“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” — Peter F. Drucker on the Power of Really Knowing Your Target Market
I recently conducted a Social Media workshop for the Florida Business Incubation Association’s bi-annual meeting where we got into a big debate regarding the definition of their target market. It’s one of my favorite workshops called “So you have a Facebook Fan Page … Now What?” We review everything from creating a social media strategy, defining your target market to learning some tricks to help you ‘work smarter not harder.’
Basically the FBIA organization is a business solution of office locations that ‘provide early stage companies with the enabling tools, training and infrastructure to create financially stable high growth/impact enterprises.’ They have many of these locations all over Florida and each office provides the same business experience to their clients. So you’d think that when we started to review their target market that it would take us about 15 minutes to summarize their typical client and we’d move on to the next segment. That was not the case during our workshop that day.
We found that even though each location offered the same business resources to their clients, each office had a different demographic description of their loyal client based on where in the state their office was located. We even saw a difference in the client profiles for the offices that were located in the same city.
As I walk you through a part of an exercise that we did during the workshop, I’ll share with you some of the differences that came up and how we found a way to include them into their social media strategy.
1. What are the demographics of my target market? Think about who you are trying to reach and break it down into very detailed segments such as age, income level, where they live, male and/or female, do they have children?
When we did this with our FBIA group, we found that the locations down in the South Florida area worked with clients who were older then those in the Orlando area. One of the locations in the Orlando area even noted that while they had clients who ranged from mid-20’s to lower 50’s. The funny part about this location was that everyone seemed to act like they were in a college fraternity and the top downtime activity was playing with the foosball table. Our conversations revealed that the geo-location of the office was one of the predominant factors in determining their target market.
2. What are the key issues, concerns and problems that keep your customers awake at night? What are the ways that your products or services can solve these problems?
When we reviewed these questions with our FBIA participants, again we found that each location had a different answer. Some of their clients were more interested in networking with other technology companies to help them grow their business. Others told us that their clients’ top concerns was to move away from the distractions of working out of their homes to a more professional office environment where they could meet with their customers.
So go ahead and re-read the opening quote from Peter Drucker and join me in saying, “Ain’t that the truth!” I couldn’t think of a better way to start and end this post about the importance of discovering your company’s target market when you sit down to start planning your marketing campaigns.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilker/121388412/