Your Focus and Broaden Your Sales
By Dr. Michel Fortin
your web-based business solves a specific problem, then your chances
of online success are good. This is not a facetious statement
because you'd be surprised to know how many businesses go online with
no clear objective whatsoever. But in order to increase those chances,
an immensely important step in marketing effectively online is
required -- targeting.
This is where many marketers fail, for they are trying to be "all
things to all people." Their web site may offer a product that
solves a specific problem. And unquestionably, the marketplace -- and
the potential -- on the Internet is huge. But it is also for this very
reason that general offers either get easily drowned in this boundless
electronic ocean or fail to capture the netizen's attention due to the
vagueness of the offering's nature.
Since the marketplace is so vast, attention span so short and
competition so enormous, there is no better place for market targeting
than on the Internet. Today's rapidly changing, technology-driven
marketplace mandates a sharper marketing aim. If your business doesn't
have one, you're going to either have a really tough time or require a
huge marketing budget.
Therefore, try to discover the demographics as well as the
psychographics of your niche -- your niche being your core, largest or
most profitable market. If you don't have a narrowly defined market,
then identify it or isolate one. And once you've defined it, it will
then be easier for you to market your offer in front of an audience
that will most likely be genuinely interested in it. Otherwise,
without one you'll be merely shooting blanks.
Demographics are the basic qualities and characteristics of your
market. They include age, gender, culture, employment, industry,
income level, marital status, location and so on. For example, does
your product cater uniquely to women? Is it more appealing to a
specific industry? Does your product complement another type of
product? Is your market mostly made up of French Canadians?
words, who buys from you specifically?
If you were to answer that last question with "everyone,"
then you are falling in the "all things to all people" trap
mentioned earlier. Avoid it as much as you can. But if you do cater to
a diverse market, then the trick is to find out who buys from you the
most or the most often. Above all, ask yourself this all-important
question: Who is my perfect customer?
On the other hand, psychographics consist of the emotional and
behavioral qualities of your target market. They include emotions,
rationales, buying histories, psychology and thought processes behind
the decision to buy your product. For example, they include your
customers' interests, associations to which they belong, previous
purchases they've made, other similar or related products they've
consumed, activities in which they're engaged, the length of time they
remained with a particular company in the past, and so on.
Stated differently, demographics define the qualities of those people
who may *need* your product, while psychographics are the qualities of
those who may not only need but also *want* your product. Before you
target your market, profile your customer -- your perfect customer.
You can start by conducting some marketing research among your current
client base, potential clients and clients of other similar products
or companies. But never underestimate the gold mine that can be found
in your own backyard -- your clients.
In order to illustrate the difference between demographics and
psychographics, let's look at cosmetic surgeons and particularly hair
transplant doctors. Hair restoration caters typically to men who have
experienced hair loss and are able to afford such an operation. In
other words, men and bald men specifically are potential patients
because they may need more hair.
But psychographics on the other hand go a little further. In this
example, they are comprised of men who not only need more hair but
also want more hair. This is important since not all of them do --
it's a matter of personal priorities, just as the type of clothing one
chooses to wear. If you think about it, would you consider all bald
men as potential clients? Hopefully not.
Therefore, in order to target this specific market as precisely as
possible and thus generate higher quality leads, doctors must take
their patients' psychographic profile into account. Elements include
their lifestyle, their interests, the type of industry in which they
work (since certain industries are more image-related) as well as
their previous buying habits (such as men who have already invested in
other forms of hair replacement solutions).
Once done, they can easily find places on the web where this perfect
customer hangs out. They fish where the fish swim. For example, there
are web sites and even "vortals," which are niche-based
portals, catering to bald men seeking a hair loss solution (like regrowth.com).
There are even discussion lists and ezines whose subscribers consist
of people suffering from thinning hair. And of course, the list goes
Nevertheless, keep in mind that less is more. Narrow your focus to a
specific niche and, paradoxically, you will broaden your sales. Arm
yourself with as much information as possible about your perfect
customer, and then target *that* customer more than any other. While
you can't be everything to everyone, you shouldn't be targeting
everyone for everything.
Fortin is an internationally acclaimed and highly sought-after
consultant whose marketing advice has helped countless clients earn millions
of dollars in record time. He
is also the Senior Editor of Internet Marketing Chronicles, a weekly
newsletter with 125,000 subscribers, as well as the author of four
books. His latest book, “Power
Positioning Dot Com” reveals how to keep your product or service indelibly
carved into your prospects' uppermost consciousness at all times.
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Positioning Dot Com