Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
Today’s business climate is more competitive than ever, thanks in no small part to the advanced marketing power made possible by the Internet. With a simple but effective website, even the smallest companies and service providers can reach out to their target customers more easily than ever. But of course, it’s not as simple as merely launching a website and watching the profits pour in.
Instead, small and medium sized businesses keen to enhance their marketing efforts must make a focused effort to forge connections with their target customers. Doing so allows them to create marketing messages that resonate with potential buyers while ensuring that they are not investing in ad space that wastes money by placing those ads in front of the wrong eyes.
In this post, we’re going to consider effective ways that you can hone in on your target customers for a more effective marketing campaign. For illustrative purposes, we’ll assume the business in question is a locally operated washing machine repair service. In the following sections, we’ll explore how a business operator could go about defining and targeting and appeal to their ideal target customers.
Start by Determining Who Your Target Customers Are
It may seem obvious, but you have to begin this process by defining your target customers. Far too many small business operators make the mistake of assuming that their target customers are anyone in their area with money to spend on products or services like theirs. But as you’ll see, this simply isn’t true.
In the case of a washing machine repair service, we would start by considering who might be interested in purchasing a washing machine to begin with. Our hypothetical business doesn’t sell these appliances, but their clients are going to be people who have already purchased one. With that in mind, anyone who uses a coin-operated launderette or a more up-market laundry service simply isn’t going to require ongoing repairs or service.
For our purposes, your target customers are anyone within your service area who owns a washing machine. These could be private owners as well as launderette operators or even landlords who have washing machines in the units that they rent out. These will give you a general idea of who your customers are.
But for marketing purposes, you have to take a few additional steps. Specifically, you should try and come up with demographic information about your hypothetical customers. How old are they? What is the likely gender of the person ordering your services? And what are their general interests?
All of this information will help you create customer profiles that you can apply to future marketing campaigns. Here’s a helpful tutorial to aid you in defining customer profiles.
Ask Yourself What Problems Your Company Solves
By all rights, this could go before the previous step. But in any event, it is one of the initial tasks you must attend to. The specific order doesn’t really matter at this point. Every product or service assists in solving a problem. And the more specific you can be in this regard, the better your marketing campaign will function.
When it comes to washing machine repairs, the problem may seem quite simple at first. In the broadest sense, the problem is that your target customer’s washing machine isn’t working properly. They require the assistance of an expert.
But the reality is that there are probably plenty of washing repair service providers in your service area. In order to set your company apart from the competition, you’ll need to go a step further in this regard. Try to drill down to a more specific problem so that you can enhance your appeal to your target customers.
Consider what it is that your company does best. Do you provide same-day washing machine repair services? If so, your angle should be that your customers don’t have to wait to get their machine back online. Are our rates significantly lower than those of your competitors? This means that you can solve their problem without breaking the bank.
There are countless defining angles that can set your company apart. Once you have a strong handle on what it is that makes your service special, you’ll be able to target your customers in a more meaningful way.
Think About Your Target Customers’ Daily Routines
Once you know who your target demographic is, you can begin placing your ads in places that they are spending time. This applies to print ads and digital ads, alike. That said, most small businesses achieve the most leverage from digital ad space.
If your target customers are most likely in their thirties, then it’s safe to say that a significant percentage of them will be spending plenty of time online. In fact, they’ll probably turn to a search engine like Google to find services like yours. In this case, you would begin with targeted SEO campaigns that are designed to pick up local searches.
There’s plenty of competition for search engine marketing. Larger operations with a more robust marketing budget may be able to outperform you in this regard, though there is still much to be said for finding a boutique service that knows how to make the most of limited funds. You’ll find plenty of viable candidates in your area.
Think About How Your Target Customers Will Search for Your Services
You’ll also need to craft your pitch so that your ads appear in front of the right eyes. When it comes to our washing machine repair service, there’s a good chance that the target customers will visit Google and type something along the lines of, ‘Who can locally repair my washing machine?’ However, there’s a good chance that they’ll include the name of the location in their search query.
A targeted Google Adwords or Bing Ads campaign will help you get the exposure you are looking for in your area. Beyond that, it also helps to list your services with local directories that are performing their own SEO campaigns to connect with customers like yours. In any event, knowing who your customers are and how you can motivate them to take advantage of your service will make your campaign all the more effective.by