Although I have never run before, I decided a year or so ago that I wanted to be a runner. My disdain for running was so strong that despite being an honor roll student I received a D in physical education because I refused to run the mile. Blame it on watching Forrest Gump one too many times but I gained the desire to just keep running. When I started it only took me a good 45 seconds before I was huffing and puffing and needed a break but I kept trying, through asthma and physical ailments I have kept running. I’m now working virtually with a trainer who has me doing 2 miles per day, 6 days per week and although it is still a walk-run combination I’m improving and going longer distances and pushing to run the full two miles. So why am I talking about running? My hubby made a comment this morning as I was dragging myself out of bed to go run despite the arctic temperatures in Atlanta today that I am a part of a lot of demographics and now a part of the “runner” demographic.
I thought about it and I am. I shop at running stores, buy gadgets and apps for running, participate in 5k’s etc. this got me thinking about what other demographics I belong to. I’m a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, a women owned business, a marketer, a consultant, a speaker, a runner, a queso Americana connoisseur (that IS a demographic right?) and the list goes on. My combination of demographics is what makes me unique, it is also what drives my buying decisions. For example, the combination of being a mother and a business owner often leads me to taking my kids on outings that allow me to multi-task (Bouncy house with free WiFi anyone?) And, because I’m a mom and a runner my choice of parks are those that include a running track around the children’s play areas.
So what does this mean? Or more important, what does this mean for YOU and your business?
It means that all customers are not created equally, and they should not be treated the same. It means that who you include in your target audience goes way beyond basic demographic profiles (age, income, education, and marital status). It means how you target them needs to be as unique as they are. Let’s dig into these last two points in greater detail:
- Your Target Audience Must Be Specific
Everyone is not your target audience, they may buy from you, but they are not necessarily your target audience. Your target customer are the specific individuals that you build your business around. You understand them inside and out, you cater to their needs and desires, you do everything you possibly can to uniquely position yourself to be not just the best, but the ONLY choice for them. When trying to identify this audience you have to thing through the demographics that matter. What attitudes and beliefs must they possess? Does age, gender, marital status, or education matter? What are their hobbies? Dig deep into what needs or desires your product or service fulfills and work backwards to understand what people fit your solution.
- Your Marketing Message & Tactics Must Be Targeted
Once you understand your audience you must speak directly to THEM. Have you ever been sitting in church and although the preacher is speaking to the entire congregation his/her message is so specific you just KNOW they are speaking directly to you? THAT is how your customers should feel when they read/ see your marketing message. And just like in church, the message may not be speaking directly to you, but you still get something from it that can apply to your life. The same is true for your target audience. Your ideal customer will know you are speaking to them and they will be moved to purchase, and something in your message will resonate with others and they too will buy from you. SCORE!
When you understand that all customers are not created equally and market based on a very specific target audience you not only end up with more customers but you also attract the RIGHT customers. The ones that you love working with, who sing your praises, but lots, and refer people just like them.
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