Rule Number One when writing marketing materials is "Know Your Target Market." There's a lot of foundational work to do before you ever put a word on paper (more about this in future issues), but this is the place to start.
What happens when you define your target market and become intimately acquainted with their needs and problems?
1. Prospects will read your materials and know exactly why they need you
There's a big difference between marketing to just anyone who crosses your path and a target market of, say, seniors over 65 who own their own homes. A senior over 65, who owns her own home, has very specific needs. When you know her needs you can develop a sharply focused marketing message that makes her feel you're talking directly to her. And guess what? When she feels that you understand her, she'll be more willing to do business with you.
2. It gives direction to your product or service
"The Apprentice" was a hit TV series where two opposing teams are given a business project to complete. In one episode, their assignment was to develop a new toy for Mattel, the largest toy manufacturer in the world. A Mattel executive said: "In this business you always want the kids to steer you." In the end the losing team was told that their idea showed a lack of understanding of what children want and like. Bingo! They had not paid attention to their target market - children. And they lost.
When you define your target market and know their likes and dislikes, you can direct all your ideas and resources towards this group. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, your business will gain focus.
3. It's easier to plan an effective marketing strategy
Knowing your target market helps you decide how and where to promote your business. If you're targeting doctors, then you can decide how and where to find doctors to talk to. On the other hand, if you're targeting corporate executives, it's clear that you won't achieve your objectives by hanging out with small business owners.
The result: less time and money wasted running down marketing cul-de- sacs, more time and money dedicated to finding and talking to your perfect clients.