Awareness marketing is out. Target marketing is in. Especially for smaller businesses with limited marketing budgets.
Awareness marketing is when your main goal is to get the name of your product or business out there. So that it is on the tip of potential customers’ tongues. Awareness marketing is also known as “branding.”
Target marketing, however, is where you identify certain customer groups to achieve defined measurable goals. It’s where you use a rifle instead of a shotgun to get your message out.
If your organization’s marketing budget falls far south of the marketing budget of, say, General Motors or Home Depot, then target marketing is for you.
Target marketing is all about defining smaller groups of prospects and designing marketing approaches to appeal just to them. In target marketing, a “one size fits all” approach has no place. Instead, you must understand what makes the targets tick, craft a message to appeal just to that target group, and go after them.
Some target marketing approaches include:
– Send out rounds of low cost postcards
- with specially crafted messages for each group of targets. Ask your marketing communications firm about this. Or, if you are on a really limited budget and have the time to do some research, there are many places of the Web where you can find low cost, high quality postcards. Just go to Google and type in a search for “postcard marketing” or simply “postcards”.
– Target lost or dissatisfied customers.
- To be successful at this you first have to apologize, accept responsibility, and suggest a remedy. But remember the rule of my colleague, Rich, an experienced marketer, “A former customer is usually a better, warmer lead than trying to get a completely new customer.”
– Find underserved customers.
- This is key if there are a lot of competitors for your product or service. You must stand out from the crowd. To do so, sometimes you have to narrow your focus. Instead of claiming to be all things to everyone, define your products or services to appeal to certain niche customers with specific needs.
Excellent points. It is unfortunate that many small businesses with unknown brands will throw money away by launching expensive and ineffective marketing campaigns that create much type, but no tangible results.
On the other hand, as target marketing grows in popularity, many prospects may become desensitized to a constant barrage of direct mail, fax blasts, post cards etc.
Yes, Blake, branding exercises for small businesses can result in serious wastes of money if not careful.
By the way, since this post is over two years old (I can hardly believe I have been writing this site for over two years!), the link to the old bCentral site was no longer correct, so I updated it to the correct article at the re-branded Microsoft Small Business site.