Marketing’s most basic question is who to target. You need to know who you want to sell to before you can determine market potential, promotional budget and overall positioning. In other words, you can’t do much of anything without a viable target.
Probably because it’s so important, people can get very passionate about one targeting method or another. However, what’s most important about building a consumer target is that it’s clear, understandable and actionable. It’s a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Here’s a short guide to targeting consumers more effectively:
The essence of targeting is defining attributes that make your consumers different from other people. It does no good to describe your consumer as “an intelligent, sophisticated consumer” (as opposed to stupid and naive?). While we all want to think of our customers as attractive people, nice phrases don’t lead to meaningful action.
Furthermore, you want to direct your efforts to your most profitable prospects: the heavy using, high yield consumers. These people usually make up only a small fraction of your total client base, but account for the majority of sales. Even more importantly, they tend to be vastly different from the rest of your customers.
Effective targets usually fall into one of three categories: