Target Marketing 101

Basic techniques to find your high value customers

Given that marketing is becoming more personalized, the key to success in business is reaching your high value target market.  So how do you find your target market?     
Use these Basic techniques to get closer to your target market… so you can give them what they want…
and grow your business. 

FIRST List the qualities of your ideal customer

  • Who are your most loyal customers? 
  • What problem does your product/service solve & who needs your product service most?
  • Where can you find customers that use your product/service?  Locations offline/online, geographic, industry
  • Why do they love your brand & who else is similar?
  • Who else could become part of your target market that isn’t already?
  • Think beyond basic demographics of age, location & industry to include life stage, hobbies, & values

NEXT  Create a target market communication plan 

  • What forms of media do they enjoy and use regularly? 
  • What advertising are they motivated by:  types of content, message type & form of media? 
  • What is the cost of reaching your target market for each media type? 
  • Which ones are in budget & likely to succeed? 
  • Use a small sample to test your communication in multiple forms of media & with multiple messages. 
  • Choose the method of communication where you get the best response and be prepared to test which of your communications they respond to at least twice a year.

FINALLY  Listen to your target market

Don’t just send your message to your target market and walk away! Get ready to engage with them and continue the conversation.

  • Use comments, social feeds, social media listening, your sales team & customer service to:
  • Hear what your target market thinks of your brand, product/service, & marketing communication. 
  • Adjust your campaign with this input as needed to stay 1) relevant & 2) ahead of what your target market needs.  Anticipate what will make them value your product even more. 

Let these techniques help you find your target market so you can reach them with the products and services they want and need for better business results.

Repeat this process with any new products to make sure you invest wisely in successful advertising, social media and marketing.

“Target Marketing means you are putting your customer and their needs at the center of your focus and attention.  You are making your customer the most important aspect of doing business, so your products/services are the best they can be. “ 
– Heather H. Bennett, Creative Brand Coach

Here are a few expert resources to keep in mind for more information about target markets.

Disruptor caveat:

Over the past few years, I have found myself using the term “ideal customer” instead of “target market”. This may be because of the nature of the work I am doing, what my clients need or simply a change in the overall way marketers are looking at how to reach customers and consumers in a way that doesn’t seem like a continuous sales pitch.

If you are interested in reading a truly disruptive and innovative way to look at target marketing I highly recommend the book, Rooting Up: Essays on Modern Branding by Emily Soccorsy and Justin Foster of Root+River. In it they state, “No one wants to be anyone’s target. To call a group of humans a “target market” dehumanizes them and reduces them to a set of stats and labels.”

I agree to a point… if you are purely looking at high level data and trying to group potential customers forcibly into a few categories… yes, this is dehumanizing. However, if the alternative is to simply use demographics or- even worse – pretend everyone wants and should buy your product, well then defaulting to the imperfect, but still functional concept of “target marketing” is not a deal breaker.

We all have a limited amount of time and resources… and more choices for our marketing budget than ever before. Be thoughtful about what tools, advice and research you use to choose how to spend your marketing dollars. Focus on how the marketing strategy will impact your business, bring a return on investment and show consistency with your core brand values.

The Future of Marketing: 90% of Marketers Say It’s All About Getting Personal

from @MobileMktrDaily

My take: Marketing is moving to individualized message.  Therefore it is important to know your audience to get the individualized message right.  

Don’t Spoil Secrets with Retargeting: 5 tips 

by Bryan Pearson Simply collecting information isn’t the answer to understanding your customer and building a lasting relationship. Marketers need to use this data wisely and keep their customers’ needs and desires at the center of the business. The post shares 5 tips about how to do that.  My take: Clear tips to understand your target market.

Four simple steps to defining and reaching your target market

by Paula Hutchings & @TalentedLadies 

My take: This group sets the bar high for useful, helpful & practical business knowledge.  A terrific set of steps to help guide you to your target market

How to Use Laddering By Henk Hoets
Quote: “You use laddering to develop unique selling propositions in your ads. “

My take: Using laddering to better understand your target markets, useful to creating content specifically for your audience

Heather H. Bennett is a marketing strategist, personal brand coach, and author of Fun and Fulfilling Careers One Question at a Time. Heather lives and works in Chicago, Illinois and is passionate about helping businesses and professionals build strong brands to connect with their target market and reach their personal and professional goals.  

Find Heather via Twitter @creativebrandch &


2 thoughts on “Target Marketing 101

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s