Best Practices for Target Marketing Your Small Business

Jul 2020

target market small businessIt is often said that ‘marketing to everyone is marketing to no one.’ When growing your business, it is tempting to want to throw marketing against the wall and see what sticks; you want to reach as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. However, in order to effectively market your product or service, it is necessary to define your ideal customer and build your marketing efforts around what you believe will appeal most to them. Target marketing can truly be the difference your company needs to make impactful growth in lead generation and brand reach. Follow these best practices to help you get started.

Know Your Segments

The easiest way to start targeting is to narrow down your segments. In marketing, consumers are typically divided into four categories: demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic. Demographic and geographic segmentations are great starting points – identifying the age, gender, and location of your ideal customer is simple enough and can act as a base to build the rest of your segmentation. Behavioral segmentation is often done by looking at data; you can further divide customers by their purchase history, brand interactions, and more. Psychographic segmentation is typically the final step, as it takes a bit more thinking. It involves breaking down customer values, beliefs, personalities, and lifestyles. Defining your target market among these four categories will give you a better understanding of who is your target.

Build Buyer Personas

Once you’ve defined your market segments, it can be confusing to determine how to actually speak to them. Writing collateral to cast a wide net is going to be far less effective than writing for the specific group you have chosen, but this begs the question: where do you start your messaging? The answer is simple – build a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a fictional human who represents your ideal customer. It includes a detailed summary of habits, qualities and characteristics someone in your target audience might embody. Building a buyer persona can help humanize your target market, to make it easier to understand how to speak to them and what they may be interested in. 


Look For Trends

After you know your target audience and feel confident in who they are, you need to understand what topics will catch their interest. Taking notice of trends in the digital world is a great way to ensure you are talking about things they care about. Start with keyword research to identify what they are searching for, and the phrasing that leads them to a click. Once you have a solid keyword base to build your messaging on, it will be much easier to reach your consumers. Additionally, keep your finger on the pulse of social trends in your target market – Which platforms are they on? What social media trends are they participating in? Are there events or holidays coming up that they will celebrate? These are all questions that can shape your messaging, and help you nail that post, ad, or email blast. 


More than 70% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting. 

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