Welcome back to Part 2 of my blog series on Understanding Your Market.  If you haven’t read Part 1: Defining Your Target Market yet, I recommend that you read it for a little perspective on my point of view.  However, even if you haven’t read part 1, I’ve written the series so that each article is independent of the other two.  If you have read my first piece, you’ll find that most of the material at the beginning of this article is a rehash of Part 1 and you might want to skip down a little lower to the guts of Part 2.  I needed to include the upper part of in this article as a quick refresher so it might make a little more sense to you, the reader.

Do you have a product or service you’re selling but seem unable to get past the “likes” and “retweets” on social media to actual Sales Conversions?  Or in your diligent email or telemarketing campaign you have “interested” prospects who’ve been on your “list” for months but sales are not converting?

Maybe you’ve been blogging and looking to increase your following with the hopes of monetizing your blog through list building and sales funnels.  Perhaps you’re a writer looking to promote and sell your book with the hopes of becoming a bestselling author topping the charts with not only glowing reviews but actual book sales $$.

It matters not what business you’re in, it’s all the same.  Sales are sales and sales are not necessarily driven by big lists and buckets of followers.   You need a committed customer-base and a consistent audience.  If you’re hoping to make sales conversions from your relationships, it’s critical to find, know, and reach out to your market consistently and engage them where they’re at.

With respect to Sales, size does not matter.

Email campaigns, direct marketing campaigns, media blitzes, print advertising or social media campaigns are a waste of resources if you don’t have a good handle on who it is that’s most influenced by what you’re offering.

If you don’t understand your market and you’re not connecting effectively with them, you’ll never win the conversions you’re hoping for.  Relationships sell.  We know this, this is what’s been drilled into us in every sales and marketing course, seminar, book and workshop.  However, only 1 kind of relationship will manifest sales.  You’ve got to look at moving beyond social and jump into the realm of becoming so compelling that your fan-base or prospect-base is moved to take action and make a purchase.

Your market needs to feel connected to your offering.  It has to matter to them or you’ll be stuck in “making nice” over the phone, Internet, email, and social media channels.  The buying signal comes when your target audience believes that by not purchasing your product or your service, they will be missing out on something that they want or need.  The motivation to click the “buy” button on Amazon to get your book versus simply congratulating you or flipping through the online reviews is imbedded in your prospects conscious and subconscious desires.  Your prospect needs to feel that their lives will be positively impacted through purchasing your book, your product or your service.  If you’re not getting your prospect’s click-through on the Internet or their credit card swipe, you’ve not reaching your Target Market.

You know you’ve done a great job of not only targeting your market, but touching them where they need to be moved when you’ve anticipated their needs and met them in such a way that your offering is irresistible and in return you’re experiencing sales conversions.  You can only anticipate their needs and meet them if you intimately know your market.

blog for someoneThe best print or television ad will fall flat if it misses the mark of engaging the target audience.  Spending millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad campaign will not make conversions if the message is off-base to the intended prospect.  In a Super Bowl 2014 advertising blast, Goldie Box, a toy marketed to young girls, played a tune in the background during their advertisement with lyrics singing, “lets all build like boys!”  Oops!  (Obviously Goldie Box made a critical error in understanding their Target Market).  Goldie Box insulted and infuriated their own audience.  The advertising campaign was not the success that Goldie Box had hoped for and instead of conversions they received negative write-ups and reviews in the media.  Connecting with your target market and motivating them to purchase is never achieved by offending your audience.  Research.  What is important to your Target Market?  What do they want?  What will inspire them to take action to purchase?

Have a service or a product to offer? How do you move from an offering, a promotion, a book, or a blog… to a sales conversion? The answer: Focused Engagement. Focused Engagement means you’ve done your research and your homework and you not only know who your audience is, you know what they need, want and desire. How do you clearly identify this “mind” of your prospect? Engage with them, connect with them, care about them, listen to them and get to know them. When companies pay attention to current customers as well as prospects, they learn what they need for Focused Engagement. 

There are three primary steps to engagement leading to conversions. 

1. Define your target market.
2. Find (locate) and identify your target market.
3. Connect with your target market for maximum impact.

In this blog entry I will discuss Part 2: Finding & Identifying Your Target Market. 

If you would like to read Part 1: Defining Your Target Market just click here.  In the final blog post in this series I will cover Part 3.

Step 2 to Engaging your Target Market for Sales Conversions: Find & Identify Your Target Market

Fishing-businessAfter completing the steps in Part 1 of this series, you should now have a decent idea of what your target market looks like.  Knowing what your target looks like and finding your target though are two different processes with different considerations.  Of the companies that I work with which have a good handle on knowing what their customer looks like, many still make the mistake of casting too wide of a net when marketing to their identified audience.  Remember, one of the primary goals of any business is increasing your ROI (return on investment), thus finding more leads and sales while spending the same or less on your marketing budget is one of the keys of increasing ROI.  It’s critical, no matter what size your business, to make every marketing dollar count.  After defining your target, it’s now time to go fishing in the ocean of prospects to haul in an amazing catch.

To locate your target market, there are 5 keys to discovering how to reach them best with your targeted efforts.

1. Understand the term Psychographic

psychographicsIn my last article we talked a bit about demographics.  Demographics is the study of the essential statistics of a group of people such as age, income, race, sex, education and location.  Psychographics on the other hand is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.  To think of it another way, psychographics is the process using the demographic information you have developed for your target market to determine more about their lifestyle, behaviors and habits.  Psychographics is the psychological study of your target market.

Psychographics is a relatively newer field of study and is heard of a lot less than demographics.  It is, however, just as, if not more powerful than the study of your target market’s demographic because it allows you to begin to understand why your customers buy and what their purchasing habits are.  What makes your customer tick?  Why do they buy when they buy?

Understanding the interests, desires, values, activities and opinions opens up a powerful door for you to begin to more effectively target your marketing message and brand image.

2. Networking

Networking is a key to life itself.  The thought of networking probably conjures up thoughts of stale chamber of commerce or rotary meetings but consider we are actively networking with people every day of our life.  Every point of contact with another human being is a networking connection.  Whether we use that connection consciously or not is up to us.

life-is-about-the-people-you-meetTake the time to get to know and consider the people you come into contact with every day.  Start asking questions of the barista who serves you your morning coffee, the server at your favorite restaurant or the manager of a shop that does your car’s oil change.  You never know what you might learn, or what contact you might make by simply meeting people every day.

Network from a place of integrity.  Meet people because it’s the right thing to do, you care about other’s and believe that what you have to offer is of service or benefit to the individual.  Networking in it’s highest form is an opportunity to understand others better.  A benefit of networking is the potential to do more business, but don’t make business your sole reason for networking.

One of the keys of networking is developing an understanding your customer’s process and beginning to use the concept of psychographic research when you talk with others.  Conversations allow you to peer inside the thought process of others and it also allows you to ask questions of others about your product and receive genuine feedback.  People love to give you their opinion.

3. Do Your Research

Research the habits of your key demographics.  Research your competitors and what they are doing.  Research the opinions and thoughts of those you network with.  Pick up trade journals and magazines. Use the internet (see below) to do research on your targets.  What part of the world does your target demographic inhabit?  Are they city or urban dwellers?  Are they church goers?  What are their values? Does your branding match up with their attitudes and interests?

4. Discover the Internet in a New Way

like-follow-social-networkingThe internet is both the dream and bane of today’s marketers.  The breadth of information available to virtually anyone about demographics, psychographics and more is truly astounding.  At the same time, your challenge is to sift through the useless and sometimes misleading data that is masquerading as legitimate research.  There is a lot of opinion clothed as actual statistics.  What does this mean to us?  Be careful and judicious when you use data from the internet.  Seek to understand what is truly being said before accepting anything as fact.

Some targeted ways of discovering more about your clients include:

  • Social Networks.  What are people saying on social networks?  What are the current trends?  Social networks are a treasure trove of personal expression.
  • Comments & Support Forums.  Observing how your clients are commenting on your product is valuable, even when it’s not-so-positive feedback.  Take a look at how clients of your competitors feel about their products or services.  Take the time to understand what your clients want and how you can alleviate their pain or frustration… finding the need, and then offering solutions and filling those needs is a gold mine for increasing sales.  Launching a product or service and forgetting about it is a certain path to ruin.  Take cues from the marketplace to continuously improve your offerings and win marketshare in the process.

5. Ask Questions, Lots of Them

Whether you are studying client psychographics, networking, doing research or trolling the internet for data it’s imperative to ask questions.  Ask questions of the people you meet.  Ask questions of your self.  Ask questions of the data you collect.  Asking questions is the doorway to discovery.  When you take the time to ask questions, the people you talk to and the data you collect will give you answers often in ways you did not expect.

**Unsure of how to properly market to your target audience? Please stay tuned and check back for my next post where I’ll discuss and give you applicable techniques that you can Connect with your Target Market for Maximum Impact** Are we connected? Let’s make that happen! Scroll down to the bottom of this page to make sure we stay in-touch. Better yet, click here to sign up for my free monthly newsletter! I’ll keep you posted on what’s happening, and where I’m speaking next!

To your success!

-Tamara McCleary

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Tamara McCleary

Tamara McCleary is a national speaker, business performance specialist, writer, social media expert and relationship economist.She has spoken to over 1,000 audiences and is ranked in the Top 1% of global Social Media Influencers.Past clients include KPMG and U.S. Department of Defense.Tamara speaks on the topics of team relationships, employee satisfaction and retention, the emerging relationship economy, social media, sales performance, customer service, customer acquisition and retention, entrepreneurship and more. She was named Top Sales Achiever nationally three years in a row for a biotechnology firm before launching her own successful national consulting firm based out of San Francisco, California.Tamara is the creator of the trademarked RelationShift® method, enabling individuals and businesses to improve virtually any relationship. Tamara changes lives and transforms businesses.
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