more results for the same effort. Let me help explain to you why target marketing is something your business should consider.

Why do you need to do target marketing?
As this article from businesswise says, “everybody is not your prospect”. Meaning, most of the time in marketing your goal customers or consumers is not everyone that you can reach. You always have some specific key demographics that are the people you need to succeed in getting more leads and more sales.

What is the consequence of this? This means that your general mass media type marketing can sometimes fall on deaf ears, as the message you are giving will not be totally for them. Though you can get exposure, your results will vary, while you are still spending money on them.

Enter targeted marketing, and this situation can change. While you can have a wide mass media campaign, targeted efforts at marketing gives a better chance of reaching your REAL customers and consumers.  With the same effort and cost, you increase your marketing’s effectiveness through more targeted methods. This is the real value of local target marketing and why it is an important practice.

Who does target marketing?
From the biggest companies like Apple, who target “people”, to the smallest businesses, target marketing is a typical tactic. Any product or service no matter how big and small will have a preferred target audience. So don’t think that it does not apply to you. It applies to everyone and you do not have to be overwhelmed by what is needed for it because you can easily scale these target marketing efforts up or down easily since there are tons of different target marketing avenues that you can consider.

Finding your target audience.
If you are now finally convinced about target marketing, your first question would probably be how to do it. THIS IS NOT the first inquiry that you should do. The first thing that you really need to know is your target audience. You should ask yourself not only “WHO” your target market is, and “WHERE” they actually are. This will help shape the methods that you would need to implement for proper target marketing.

To find your target market, you have to first see the profile of your current customers. See the average age, sex, social class, location and even cultural preferences that they have. You have to narrow down and determine the specific types of people that will always be more likely to transact with you. Do a survey, or just observe the usual transactions that you have in your business.

Now, the next step is for you to determine where exactly does your target audience hang out. This requires some work both ONLINE and OFFLINE. When it comes to online market research, it would be best to know the right keywords and the right websites where your target market is.

For offline efforts, you will have to look at your local community. Observe the flow of people, and even try to get some statistics from your local government if possible. See the locations like commercial areas, offices, schools, sporting arenas etc. where lots of people gather. See if your target demographics are there or not.

Target marketing venues.
Now, we go to what you actually need to do. For target marketing on a local level, there are two primary venues that you can focus on. One is online target marketing and the other one is the “offline” mode. While you can of course easily focus on one, both can complement one another for a better holistic target marketing strategy. First let us tackle online target marketing.

Online Target marketing

Online target marketing is actually a very precise science in its own right. The beauty of how the internet has grown these days is that with online target marketing, you have a ton of different options that you can go for. Below, you can find a list of the different tools and sites where you can start with your online target marketing campaign. Hopefully these can be useful to you.

• Google Adwords – This is a must for anyone wanting to have a more targeted marketing campaign online. Google has made THE perfect tool for you to capture your target market by helping you advertise to people looking for specific keywords. Bidding on the right keywords nets you the right to get your ad visible to a person ACTIVELY seeking for what you are selling. Moreover, they have localized targeting settings that lets your ad only appear on specific locations for better.

• Facebook Ads – Albeit on the passive side, Facebook ads are of course your premiere choice for specific demographic targeting. With an 800 million market potential, you can divide and specify who will see your ads in terms of a whole range of demographic profiles and cultural preferences or interests. While you do have visual ads, it is a more passive and classic style advertising though, where you need to grab the attention of an unassuming visitor.

• Email Opt-ins – Some people subscribe online for certain updates. This is due to some interesting topic that they want to keep their tabs on, or sometimes just so that they can get a freebie. Whatever the case, if that person opts in to your mailing list for a certain interest, then you have a targeted and captured audience ready for marketing. So the trick here with email opt-ins is for you to attract people by landing pages and other gimmicks with a certain theme or interest. With that you can gain easy and quick access to a targeted audience for dissemination of your offers.

• Other Ad Networks -  There are also a ton of other advertising networks out there that will offer targeted ads online for specific niches and demographics. Refer to this BIG LIST of adwords and adsense alternatives.

Print Target Marketing

Finally we have the so called print target marketing. This is on the practical side, of marketing that many traditional marketers know about. This is basically the method of printing marketing materials and then distributing them in a targeted manner to the precise areas where the target market for the company is. Here are some of the different print types that you can use.

• Flyers – Color flyers are the cheapest and easiest to deploy when it comes to print target marketing. These small pieces of paper can be delivered at specific community areas where YOU KNOW your target market passes through or hangs out. So if your targets are sports fans for example, the hallway entrance to a sporting arena might be a good place to deploy your targeted flyers.

• Posters – The same rules for flyers apply to posters. You should deploy posters in locations that are highly visible, not only to the public in general, but to your target readers. As an example, if you are directing an information campaign for example for the youth, posting posters at high schools and colleges of course will work well.

• Direct Mail Marketing – This one is a very traditional type of marketing tactic, and probably is one of the first targeted marketing efforts of all time. Direct mail marketing is of course the method of sending snail mail to specific addresses. While some may be unsolicited, other people actually opt to get mail marketing materials. So all you have to do is gain address lists of potential customers, categorizing by location and demographic data for specific target marketing.

• Hobby/Interest Magazines – Definitely, if your brand has a particular bent on a demographic or interest, you can easily advertise on interest magazines (or print your own if you want). Interest or hobby magazines still sell these days, because true enthusiast will consume both online and offline content of their specific interest ALWAYS.

So that is all the big facts and questions with regards to target marketing. A combination of all the above methods should be a good first start for your business marketing, no matter how big or small your business is. Just keep in mind that target marketing is an important practice for any business, and it should always be part of a healthy marketing campaign.


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