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Narrow Your Market to Hit Your Target

By: Shannon Cherry

Shannon Cherry, APR helps businesses and nonprofit organizations to be heard. She’s a marketing communications and public relations expert with more than 15 years experience and the owner of Cherry Communications. For more tips and tricks – or information about her services, visit www.cherrycommunications.com. Contact her at shannon@cherrycommunications.com.

To some online business owners the thought of specializing is terrifying. They think that if they specialize they'll miss a huge part of their potential market.

The reality is that if they don't specialize then their target market will be way too broad. Marketing to a general audience can put a huge strain on a marketer's budget and reduce a campaign's return on investment.

It’s important for every business to find its niche, so it can market to those who will use its products or services, not to those who can.

Let’s face it, you can’t be everything to everyone – and you shouldn’t try to be. The best marketing experts know that the more they keep driving down to their niche, and right for that specific group, the more success they have. That’s because they focus their message.

So how do you find out what your niche is and who the people are that will use it?

If you've been in business for a little while, finding your target market is easy. Just pull out your client/customer records and ask yourself:
  • What people or businesses use my services and/or products the most?

  • What are the common demographics of my customers? What income level are they at? Do they rent or do they own their own homes? Are they young and single, middle aged with children, or older and retired? Are they male or female?

  • What are the commonalities that my best business-to-business clients share? Are they e-commerce companies? How many employees do they have? Are they large profit or not-for-profit?
By determining what your customers have in common and what common products or services these customers purchase, you've just discovered your niche and the market you should be targeting.

If you're just starting out and need to discover what your niche is and whom you should be marketing to, then you first need to ask yourself two questions: what are you best at doing and what do you like doing the most. Your answers to those questions should determine what your company specializes in.

To find out who will use your services or buy your products check out your competition to learn how they do business and what customers they attract. You should also conduct a survey to profile and build a database of potential clients/customers to market to.

Specializing might be a terrifying thought, but throwing money into a marketing campaign that only focuses on the possibles – not the probables – is even scarier.

© Copyright 2005 Cherry Communications/Be Heard Solutions

Other Articles by Shannon Cherry

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.

 

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