If you manufacture, let’s say baby strollers, there’s a baby somehow involved in your buyer’s life, right? Or perhaps one of those pocket chihuahuas dressed like a baby, but let’s not go there. The point is, you wouldn’t market your stroller to some bachelor guy who’s not interested in having a family, nor to adults dealing with teenage kids - that would just stress them out more. No matter how many bells and whistles you share about your stroller to these people, a sale’s not happening, just sayin’. Knowing what your marketing message is does nothing unless you know who the right people are to tell it to, otherwise known as your target audience.
So, the first step in capturing qualified leads and making that sale is to define your audience. To do that, start by asking yourself a few questions.
1. What are the benefits of our product/service?
No, we’re not talking about the bells and whistle again, we’re talking about how those bells and whistles benefit your customer. In the case of your stroller you might list easy transport of precious cargo, ability to be mobile/active, and help when you have your hands full. Now, think about this: who would be looking for these benefits?
2. What problems do we solve?
People seek out products and services basically because they have problems they want to solve. Take some time to think about the challenges your customer might have, who may be likely to have these problems, and how you can solve them.
This goes hand-in-hand with the benefits you’ve determined. When defining your target audience, consider what you’re able to solve with the benefits you provide and then move on to who would be seeking such a solution. Oh, and by the way, how is your solution better than some other stroller manufacturer out there?
3. What does our ideal customer look like?
Don’t take this literally. It doesn’t matter if your customer has blonde hair and blue eyes. What we mean here, is formulating an audience persona - a fictional representation of your ideal customer.
You know how you start to paint a picture in your mind of characters in a book as they become familiar? Well, now that you’ve defined the benefits of your product, the problems you can solve with them and the types of people who need those solutions, you can start conjuring up what those people “look” like.
- Are they primarily male or female?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What is their profession?
- What is their income?
- What is their lifestyle?
- Do they travel?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their responsibilities? Their goals?
Define them in as many ways as you can think possible. Answering these questions gives you the ability to focus in on your target even more, helping to pinpoint your message to exactly the people who are in the market to buy a stroller. Keep in mind, it’s not out of the ordinary to end up with more than just one persona, but the idea is to narrow things down, so be sure to identify which is your primary target, and prioritize from there. For example, your stroller audience is most likely young moms, moms-to-be, grandparents, and yes, maybe even that pocket chihuahua owner. Sorry bachelor guy and parents of teen kids, but you’re officially out of the picture!
Here’s a bonus: not only does identifying your ideal customers and developing their personas narrow your target and eliminate those not in it, but it can even reveal new information about your industry, the market, and your competition.
4. By the way, where is our market?
Where do you want to market your business? Scratch that. Where SHOULD you market your business? Look at the demographic you want to attract and where it is that they’re coming from - not just location but also the types of media they consume. This information allows you to segment your market and break down where exactly your highest potential of ROI resides. Think about these questions:
- What is the reach of our sales team?
- Where is our competition located?
- What is the market potential for our product or service in this area?
- What social media platforms does our audience use most?
- Do they watch TV, listen to the radio or podcasts, read magazines or newspapers?
- How do they search?
- What types of technology do they use?
- Do they text or email?
Meet your audience where they are and they’ll be more likely to receive your message, thus more likely to seek you out as a solution.
5. What now?
Finding your right audience isn’t exactly easy. It involves a lot of research, questions, and more questions. However, taking the time to do this up front will ensure your marketing is hitting the bullseye (moms) rather than completely missing the dartboard (bachelor #1), so to speak. Of course, now that you’re done defining your target audience, we hate to break it to you, but you’re not actually done, done. You’re just done for now.
It’s important to keep this process going to stay current on market and industry trends, your competition, and most importantly, your customers. Study and analyze your marketing efforts regularly - what your customers want and need are likely to evolve over time, and you’ll have to adapt. Before you even begin marketing, make sure you have a plan in place to track sales, customer interactions, and other behaviors so you know if you’re efforts are successful or if you need to switch things up. Measuring results will help you to identify patterns and areas of improvement, and you can use this data to continually help your marketing better reach your audience.
Whew! That was a lot of information, but if you want more, we’re happy to supply it! Check out our free resources or give us a call at 231-727-9778. Marketing for manufacturers like you just happens to be our specialty.