Marketing to your target and targeting your market are two very different concepts. Finding a target market is something your business does once it is established and growing. Before getting that far though, your business must know what market or in other terms, what industry you belong in. You need to know who your competitors are and who they are marketing to. You need to know the art of the sale.
The decision to choose an industry to begin marketing your business in is not to be taken lightly. It may seem simple to the naked eye but there are factors to take into consideration. Ask yourself several questions regarding who you are and what your business is about. This list is just a few you should include when researching your industry. Be thorough. Don’t rush through this step. “I sell men’s shoes,” seems like an easy industry to narrow down but without really putting the work in, you could be leading yourself towards the wrong targets.
- Are there other companies that already provide this service/make this product?
- Are you selling something or making something?
- Do you/will you have a store front?
- How is your business classified? An office? Retail?
- What proof do you have that customers are looking for what you have to offer?
- Do you already know someone in the industry?
Once you’ve done your research, get into contact with a local chamber of commerce or industry association. Networking your new business will help you create the proper niche for your company. Once you’ve targeted the proper market, you can begin marketing to your targets, so to speak.
Advertising as part of a certain industry will make a big difference. If you specifically sell men’s shoes but advertise only as a retail store, you are missing out on the opportunity of being an expert in your field. Rather than just a retail store, you are a shoe store. If you are printing magazine ads, you’ll want your advertisement in a sports or hunting magazine, not a beauty or gossip one.
Studying and knowing all about the industry you are a part of gives you a lead over your competitors. Don’t let your marketing efforts go to waste. Knowing what they are doing to be successful or on the contrary, what is causing them to fail can give you pointers on what mistakes to avoid making and what expenses are worth taking. Keep in mind that you won’t want to settle on simply copying the marketing moves of others. You will still need to develop new and innovative campaigns yourself but having that background history from other companies that have already done what you are trying to do can send you down the right path.
There is a lot to think about prior to launching a new business. Target marketing is just one piece of the puzzle.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, an online business directory. She also specializes on marketing.