We have now covered the first two simple steps for creating your marketing plan: Step #1: Create a Unique Selling Proposition and Step #2: Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse which addresses the overall approach you will take in thinking about and building your business, ensuring that you are moving forward in a logical way.
Let’s now move onto Step #3: Establish Your Sweet Spot.
You have your product/service established, but who are you going to try to reach with your brand?
There is an adage that if you try to talk to everyone, you will speak to no one. In other words, don’t try to be all things to all people.
Think of a target. You want to hit your sweet spot—the bull’s eye. While this group may be smaller, this is your core audience and 100% of them are pre-disposed to want to engage with your brand. This is not only your low-hanging fruit; this audience will usually be the most cost effective to reach because there is less selling involved—they want what you have to offer.
Now, think about the next layers of the target—the outer rings or your secondary and tertiary markets. While these rings grow larger, you do not have 100% of these folks pre-disposed to buying from you which makes them your 2nd and 3rd audiences.
Ideally, you want to completely shore up your sweet spot/core audience and plan to go after the other guys after you have achieved this. (In the process, you will most likely pull some of these fringe consumers in, as well.)
As you create your marketing messages, remember that one size does not fit all. You must be sure to tailor your messages to each segment of the audience. This is truer today than ever, as customers are used to being spoken to in a very, very personal way.
As you begin to articulate who your audience is, keep in mind that they are not always defined by age, gender or socio-economics. They may be defined by attitudes and lifestyles. Learn as much as you can about your target audience.
If you can afford it, market research is always a great way to know if your brand is really talking to the audience you want to reach. But if it’s not in your budget, don’t rule out “cul-de-sac” market research which is basically getting together groups of people you know who fall into your target audience to assess whether your brand is resonating and to get valuable feedback.