Marketing is a complicated practice that takes a lot of research and a serious understanding of your business. In this article, Larissa Macleman from Timely Booking Software explains how target marketing, the act of honing in on a specific type of customer and adjusting your efforts accordingly, can save you time, work and money and improve your business, fast.
We already know how you can work out how much you can spend on getting new customers. Now, how can you optimize that budget so that the people who see your messages are the ones who want to buy from you? Targeting. You’ve probably heard that term used before, but it’s quite a simple concept. Here’s how it’s done:
Put simply, it’s about finding who your ideal customers are and only trying to get them into your business. When you know who you’re selling to, you can focus your marketing efforts on them, and this will help you be different from your competition. If you don’t target your marketing, you’ll be wasting your valuable dollars on people who have no interest in buying your services.
Good businesses provide services. Great businesses solve problems. The first step in targeting is to ask yourself what problem your salon solves. Your customers don’t care about you, at least not at first. The problem they have is that they want their hair to look a certain way. They don’t have the time or the skills to make it look that way. That’s where you can solve a problem for them.
All customers have different problems. A younger customer might not be able to afford an expensive salon. That’s part of her problem. A wealthier customer may not want to be seen in a more affordable salon. That’s part of her problem. If you can offer the best solution to your customer’s problems, you’ll have people begging to buy it from you.
It’s your job to know what the problem is that you’re solving for your customers, and you know who it is that has that problem. This makes a significant difference in how you focus your marketing dollars, pricing structures, service delivery methods and staff systems and processes. Then everything you do in your business can be targeted at your customers. It’s very efficient.
Malcom from Shock Consult puts it like this. “In marketing, if you don’t know who you’re targeting your services at, you are shooting in the dark. Think about it from a hunting perspective. Imagine you’re going hunting, and you are responsible for bringing back the meat for the table. You wouldn’t go to a carpark in the middle of town with a shotgun to shoot a deer, and you wouldn’t shoot blindly in the hope of hitting something. Chances are you’ll hit something other than your target and that could mean trouble for you. You would likely select the correct rifle and scope, go to where deer congregate, select your target, aim, and fire. It’s the same in business, you need to think like the hunter, and target your ideal persona.”
In practical terms, how do you do that? It’s easy. Create a profile of whom you want to serve and then design everything you do to meet that person’s needs. This is called a client persona.
Personas are used in marketing to build an image of who your target market is. Say you had 30 similar clients in a room, and you put together all the things they have in common. This would give you a client persona. The persona can be used to understand attitude and/or a buying behavior of a client who might visit your salon.
To start creating your client persona, take out a pen and paper, and describe your customer. Be specific. Use things like their age, what job they have, whether or not they’re married, what interests they have, and where they are. What kind of things do they like?
As you see their personality take shape, give them a name. This will help you refer to them quickly.
The next step is to learn about what they do. Describe their typical day. Learn what questions about your industry they have. Become a super sleuth and find what frustrations they have, what their attitudes are like, what they believe in, and what their working environment is like.
You can start to get to know your customer from the things you’ve listed down. You should be able to recognize who your customers are, what they do, and what problems they have that you can solve. It will give you a very powerful tool to plan who you are going to spend your marketing dollars on and who is not worth your time.
You’ll find that you won’t have to invest so much into your marketing to get the results you want. The right customers will be able to find you, learn who you are, and get to liking you and your business. Then they will come in droves to buy from you.
Gone are the days of trying to target anyone and everyone with just one message. It’s time to focus your thinking, services and marketing with audience targeting.
For more information about Timely Booking Software, please visit their website.