How to Tell Right Targets from Wrong Targets
Perhaps the biggest problem facing any business is to identify its market. It’s difficult because your target market needs to be small. This is counter-intuitive. We all have a gut feeling the bigger the market, the more business we will find. This is not true because once we have found the right targets, we can aim our marketing to that market. In a big general market, you compete with everyone else.
So, here are a few things to consider. They will help you work out your wrong targets as well. It is a waste of resources to market to the wrong targets and so it is helpful to know who they are.
Is there a real need?
Your target market will have a real need. You need a story with which your market can identify. Often in business, new technological developments supersede methods that worked a few years ago. If you can help adjust to these changes, you may have a business.
Remember technological changes have social implications and it may be changes are not so much about learning use of some new device or application as dealing with its social implications. The early adopters of a new technology find a way to use it and then later adopters find their needs are not fully served by these early methods.
Inertia is a growing expectation things are done in a certain way. So, some people may feel they do not benefit from technology because they do not use it appropriately for their market.
Proven methods are rarely so proven as they first appear. An approach that works in one place does not necessarily work elsewhere. The real need many customers have is to work out solutions that work in their particular circumstances. They need to know you understand their problem and can help them resolve it.
Do we promise real value?
If you promise to show why your customers have a problem and help them work out what to do about it, you offer real value.
Off-the-peg solutions can work but chances are the big players have them covered. Also, many problems can be solved by searching online. If you have a generally applicable solution, it is likely to appear online sooner or later and perhaps this is no bad thing.
The real challenges are where the mainstream solutions do not work. The chances are the problem is not with the technology so much as the customer’s response to it. The real value is to help a customer identify their particular issues and make informed choices as a result.
Who are Your Prospects?
Clearly define the prospects for your offer. They may experience the need and appreciate the value of your offer but there could be other barriers to a purchase.
Perhaps the biggest issue is whether they can afford your offer. Let’s say you offer help with websites. You may find the hassle of putting a site together is worthwhile over £2000. Below that even a simple site is not worth the effort.
There may be many businesses that would benefit from your support if they could afford it. But there is no point seeking prospects who can afford less than £2000. You can’t afford to take them on.
Have you Something Valuable or Important to Say?
If you have a story or information of value to your prospects, this will help them identify you as the potential solution to their problem. Many people struggle for years with a problem because they do not believe it can be solved.
If you can show you offer a solution to a problem they have never believed they could solve, they are likely to be interested in your offer.
You need to show knowledge of use to the prospect and show you know how to apply it. You are not just offering information but insight into how your knowledge can be applied effectively.
Do You Promise to Solve a Problem?
This is the fundamental issue every business faces. Do you offer to solve a problem that is live and real for your prospects? Your prospects need not be aware of the problem but it is important they want to tackle it once aware of it.
It is essential your promise to solve the problem is credible. You need to show there are solutions to the problem and that you are uniquely placed to offer the best possible solution. It does not matter if this does not work for people who are not your prospects. So, long as there are enough prospects and you reach them, you have a business.