"Narrow Your Focus and Broaden Your Sales"
by Dr. Michel Fortin
If 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? In other 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 on.
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.
Dr. Michel 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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