Accessible Marketing

5 Useful Points About Target Markets for SMEs

by Judith Hutchinson

When I’m putting together a marketing plan for a client it’s often useful to think about the following things:

Targets Customers

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1.  Who is it you’re targeting?

Are you selling to businesses or the public?  Think about where they may be based.  Perhaps you have an international offering or would you like to manage capacity better and target national customers.  Or will it help the profitability of your business to have customers located closer to your office or depot?

If you are selling to businesses who are the decision makers and who are the users? Are there gatekeepers you need to get on side?  – do you need to be tweaking your messages for each?

2.What do they want and need?

There are two different things – Apple have this cracked – who knew 5 years ago we would all need a smart phone (arguably) – I know I don’t just want one – I need one! Think about the benefits your product or service brings to the customer – not just the features. How does it change their World / make things easier?

3. Who can refer you to new customers?

An accountant may find it useful to build relationships with local solicitors as referrers of work.  A builder needs relationships with architects.  How will you encourage them to refer work to you – and why should they?   It’s also worth thinking about how you thank them for any referrals.   What about your current customers – can they refer you to others and generate word of mouth marketing for your business?

4. Don’t forget about your current and previous customers!

This probably deserves to be at the top of the list! It’s much more cost effective to keep the customers you have than to win new business.  Are you asking them for feedback and input into how you can improve and what else you can develop to better serve the market? Sometimes a simple online survey is all it takes.  My previous article about asking customers what they think may help.   How are you communicating with past customers so that when they need to buy again they choose your business?

5. Put yourself in their shoes and answer the ‘so what’

It’s useful to do this as you are looking at your marketing materials. Look at your website or brochure and think about the following from a customer perspective:

So what does this mean for me? How will it help me and my life?  Why is this better than [insert your competitors name]

Think about how your customers may spend their day – how you can your product or service not only help their day but how can your marketing efforts ‘interrupt’ in a positive way.

Hope this gets you thinking!

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