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ARTICLE 2 – How is your aim?

Or maybe I should be asking you: what is your target? You may have perfect aim, but if you don’t have a target, or maybe is it too big or too fuzzy, what good is a perfect aim?

As the quote goes in the opening of my chapter Marketing – Target and Goals, “You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what it is.” by Anthony Robbins.

I spoke with marketing man Dave Parkhurst of GreenHaven Interactive about what he sees as real challenges for him in working with many businesses for the first time. “The two biggest challenges I have is the owner does not have a budget for marketing nor a well-defined target market! They do what I call ‘Ad hoc marketing’ which is going with whatever marketing, sales rep approaches them with some great deal promising to get more customers.” It basically comes down to not having a budget and a clearly defined target on which to spend their money.

Let’s start with the easy part: how to determine what your marketing budget should be. Most accountants, consultants and honest marketers will tell you that a budget of 4-8% of your total gross revenue is the figure you should use. And you should always be marketing! If business is doing very well, you can back off some, but if business is not doing well you need to spend more. Many businesses cut back their marketing in bad times to save money, but that is the worst thing one could do.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is not sales. What constitutes marketing is anything you do to promote your business to prospects, your current customers and your business partners (those that refer business to you). This would be items like your customer follow up and appreciation programs, kids sports teams sponsorship, Chamber membership, website, social media, publications, advertisements, promotional items, window signs, thank you gifts, discount coupons and more. Quite a range, but they all count in your budget. If you know what your budget is you know how much you can spend thereby helping you to know your Return On Investment. And a good budget will keep you from buying any “Ad hoc” deals.

Gotta have a target

Now for the less easy part of marketing: your target market. Do you know who your target market is? Can you give a good description of your ideal client looks like? I like to tell the story of the Salon owner when asked “Who is your target market?” her response was “Anyone with hair!” Well that sounds like a great target if you are willing to service everyone in your area, but how do you market to all those people? What one or two messages can you use to get them into your business? It becomes a lot more complicated.

To simplify you marketing efforts, make up a list of who your ideal client should be. Using the Salon for an example, the woman said her preferred customer was a 35-55 year old woman, upper middle to lower upper class, drove a luxury car such as a Cadillac, BMW, Lexus, Audi or a Mercedes, ate at the nicer restaurants in the area, read magazines like Architectural Digest and Travel & Leisure, went the Theater often, and volunteered at a number of non-profits. That is a pretty specific target, don’t you think? We know a lot about the prospect, so we should be able to find many specific places to advertise and send the right message (offer). That’s a lot easier than advertising to many different demographics just to get some business!

Your tasks for this week:

  • Determine who is your ideal customer (or review what you have already)
  • Determine how much you are currently spending on marketing (over or under budget?) and adjust.
  • Review you current marketing to see if it appeals to your target market
  • Check with your staff for feedback on target market and/or marketing
  • Set up/review tracking of marketing.

This should be a fun exercise for you – imagine how much better your business will be when all your clients are your ideal client! If you happen to attract the wrong client, and that will happen, that will be addressed in another chapter.

This is week 2 of a 10-week article series where I’ll be sharing excerpts and stories from my book, 1 Week 1 Thing.


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