I suggest that every business owner spend some time getting clear about exactly what target market you serve or wish to serve witht the products or services your business offers. You may serve multiple target markets. It is important to gain clarity about what specific groups of people you want to sell to and how they differ from each other in terms of how they benefit from your product or service as well as how they differ in how you reach them with your marketing message.
For example, a home improvement contractor could have one target market that consists of homeowners in certain geographic area and with a specifc set of demographics. He could also have another target market that consists of real estate property managers.
For another example, a massage therapist could have one target market that consists of professional business people who enjoy regular massages for stress relief, and she could have another target market that consists of athletes who are recovering from an injury.
In both cases, you as the business owner want to be able to clearly define your different market segments: What are their characteristics (demographics, habits, etc) and where are they located geographically if that is a factor in your business model.
Next, you want to define how your product or service benefits each market segment. Then you will be ready to craft a marketing message for each group that they can relate to.
Finally you will need to decide on the best method to reach that market segment. Some groups of customers will be best reached through advertising, whether it is direct mail, internet advertising, etc. Other will be best connected with via referral or personal introductions. Still others might be reached by cold calling or canvassing, or at a trade show or other event. Often you will end up crafting a multi-pronged strategic approach to reaching each of your target markets.
The first step to to define who they are. Taking the time to document the characteristics and location for each of your customer segments is an activity that is extremely valuable and will greatly increase your opportunities for success in reaching your target customers.
If you want to find out more, attend one of our free business planning classes.