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Copy of On Targeting Marketing

By Michele Pariza
Posted Tuesday, October 5, 2004

How "On Target" Is Your Marketing?

So, do you know the people buying your products and services? I mean, really know?

Their likes, dislikes, what they're watching, what they want, what they need?

The people who are either buying your products and services or who could be buying your products and services are your target market. Understanding this market is essential to your marketing. Actually, it's essential to your business. Period.

Creating customer loyalty is already tough. And it's going to get tougher. The only way you're going to even have a chance to develop customer loyalty is to fully understand your target market.

Now when I say understand your target market, the answer I'm NOT looking for is "the general public" or "mostly women" or, worse yet, "anyone can benefit from what I sell."

While all that may be true, not everyone is going to buy your product. You need to narrow it down to the people most likely to buy and market just to them.

The more deeply you understand your target market, the more you will reap the rewards in increased sales and loyal customers. One way you can learn to connect with your customers is through role-playing.

Here's how to do this:

1. Read everything you can get your hands on about your target market. Demographic information, likes, dislikes, home environment, whatever you can find.

2. Create a "typical customer profile." Take all those details and make a composite character.

Let's say your target market is composed of married women in their thirties with small children and a full-time job. So, from that, you create a typical customer profile -- a 35-year-old woman with two small children who works as a loan officer at the local Bank and her name is Mary (giving your character a name is very important). She also has a dog, a husband named Larry who works as computer programmer and a house in the suburbs.

It doesn't matter if any of this is true or not, the point is to make this "customer composite character" as real as possible.

3. Now pretend to be Mary. Actually live in her skin. Think to yourself: "What would Mary do in this situation? What would she eat for breakfast? What would she think? How would she act?" Really try to get inside her skin.

Don't get discouraged if this doesn't come naturally. It takes awhile to get the knack of it. Try this exercise for a few minutes over a few days -- it should get easier each time you try it.

4. Once you start to feel comfortable with this exercise, then you can ask your "target market character" questions. What do you really want from our products? What needs do you want fulfilled? What are you looking for? Ask yourself while you're in "character" and see what answers bubble up. It may help to write your questions and answers down.

You can also do this as a group exercise, with people "acting" different target market characters.

By really getting to know your target market, you can discover what matters to them and how you can meet their needs. Connecting emotionally with your target audience is a powerful tool. It will give you a huge edge over your competition.

About the Author
Michele Pariza owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and public relations agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at (

Copyright 2004 Michele Pariza


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