“If you’re marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one.”
The above is a tenet to which I adhere when advising anyone in business. So, how do you find your niche? How do you reach the perfect target market for your business or product? In this article, I’ll share with you a few steps on how to ensure you’re reaching the right people for your product.
Market Research: This is absolutely important if you are to ensure that the right people are getting your message. I know, some of us think we can magically listen to the market and go on gut; but while that may work for a lucky few, nothing can beat hard facts. Remember, hundreds or thousands of people are competing for the same space as you, so you need to zone in on your target like a lion and its prey. It really is a jungle out there! Market research will also help you verify whether there is potential for growth and how much business you may expect during a certain period.
Define Your Customer: One of my friends has a customer named Fred. Fred sits on her desk all day. He wears glasses, is semi-bald and has a sad look on his face. Okay, I know that sounds a bit weird; and that’s because Fred is a stuffed toy. However, Fred represents her target market. She works with middle-aged men who are trying to get their groove back, as it were. She’s a coach who specializes in mid-life counselling. Who is your ideal client? How does he/she look? What’s the age of the client? How much disposable income is available to him/her? These types of questions will not only allow the definition of your target but will also keep you on track in times when you may veer to the left or right.
Speak the Language of the Customer: Because you may like relaxing on afternoons with your pet doesn’t mean that other people don’t like going to the movies. Get that? In business, we simply cannot afford to project our preferences onto our customer. You may like listening to a certain radio station, but does your customer like it? Is that the medium where you’re even going to find your customer? For example, I may own a clothing store downtown and I sell baggy pants, short skirts and fashion for those under 25. Should I advertise in the traditional black and white newspaper? I point you back to the first tip in this article. Although you may love to sip coffee each morning while reading your paper, you may be over 45. You are not necessarily your target market.
Finding your niche is much like finding that perfect friend. You must search until you find; and when you do, never let go!
(Veoma Ali is an advertising executive with a Ph.D in Communication and Master’s in