I’ve recently had a spate of fairly generic emails from lead generation companies. They all follow the same lines suggesting they can cold call prospects and set whos-your-targetappointments.

I’ve never bothered responding to any of them. Principally because they’ve never bothered thinking about if I was in their market. Nor did they target the message highlighting issues they know I’m likely to be facing and how they could possibly help.

In Marketing 101 we drill 3 core concepts into our clients.

Market – Message – Media Match.

i.e. Define your market. Figure out what will generate their interest and how you can get your message in front of them.

We’ll cover Market today.

Can you define exactly who’s in your market? And please don’t say “everybody”.

You must be able to narrow down exactly who your target is. The critical question is do they consider the problem you’re solving important enough to spend money on fixing it?

Read that last statement again. The critical question is, will your market spend money on your solution.

Reminds me of a salutary lesson I learned in the mid 80’s.

As a team working on an Entrepreneur’s Diploma, we were “marketing” a product designed to join pieces of sheet metal. Frankly it was a solution looking for a problem.

My take was why would you bother – there were any number of other proven, highly efficient ways of doing this. This method was extremely clunky and the inventor was difficult to work with. He would have had trouble giving away the technology.

The team who won the State and then National championship found a product which had a ready market. With a clever marketing strategy they sold over $50K’s worth and won!

Nothing’s changed.

Therefore 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.

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.

There are 2 main ways of defining a market. 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 of a demographic is it’s quantifiable.

Psychographics define 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?

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?”

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.

Don’t assume you know the answers. Remember the adage, “If you assume, you make an ass of you and me”. Except in this case, it’s going to cost you a lot of money.

In future episodes 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.

And in the meantime, if your sales are plateauing and you want more leads and improved conversion rate, our Accelerated Business Growth program will help. You can get more details here.

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