Every business needs to answer 3 fundamental questions.
- Who is your market?
- What message from you will make them sit up and take notice?
- Can you get traffic? i.e. get your message in front of them – economically?
Today we’ll cover “market”.
When working with a new business client one of my first questions is “who is your market?” More often than not, the answer is “everyone”.
Accountants do tax. Real estate agents sell property. Plumbers are plumbers. Builders build houses. So yes, in theory “anyone” could be their client.
But having that mindset is a big mistake.
Many years ago a mentor who’s an extremely wealthy businessman hammered a concept into me.
You can be the Jack of all trades, and master of none. He went on to say specialists make more money than generalists and in business you really want to be known for something – to stand out from the crowd.
To succeed you must niche down your potential target market and concentrate in defined areas.
Most business owners when hearing this react adversely – mainly through fear. They think that niching down and narrowing the potential prospect list will mean there will be less business to be had.
The opposite is true.
Narrowing the market will allow you to target prospects specifically with a marketing message that resonates exactly with their pains, frustrations, hopes and desires.
You attract exactly the people you want while repelling the rest who aren’t a good fit.
In effect you’re qualifying out as much as qualifying in which will save you a lot of time by not having to deal with people who won’t be good prospects for your business.
So how do you go about selecting your market niche?
There are 2 main ways of looking at a niche. Demographics and psychographics.
Demographics are physical attributes.
Industry, size of business, location, age ranges of individual consumers, gender, occupation, income level etc. The defining characteristic is a demographic is quantifiable.
A home builder’s market could be people within a range of suburbs looking to build a house in a specific price range. A bookkeeper might work with clients who have between 2 and 10 employees within 10km of his office.
Psychographics segments your market based on how they think. Their personality traits, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyle.
People who only buy organic food are an example. The psychographic question is “why?”. Is it health related (they don’t want to eat pesticides), or do they believe it’s better for the environment?
Holiday makers who only want 5 star travel versus backpackers who are happy to rough it.
Often your market consists of both demographic and psychographic elements so it’s important to understand both so you can align your message accurately.
The next obvious questions are “Are there enough of them?” and “Will they pay money for a solution to their problems?”
Therefore it’s critical you do your market research, talk to real people and find out what it is they want and are willing to pay for.
If you truly want to succeed, in the words of legendary marketer, the late Gary Halbert, “Find a starving crowd”. In other words, find a need and give people what they want. Don’t build a better mousetrap and hope people will beat a path to your door. They won’t!
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll cover the other two critical questions around creating a message that makes your audience sit up and take notice and the traffic and conversion economics you must have an absolute handle on to be profitable.
Rashid & Barbara.