More difficult than starting a business from home is Marketing the Business. Marketing is the life wire of every business. It is indispensable. It is both mandatory and also very difficult. If you want to see the Baby (Profits), you must care about the Labour (Marketing). “When it comes to marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching anybody. Vague and generic messages are far less likely to resonate with audiences than specific, direct communication – which is why targeting in marketing is so important.”- Jennifer Yesbeck It is one thing to Identify the target market and is another thing to reach the target market. The hardest part is reaching the market, the market is where you find your clients.
So, once you are able to map out a well planned strategy to reach the market, then every other thing becomes easy. Before we go in-depth on this subject, I want to pause for a moment to talk about an important point. Sales and marketing are all about providing more value than you receive. It’s as simple as that. Half the battle is having a product or service that is providing more value than your competitors. There are hundreds of different ways for you to reach your target customer. The goal here is to get you to think like a salesperson and marketer. Think of these reasons as principles or a guide book for why reaching your target market is the hardest and most important part of starting a Home-based Business.
Why Is Targeting in Marketing So Important? Response by Jennifer Yesbeck below; Targeting in marketing is important because it’s a part of a holistic marketing strategy. It impacts advertising, as well as customer experience, branding, and business operations. When your company focuses on target market segmentation, you can do the following: Speak directly to a defined audience. Marketing messages resonate more deeply with audiences when readers can relate directly to the information. Brands that have a large, varied market of customers often struggle with creating marketing campaigns that speak directly to their audience. Because their viewers are very different, few slogans or stories can resonate with each person on a personal level. Through target marketing, you can alleviate this problem and focus on crafting messages for one specific audience. Attract and convert high-quality leads. When you speak directly to the people you want to target, you are more likely to attract the right people. Your marketing will more effectively reach the people most likely to want to do business with you. When you connect with the right people, you are then more likely to get high-quality, qualified leads that will turn into paying customers. Differentiate your brand from competitors. When you stop trying to speak to every customer in your market and start focusing on a smaller segment of that audience, you also start to stand out from competitors in your industry. When customers can clearly identify with your brand and your unique selling propositions, they will choose you over a competitor that isn’t specifically speaking to or targeting them. You can use your positioning in marketing to make your brand more well-known and unique. Build deeper customer loyalty. The ability to stand out from competitors by reaching your customers on a more personal, human level also creates longer-lasting relationships. When customers identify with your brand and feel like you are an advocate for their specific perspectives and needs, they will likely be more loyal to your brand and continue to do business with you over a longer period of time. Improve products and services. Knowing your customers more intimately also helps you look at your products and services in a new way. When you have a deep understanding of your target audience, you can put yourself in their shoes and see how you can improve your offerings. You can see what features you can add to better serve your customers. Stay focused. Finally, the benefit of using targeting in marketing is that it also serves to help your brand and team. Target marketing allows you to get more specific about your marketing strategies, initiatives, and direction of your brand. It helps you clarify your vision and get everyone in the organization on the same page. You have more direction when it comes to shaping upcoming plans for both marketing and the business as a whole. A focused approach helps you fully optimize your resources, time, and budget.
The founder of the award-winning Business Know-How small business web site and information resource, Janet Attard has given us several suggestions to help your Home based Business reach the Target Market;
#1. Expand your network.
Your friends and family may be supportive of what you’re doing but they may not be the best sources of referrals. Consider who would make a good customer and then look for ways to meet those people. Depending on what you sell, Chamber of Commerce meetings, PTA meetings, local civic associations, regional trade shows, professional conferences, formal lead-sharing groups, and phone calls can all be effective. So, too, can networking online through social media groups and sites, and online forums if done correctly. Don’t spam the sites or groups with ad for your products or service. Just participate in and contribute helpful information to the groups that are likely to include prospects for your services and you will get known.
#2. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles.
Be sure you have a business-oriented social media profile set up on the major social media sites and a business page set up as well. Be sure your personal profile looks professional. Even if you point people to a business page, those who want to do business with you may also look for your personal pages. If what they see makes them think of frat parties and conversations they wouldn’t want their 5-year-old to overhear instead of someone who’s a responsible upstanding member of the community, they’re not going to do business with you.
#3. Get a website set up and be sure it looks professional.
No matter how many social media groups you participate in or how many local networking groups you belong to, potential customers are likely to take a look at your website before they call you to discuss your services. If you sell products, selling online make it easy for your customers to buy no matter what time of the day or night they want to shop.
#4. Look for needs you can fill and ask for business.
I ran a small business forum on America Online for 11 years because I got on the phone one day in early 1990 and called them to ask about writing a column for them. Remember, if you don’t ask for business, know one will know you want it.
#5. Talk to people.
Anyone and everyone, as circumstances allow. The woman next to you at the “friends” table at a wedding or the man sitting in the seat next to you on the airplane, might just be a customer. Instead of staring into space or twiddling your thumbs, strike up a conversation. Find out what they do, and eventually they’re likely to ask what you do. I know of several businesses including my own that brought in significant new business through just such conversations.
#6. Advertise on the web.
Depending what you sell, pay per click advertising can be an affordable way to find targeted customers for your home business. Even if you just sell to consumers or businesses in your local area, pay per click can be helpful. A surfer looking for a local dentist, might search for the phrase “dentist in Centereach” and be directed to a web site that has a phone number to call a Centereach dentist.
#7. Don’t tell people you run a home business.
Although more than half of the small business in the US are home based, many people still think it’s risky to do business with a home business. If you rented office space at 33 West Main St. for your office support service business, you probably wouldn’t tell people you run a “West Main Street” business. You’d say you provide office support services. So, why say you are in a home business? Home is just the location of the office. It’s the business – the product or service your provide – that’s important.
#8. Give a demonstration.
Contact your public library to see if they’d be interested in a demonstration of how pottery is made. Build a website for a buddy for free, and use the site as part of your portfolio. Offer to decorate a local restaurant or coffee shop with your artwork (and perhaps to give them a commission on any works that sell as a result of the display.
#9. Learn from others in your industry.
Attend meetings where people talk about their successes and problems. Read trade publications, get to know who’s who in the industry, then find ways to introduce yourself to people you’d like to get to know. If you can’t meet them in person, try calling them. Don’t waste their time. Have a specific question or problem in mind that you’d like them to help with. Then follow up with a note thanking them and telling them how much you appreciate their help.
#10. Stay in touch.
Just because a prospect doesn’t buy today doesn’t mean they won’t buy. This is particularly true if you sell to businesses. Some industries and some products have very long buying cycles. Even if the initial prospect doesn’t buy, they may give your name to someone who does.