Any business-owner must find and get to know their target market. In the last two posts, I explained how to assess your target market’s awareness of their problem and how to move them to consider solutions. In a future post, I shall discuss their worldview. This time my topic is your market demographics; mostly uncontroversial facts about your target market.
Awareness, worldview and demographics are three dimensions you can use to describe your market. Later in this sequence, I shall discuss how to create an Avatar you can use to target your marketing copy. This is not something you make public but use it to inform your writing or speaking, so it feels warmer to those you wish to contact.
What Are Demographics?
Selecting which characteristics to measure is a judgement. Your measurements may be accurate but you have still decided to measure that particular thing.
The circuit questionnaire goes beyond the usual list of sex, age and race. Perhaps some are not strictly demographics. They are all characteristics your market would declare to be true about themselves. You can find them and tailor your marketing to them.
Your copy will always be for people with particular characteristics. Being able to describe them in these terms helps make them more real to you. These are the people you help, so you need to know and understand them. A personalised message done well, means your copy may appeal to people outside your target market. If they are potential customers, this is not a problem.
Do be careful about what you publish. You may be aiming to work with a particular group but this should inform your copy, not rule out those who, attracted by your copy, do not fall within your ideal. Remember there are laws about discrimination and so it is important your copy is inclusive.
If your offer is for one sex or one ethnic group, for example, make sure you can justify it and that you conform to the law. Get legal advice if you are in doubt.
Seven Demographics, 1 to 3
Remember, your answers to the questions in the Circuit Questionnaire will inform your thinking about your market. Think carefully before you publish your answers to these questions. An explicit statement may alienate some of your market.
Some products and services are designed for one sex and so it can be legitimate to target that sex. Usually, however, your offer is attractive to both sexes and it is not in your interests to discriminate.
Consider your prejudices, in the sense that if you expect your clients to be one sex, you may unconsciously discriminate against the other. Your avatar could be made to be like the sex you think least likely to be interested.
Your aim is to build an avatar you can address with warmth and so appeals to anyone reading or hearing your copy. You could write copy, as if to a real person, beginning “Dear Jane …”. If you remove these words from the beginning, the copy would not necessarily give away its written with a woman in mind and so could appeal to men too.
Finally, you may need to be aware that we no longer live in a world with a binary split between men and women. You may need to consider sexuality and transsexuality as well as people who live to some degree between the two traditional sexes.
For most businesses this is not important because an avatar of either sex can produce copy that appeals to everyone. It is important if your product appeals to one of these specialised groups.
Localised or Global
Many businesses that market locally, may have a global market if they operate online. Similarly, some global businesses find there is a local dimension to their market.
For coaches and consultants, it’s usually worth targeting your local market from the start. If you have no reputation, you may find your first clients are local because they can meet you and so decide they trust you.
Mostly, though coaches find they are working with a mix of local and online clients.
There are businesses that draw most or all their customers from a particular locality. Shop-front businesses find this, even if they have a specialist dimension to their work, that draws interest from outside their area, they are likely to draw most customers from their local neighbourhood.
Age can make a big difference to the way you think about your market. Older people have more experience and perhaps more wisdom. On the other hand the generation that grew up before the Internet is perhaps less able to compete online.
Younger people may have more energy, work harder and are perhaps more idealistic.
Some of these may be prejudices and my message is be aware of your prejudices and don’t assume they are wrong! Even 10 years can make a massive difference.
I’ll cover the rest of these characteristics next time.
How do you find the characteristics I’ve covered so far help define your marketing?