C. David Venture Management,
Target marketing is important to the success of any business. This requires 1) identifying your core service or product, 2) identifying the key users of that service or product, and 3) marketing to those specific individuals who need your service or product in a way that distinctly stresses your expertise.
So what the heck do ice cream sundaes have to do with this? First, picture three huge scoops of vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Then picture yourself pouring chocolate syrup on the top. The chocolate will always take the path of least resistance as it is flowing down the ice cream. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to follow the trail and be certain that my first spoonfuls of ice cream include a healthy amount of chocolate.
So, the lesson is; follow the chocolate. You know your expertise. Pick your target markets accordingly and exploit your skills to the greatest extent possible. The deeper you drive your foothold into a target market, the easier your marketing becomes. As an expert in a market, people will begin to seek out your services. With an active marketing program and good word of mouth from clients, your growth in that target market will be exponential.
This is not to say that you cannot target several markets simultaneously. However, remember that the world of the generalist is rapidly coming to a close. Your ability to work in multiple markets will be a factor of the size of your company. The larger you become, the more markets you can effectively target.
The hardest part is remaining focused. I suggest picking a few targets, developing a marketing program around the targets, and being disciplined in your pursuit.
Target marketing is similar to planning for your first fishing trip. Not just fishing, but specifically tuna fishing (yes, this is where the tuna comes in). Picture this: you do your research, you carefully select your tackle and bait, and you head out to the deep blue sea. You spend much of your day trying different tackle. However, once you find out what the tuna like, you spend the rest of your day reeling in some fish. After a few more trips fishing for tuna, you find yourself catching more and more. You have developed a good technique, you know what tackle works best, and you know where to go to find the fish.
Relating this to business, by staying focused and developing a target market, you will become better at what you do. You will also establish a steady revenue stream. With this revenue you will be able to hire additional marketing staff. You can teach these individuals your methodologies and, loaded with a proven marketing approach, they can continue “catching fish” for you. This in turn will allow others within the organization to establish and develop new targets. This will become a recurring event each time you hit a growth plateau.
So increase your chances of success. Stay targeted and be disciplined.
Christopher F. David, President