It is easy to understand that when you make the right offer to the right person at the right time, you’re going to get a sale—and thus it stands to reason that if you can avoid making an offer to the wrong person or at the wrong time, you will save effort and money. This is why effective targeting is the holy grail of marketing.
But there are many marketers who have not been convinced of the power of targeting, mostly because they haven’t seen it done effectively.
Effective targeting is much like anything else in life: you get out of it what you put into it. There are easy ways to target, but they are almost always much less effective. Proper targeting takes effort and often money as well.
If you have a brick and mortar presence as a part of your product offering, then the first thing you should consider is where people live in relation to your locations. Even if you already have a relationship with the individual, their proximity to your establishment should be a factor in any marketing messages you present to them—no matter which channel. To do this, you will need their address. With this you can get a distance calculation. Some are comfortable getting a straight line distance, one that tells you how far they live from your nearest location, as the crow flies. Often this is enough. However, for some, getting a driving distance can actually make a difference. The driving distance may be miles further than a straight line distance would indicate.
Then you need to know your products and the people who buy them. Will your given product appeal best to a younger audience or an older one? The easy way is to make this decision yourself, but if it’s a product you’ve had for a while, or comparable to one you’ve had for a while, then if you have age information on your customers, you can do a deeper analysis and either confirm or reject your gut based determination. Using additional demographic information such as educational level, income level, household makeup (married, single, children present, etc.) and others can fine tune your demographic based targeting.
Another method you can use to find your target audience is to look at the products they’ve bought in the past. Doing an analysis of all your purchasers and all of their products can give you a “people who bought this also bought that”. Look for people who have similar purchase histories but are missing the product you’re looking to market, and market it to them.
And last, but not least, sometimes it’s best to ask them what they’d be interested in. Ask them a question, perhaps through an online interaction or perhaps a full-fledged survey. Find out which products they’re interested in now and which they may be interested in in the near future. Tailor your marketing, and the timing, based on their responses.
Finding your target audience takes effort and money, but in the end, it will help you gain more business and more loyalty. Effective targeting really is a gold mine—at least for those with the courage and initiative to grasp it.