If we asked you to describe your typical customer, would you be able to accurately pinpoint them?
Could you answer questions like: Are they young, middle-aged, or seniors? Male or female? How much do they typically earn? What employment category would they fall into? Are they located near your business or somewhere farther away?
The truth is that without the answers to these questions, marketing success is much less likely. Why? Businesses must have a firm grasp of who their existing customers are in order to effectively reach prospects who fit the same profile.
If your business has an established customer base, it is crucial to gather the following information before launching any marketing endeavors:
- The majority of our customers are between the ages _________ and ________.
- Our customers are ______% male, ______% female, OR we serve couples.
- We estimate that our typical customer usually earns between $_________ and $_________.
- We do business with customers who are ______% blue collar, ______% white collar, ______% professionals, ______% ethnic, ______% urban, & ______% suburban.
- ______% of our customers live under 5 miles away; ______% live 5-10 miles away; ______% live 10-20 miles away; ______% live farther away.
If your business is new to the scene and does not have an accurate idea of its target market yet, then it’s best to conduct industry research or seek input from a similar business in another market.
Once your business understands its current (or potential) customer base, it’s time to begin targeting your radio advertising to that niche demographic.
For example, if you understand that your target market consists of males between the ages of 35 to 45, who are typically white collar business professionals earning upwards of $100,000 per year, you should promote your business on a radio station who steadily proves to reach that demographic. You must also be sure that the creative aspect of your advertisements will appeal to and attract that type of person.
Marketing to such a niche group could trick you into thinking that your advertising is too targeted and you must branch out to other groups. However, as Michael Corbett says, you must “resist the temptation to be all things to all people” (Corbett, 2004). He terms this, “fragmentation targeting,” and strongly believes that business who fall into this trap never succeed.
That being said, heed this warning: Don’t attempt to expand your advertising efforts to reach all groups in your community. Pursue the type of people that have already proven to be loyal customers. Commit your company to promoting to its target market and experience enduring advertising success.
Adapted from “The 33 Ruthless Rules of Local Advertising” by Michael Corbett (2004).