Here’s an example of how you can think your targeting the right audience, but in fact be just enough off-base to get in the way of your own success.
Bob is a mechanic who owns and operates his own auto repair shop. He’s been in business for two years and has four trained technicians to keep busy, so he’s been trying to attract new clients. Bob was trying to be pro-active, by sending out letters to new homeowners in the area, rather than wait for people to show up at his shop. Bob figured that people who had just moved to town would need a new mechanic.
Unfortunately, Bob’s strategy wasn’t working out the way he wanted, and he didn’t know why. He was only getting one or two inquires from each mailing of 500. Bob’s problem was the he figured that anyone with a car would be his target audience.
You’d think that Bob would be right, that any car owner living in the area is a potential client. It turns out that car owners have very different attitudes towards car maintenance, which meant that Bob would have to adjust his target.
This is the same mistake that most small business owners make in thinking about their target market. By trying to market to everyone who might use his service, instead of targeting the most likely prospects, Bob wasn’t reaching the right target audience. And the result was costly and inefficient marketing strategy was.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, so if you find yourself continuing you marketing habits without evaluating the results, you might be driving yourself crazy.
Ask yourself: are you getting the number of inquiries and sales you want from your target market? If you’re not getting what you want, why are you marketing the same way over and over again?
You have options. Instead of broad-based marketing, which can be costly, try to target potential customers more precisely and shape your marketing accordingly.
There are actually three types of people in your target market:
1. The people with immediate problems. These potential customers are dealing with urgent concerns and want solutions now. For Bob, these were the drivers with a flat tire or a blown head gasket.
2. The people who have a mild problem, or want to improve their situation, and are considering a purchase. These people need more information so they can understand why they should use your product or service, and they may take more time to reach a decision to buy. For Bob, these are people who need their disc brake pads replaced before they fail and cause more costly damage, or who could be getting better mileage with a properly tuned engine, or who should purchase new tires soon to avoid a potential accident. These are the people who need to be educated in order to make a decision.
3. The people who won’t be buying anytime soon. Sometimes people aren’t interested in spending money not matter what you’re selling; no matter what you say or do they don’t want to be bothered. Sometimes, even if you have the perfect product or solution, you’re not going to get their business. For Bob, these are people who never take a car to a mechanic unless the broken part could no longer be wired back together or the car won’t start.
These three personality types are true in any business. It’s important to know the three types and then to identify the three types as they relate to your potential customers and contacts. Clearly, marketing to this last group of people is a waste of your time and money.
You’ll find that you get a much better response by targeting your prospects more precisely. This means knowing what your prospective clients are looking for and marketing to it. You’ll end up spending less on marketing, while signing more new clients.
Bob found he needed to focus his marketing on the drivers who want to fix or prevent a problem. So with a few tweaks to the marketing mailing – like a few questions to help potential customers identify their concerns and then give them some helpful maintenance tips that involve his services Bob got the results he was looking for.
You can do the same, with a few changes to your marketing strategy and your copy, you’ll be able to avoid any marketing breakdowns.
Tags: area, Auto, auto repair shop, car, car maintenance, car owner, car owners, client, decision, definition of insanity, Draft, mailing, Marketing, money, new homeowners, shop, small business marketing, small business owners, target audience, target market, Targeting, time, way