Why Can’t I Sell To The World?

December 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

By Helen Jones

All very well if you have a budget and organisation the size of Mars or Proctor and Gamble, but most small businesses are successful and profitable when they focus on a specific target market and get to know these target customers really well.

Every marketing ‘expert’ I’ve ever worked with has always reinforced this principle and although it sounds completely counter intuitive, when you think it through it makes perfect sense. You can’t successfully reach out to the whole world with your marketing – who are all these customers, where are they and how do you communicate with them?

Trying to be all things to all people rarely works. Think of that person in the street randomly handing out flyers to every one who will take one. How often do you just drop it in the nearest litter bin without taking a second look – do you want the same result from your marketing dollars?

A much stronger proposition is to work out the best fit between your product or service and your customers. Which type of customer regularly comes back for more and is happy and satisfied with what you deliver? If you do some analysis on your sales statistics you are likely to find that they follow the 80/20 or Pareto rule – 80% of you business will come from just 20% of your customer base. Study these customers to find out what they have in common, either location, or age or type of organisation etc. This tells you straight away which should be your target market.

And the more specific you are, the more focused your marketing can be and the better the results. Narrowing down your target market and focusing on just one type of customer means you can more closely target them. You can see which marketing channels to use to communicate with them and you can begin to look for the right type of prospect and work out the best approach.

One of our clients, Tots to Travel, is a really good example of a niche marketing business. They are a specialist travel agent based in the UK selling self catering holiday accommodation, but they focus purely on properties suitable for babies and toddlers. They seek out properties across Europe and tailor them specifically for their customers – families travelling abroad , often for the first time, with their baby, toddler or often both. This is their chosen market and they target these parents through very specific marketing channels.

Once you know your target market you can then begin to get to know this customer type in greater detail – the more you know about them the better as this helps you to create the best product and service proposition for them. What unique needs does this sector have and how can you meet these? Go into detail and understand what their problems are and how you can solve them.

Tots to Travel have built up a huge amount of knowledge about their customers and their wants and needs and the types of properties and facilities that young families want. And because this target market is still very large they continue to refine it down and down through customer feedback and research so they understand which types of young families choose to holiday with them.

Niche marketing is more cost effective because you’re spending your budget to reach only the exact customer you want. The key is to know who you want to attract and having the confidence to focus on this market.

Entry filed under: Marketing, Sales, Uncategorized.

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