Targeting your sales market is now easier and more precise than ever before. This is because we have 21st-century tools-of-the-trade that provide more access to markets, prospects, and ultimately, sales. You just need to know where to look and how to capture that market.
Let’s explore some of the basics of targeting your sales market in the 21st century.
(And check out Spiro’s sales automation CRM for some additional help!)
Study Your Market
You want to learn everything you can about your market, from the size of your demographic to your distribution channels. You may start out with a broad idea of what your market is. Later though, you’ll need to know what niches, if any, exist within your market. If they do exist, you also need to know how to break them down to better serve them.
Where your target market is the general consumer market, the niche is a subset of that market. For instance, you could be a business consultant. Your target market might be small business owners, but your niche might be beauty supply shops. You would then be targeting small beauty supply shop owners. If you’re going to understand your target market, there are few things you need to look at. These are known as market segmentations.
Understanding Market Segmentation
1. First, there is the geographic location of your market. This is where your target market is located. You can segment your market by country, state, city, or other localized region.
2. Next, you’ll need to look at demographics including age, gender, family, education, occupation, income, race, religion, and more.
3. Then, there are psychographic traits, which are segmentations of your market. These help your marketing by better understanding your niche using the profiles of your target audience. This includes their personalities, interests, personal values, social status, and lifestyle.
4. Finally, we have behavioral attributes that reveal consumer behaviors, such as purchasing or trying products or services. Some key attributes include purchase volume, benefits sought, shopping frequency, readiness to buy, and brand loyalty.
Know Your Market
When you’re trying to find your target sales market, you must look at it in terms of your market’s psychographic makeup. By knowing your customers’ needs and consumption habits, you can assess whether or not that market segment is correct. There are three different types of markets:
Consumer – The consumer market is for individuals and households purchasing products that directly benefit themselves and their families.
Industrial – The industrial market is for individuals and organizations purchasing products that directly benefit their daily operations.
Reseller – The reseller market is for wholesalers and retailers purchasing products. They then sell these products to other individuals or organizations for a profit.
You need to know your sales market in order to make more sound sales decisions. Now, let’s say that you peddle software and your market is global. You still need to use market segmentation to understand the differences in cultures and needs from international users. This helps you to pinpoint your target markets so you can focus all your time and energy on those markets. This is how you build and grow your business. Research your industry as much as possible to learn more about how market segmentation works within your chosen industry.
Network Like a Boss
If you are building your business, you’re going to make a lot of contacts throughout the course of your efforts. The industry contacts you make will help your business grow bigger and faster than ever before. This means you need to work on building your network online and in real-life. For starters, you need to ensure that you always have your business card at the ready. You should include your phone number, email, and social media accounts. A physical address of your office or business is also helpful.
Make sure you’re also active on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where your professional network can take off. Your reputation is everything online, so be sure that your social media accounts are clean and professional (unlike these). This helps attract like-minded professionals that can help your business in some way.
You can also hit up industry trade shows and conventions to meet more contacts, negotiate deals, and build your brand. This also gives you the opportunity to learn more about your competition. Doing so is crucial if you want to understand your target market. They may have insights that they can share with you.
Build Your Customer Profiles
Targeting your market is basically just naming who your customers are. But what if you don’t know who your customers are? That’s when you build your customer profiles. A customer profile is a snapshot of the type of customer you are targeting. A sample customer profile might reveal the general age, gender, income, marital status, level of education, occupations, and more. When you’re building your customer profile, remember to take into account all these points. This helps to give a more robust picture of who your customers are. Much like building personas, your customer profiles will provide you with insight to better target your market segmentations.
Customer profiles are important because they allow salespeople to get inside the customer’s head. You can see what drives them to buy, and how their purchasing decisions will affect the bottom line. By building strong customer profiles, you won’t need to play the guessing game. You’ll know exactly how to reach your customer with your message.
Know the Context
Don’t forget that customer profiles can vary depending on region, language, and culture. A good example of this is when Procter & Gamble introduced Pampers baby diapers in Japan. Their marketing campaign featured images of storks carrying babies. However, Japanese lore associates babies with being delivered on giant peaches. This error cost the company millions of dollars because they misunderstood their customers’ cultural context.
Now you understand a little more about how to target your sales market in the 21st century. Let’s review some of the things you need to concern yourself with.
I mentioned how important it is to understand your customers and their needs. You have to be able to paint an image of who your target customer is. This way you know how to recognize them when they’re interested in your brand. I also highlighted that you must think about your niche markets, which will reveal the customers likeliest to buy. You also learned that your brand must be at the top of its game to solve your customers’ problems. And, you found out that you have to keep tabs on your competition. Lastly, you learned about market segmentation and how to build customer profiles. These will help you hit your targeted sales market.
Now go out there and target those sales markets!