In the concluding part of this series on target marketing, we will be looking at the lessons on doing your target market correctly.

Recall that our earlier discussion had spoken about the concept and why it is important that you carry out a segmentation of your market as well as determining the position you will take subsequently.

The first part of target marketing is to determine the various segment of the market that may find your products or service appealing. You could do this segmentation along demographic lines or gender lines or by how people behave. You could use each one in isolation but usually you would use a combination of these factors to take a decision. After this segmentation comes targeting where you decide which of these segments of the market would best make sense for you to go after based on the specific advantage you have over competition. Then the 3rd level is positioning yourself so you are different from whoever else is playing in that segment you have also chosen.

Here is an example: You want to open up a gas filling business. You figure that it is a good business since a lot of Nigerians use gas for their everyday cooking. You decide to target working men and women around the Surulere, Ebutte Metta axis. Your target market would be people who prefer to use gas and not kerosene stoves and have the capacity to afford about N3,000 in about 4-6 weeks filling up their cylinders. What kind of people would these be? Most likely workers or successful business people?

Research would help here. Because women are the ones who do most of the buying in their households, you might decide to be more specific and make women your primary target. This does not mean that if people outside of this definition come for your business, you would not sell to them, but targeting helps you to make the best use of your resources in developing marketing initiatives and communicating efforts that appeal to a certain type of person. You are more focused and do not throw money after ideas that are outside the scope of people you are trying to reach.

Having decided on the target, you would need to position your business to these people so they come to see my gas filling plant as the better option to anyone they are currently patronizing. Because a survey of the market was done , you might have found out that there are many gas filling plans in that axis but most of them are doing manual filling and there is much guess work to whether the customer is actually getting the correct quantity of gas for money paid.

So in starting your business you may decide to automate to your own gas plant to give the customer confidence in your offering. You would have now positioned your business as a convenient and trust worthy alternative. Nigerians are shrewd spenders so anything that will make sure they get their monies worth will be appreciated.

In doing what you have done above, when you need to promote your business, you would make sure that it is speaking specifically to the type of people you have targeted. The language would be what they understand and the kind of images you would use in your leaflets or the kind of promotions you would run would be reflective of what is important in their lives.

This way, you I make the most of your marketing budget and get full mileage on every penny spent..

Target marketing is an important part of the small business marketing effort and a good understanding of its principles would help get your business underway ensuring you don’t get counted in the failed business statistic.

Till the next write up. Keep well.