Sunday 7:30 pm
April 26, 2020 (Updated 2023)
Dear fellow Digipreneur & ADthusiast,
Here’s a riddle for you:
What’s the difference between your online store and Amazon?…
Give up yet?…
Ok… (drum roll please) the only difference between your online store and Amazon is patience and effective target marketing.
Yup, you read that right. It’s absolutely true!
That’s the only difference between Amazon and you.
See, it’s tempting to look at Amazon and want to compare your online store to it.
After all, why shouldn’t you?
It’s a great company and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to stand on the shoulders of giants.
However, when you look at that company in its current state you tend to bypass its humble beginnings and only see the corporate behemoth in front of you.
And it’s that image of the corporate behemoth you so desperately want to become that will drive you to make the grave mistake of trying to be all things to all people.
Remember that old Chinese proverb from Confucius that says “If you chase two rabbits, you’ll wind up with neither”?
Oh…ok, so you’ve never heard that one?
Well, basically it means that if you try to market to everyone, you won’t reach anyone.
Especially in today’s hyper-competitive eCommerce arena, vague and generic messages won’t resonate with anyone at all.
“Well, if that’s true then how does Amazon seem to serve everyone and meet everybody’s needs? It looks to me like they’re catching a ton of f****ing rabbits?!” you ask.
You do have a very valid point, but let’s get something straight here: It took Amazon 26 years to be able to do that! In its first four years between 1994 and 1998 Amazon only sold books.
So, there’s that patience we were talking about earlier. It takes time to leverage your business the way our lord and saviour Jeff Bezos has.
However, in addition to patience, there’s something else you must understand if you are to become a power player way more successful than Amazon; effective target marketing.
Now that you’ve data crunched and segmented your markets it’s time to choose a specific group of people you’re going to sell your products to.
Thus, target marketing is the focus of your marketing efforts on the market segment you identify and deem most likely to purchase your products.
This process takes into account several factors.
- The existing level of competition.
- How good your competition is at meeting customer needs.
- The size of your chosen segment, and its expected growth.
- The strengths you have that will help you appeal to your chosen segment.
- The ability to actually communicate with your chosen segment.
Before moving on, it’s important to know that Identifying your target market is an essential step in the development of your ecommerce store and the marketing efforts used to promote it.
Think about this – Although McDonald’s has a great reputation for fast-food imagine how hard it would be for them to convince people that they’re now offering gourmet food?
What would gourmet Mickey D’s taste like? How does it have to be ordered? Can you still go through the drive-thru? But then how would that be gourmet?…
It wouldn’t be feasible.
This is the first lesson in target marketing 101: Businesses can’t meet ALL market needs.
Now that you understand what target marketing is and why it’s important for your online store it’s time to uncover the market segments you should be targeting.
In addition to the several factors that were previously mentioned above in the “What Is Target Marketing” section, here are some other ways you can successfully do this.
1. Identify The Key Benefit That Your Ecommerce Store Provides.
When it comes to finding your key benefit, think about the problem you solve, the need you meet, and the desire you fulfill. For instance:
- Are you helping middle-aged overweight men lose weight?
- Are you helping seniors maintain their gardens?
- Are you helping young fathers save time in the kitchen with cooking tools?
These questions should be answered very clearly so that once you identify the benefits of what you do, your target market should become fairly obvious.
In other words, get this part right and your ideal target market will reveal itself to you.
2. Evaluate Your Market Segments
Ok, you found your key benefit and now have real insights into who you’re planning on selling to, so now what?
Now you’ll need to evaluate your market segment and verify that this is a market worth serving.
Do this by asking yourself these questions (In no particular order):
- Are there enough people in the target market to sustain my business?
- Does this market segment have the money to purchase my products?
- Will they be repeat buyers, or will I have to constantly acquire new customers?
- Is there a lot of competition for this market segment?
- If there isn’t, why?
- If there is a lot of competition why should customers buy from me?
- How accessible is my target market?
3. Refine Your Target Market
By now, you should have a basic understanding of who benefits from your products. So from here, you’ll narrow down the market segment you plan on targeting.
This is where you’ll be as specific as possible. Just use the most common types of variables for effectively segmenting your market and you’ll get a clearly defined buyer persona.
4. Stay Objective
This is an important one because 42% of startups fail due to a lack of market needs.
In other words, these startups fail because the entrepreneurs who run them are so infatuated with what they’re selling they fail to validate whether or not there’s a true need in the marketplace for their product or service.
Therefore, it’s extremely necessary to avoid any assumptions and preconceived notions you may have during this process.
Because if you’re not careful, these assumptions could derail any attempt you make at clearly defining your target market… Which could spell disaster for your business.
When you focus on target marketing, this is what happens:
- You make a bundle of money because you speak to the right audience and attract the right people.
- You differentiate your brand and stand out from your competitors.
- You reach your customers on a more personal, human level and build long-lasting relationships with them.
- You see what you can do to better serve your customers and use that to improve your offerings.
- You focus so you can fully optimize your time, resources, and budget.
Don’t be fooled by what you see today.
Successful companies like Amazon didn’t start off that way.
So if Jeff Bezos can do it you definitely can too.
Just stay laser-focused, have patience, and never forget that ‘2 rabbits equal none’.
Take the time to find your target audience and you’ll gain a super-strong advantage over your competition.
Apply what you’ve just learned and you’ll set yourself up to be the next big, customer-centric giant with shoulders that others will want to stand on.
Well, until next time my friend…stay strong, stay healthy, stay wealthy.