Rick Fleshman is an expert on business marketing.Time and time again however, he sees the same mistake being made. While all business people know that they simply cannot be all things to all people, they do not consider enough how important it is to engage in niche marketing, specialisation, and market segmentation.
Rick Fleshman on Identifying a Target Market
There are a number of standard ways to identify a target demographic. Those include looking at household income, level of education, marital status, gender, age, ethnicity, and geographical area. What people forget, however, is that every business effectively tries to offer a solution to a problem a consumer has. Whenever someone has a problem, it means they are aggravated. Understanding this aggravation is key to getting a target market right.
Consider marketing at dentist. The aggravation is that someone has a less than beautiful smile. The problem that they wish to have resolved is that their teeth are malformed, chipped, or dull. The dentist can then offer a solution for porcelain veneers and teeth whitening. Another example is found in a dry cleaner. The aggravation is that somebody’s favorite clothes are dirty. The problem they have is that they worry about how well they’re favorite clothes will be looked after and the fact that travelling to a dry cleaner is inconvenient. The solution a dry cleaner can present is that they offer state-of-the-art equipment and experience, guarantee that all work will be completed within a set period of time.
These are just two examples and there are many more for every type of business. What this means is that you need to know more than the standard demographic benchmarks that are used. Someone being a 65 year old hispanic unmarried woman with a bachelor’s degree and a below average household income has no impact on the fact that she wants to have her clothes cleaned properly. Some of the things a good business should look for in a target market, therefore, are things such as the periodicals they read, the entertainment they enjoy, their political affiliation, their knowledge of your competitors, what their aspirations and dreams are, what their worries are, and so on.
It may seem unnecessary to find out all of these things, as well as impossible. It is certainly true that it is unlikely that you will be able to identify all of those demographics but you should try, not in the least because that is what your competition is doing. If you, as a small business, or able to shift your mindset from trying to make a sale to trying to solve a problem, it is likely that your business will start to thrive as well.
This is a lesson Rick Fleshman tries to impart on all people who works with. Understanding the human element of making a sale, which is resolving an aggravation that someone has because of a problem, is key to proper marketing. It also ensures that you finally start to see that not everybody is a potential target.