Have you ever wondered what is the most important factor in effective marketing? Is it the dazzling new features that the product has? Is it the incredible offer? Is it how fancy or original your marketing material look?
The answer: NONE. The most important factor in effective marketing is targeting the audience you are aiming to reach. Whenever I say this, some people will react with “everybody can use my product”. Well, even if everybody can use your product, EACH one buys from you for a different reason, effective marketing is to message specific groups with specific messages that they care about, instead of a general message that slightly touches all groups.
Now the question becomes: “How do I drill down to the ideal target audience?”. If you review your current client base, you can categorize your clients in the following 4 categories:
Awesome – they spend more than average, are a pleasure to serve and never quibble about price
Basic – they are your solid clients who give you repeat businesses
Can’t deal with – they are the “squeaky wheel”, and constantly compare prices
Dead – they are the inactive customers
Which category of clients do you need for your business to grow in a healthy way? Awesome (A-grade) clients of course! Your job is to then identify some common characteristics of these A-grade clients. These can be factors such as demographics, location, what they buy or how much they spend etc. You can even be more thorough – carry out a client survey and actually ask them! You could also take the opportunity to find out what it is about you that they like, which will help you find your Unique Selling Proposition.
Once you know who your A-grade clients are, you can start to build your marketing campaign targeting those clients. There are many ways to do this but one of the simplest is the 5 ½ W’s approach.
Who do you want to target? – Be as specific as you can!
What do they want? – Which product are they interested in?
Where do you find them? – Is there a common place where most (or some) of your A-grade clients gather? Is there a magazine that most of your A-grade clients read?
When will they be looking? – Is there any time-dependent buying pattern?
Why should they take action? – What is that compelling offer that makes your clients take actions?
How are you going to communicate to them? – What medium will you choose – radio, social media, letter, telephone?
This way, you can target your future clients one by one with a clear and specific message that will make them react immediately. We call this the guerrilla marketing approach. For more about this topic, you can read “Guerrilla Marketing” by Jay Conrad-Levinson.