Marketing and Business Management Consulting
for When You Are Short of Cash, Time, or Know-How

Use Target Marketing
To Beat Your Competition

Simple Steps to Identify and Land
Your Most Profitable Customers

Part One

By John Rust

Have you ever asked yourself why one particular business always seems to get lots of customers and another doesn't, or how a business that seems very busy doesnt make much money?

It is often because the more successful business has a sharply targeted marketing plan. In fact, even a basic marketing plan can set you ahead of the competition because so many others dont have any plan at all.

A marketing plan keeps you aimed at the most profitable customers. It gives you the discipline to identify your ideal prospects; to know what they want that only you can give to them; which ones you will have less competition for, how to tell them about your service, and how to convert them from prospects into paying clients.

Marketing Basics in Seven Simple Steps

There are seven steps to develop your marketing plan: Identify your Target Market; and the "Six P's of Marketing" where you plan how to serve that market.

Marketing Step 1 "Identify your Targets":

Hunters identify their targets. Marketers call this "target marketing." A target market is a group of prospective customers who are unique in some way.

There are two requirements for a good target market. The first is that you can determine what is unique about it. No two customers are exactly alike, but you can separate them in to categories, or market segments.

Ask yourself what makes one customer different from another. What are they seeking? Where do they live? Where do they shop? Do they read certain publications? Are they bargain hunters, or will they pay extra for your good for service?

The second requirement is that you can reach the segment with your message. Prospective customers need to learn who you are. Fortunately, many target markets can be identified purely by the advertising method that reaches them. For instance, your target market could be readers of a certain local or national publication.

The more you know about your prospective customers the better. Most of your competitors will not know as much about their market, so they might waste money by running an ad in a general newspaper hoping that everyone in the world will be interested. Of course, they won't be.

When you narrow the field and send your message directly at your selected targets, you can make a sure and successful hit. I guarantee that this is the most cost effective marketing approach, even though the number of prospects you reach is fewer and the advertising method more costly. The end result will be a bigger payoff.

The Six "P's" of Marketing:

Once you have identified your target market, you can choose your weapons and start loading up.

The next six steps are called the "Six P's of marketing. The "P" stands for Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People and Politics.

Continue reading: The Six "P's" of Marketing.

This article originally appeared in the Professional Guide,
the official magazine of the Maine Professional Guides Association

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