Jumping Elephant has once again been published in Calgary’s Filipino Canadian Magazine – Issue 5. Nestled in amongst other strong entrepreneurs and some of the best Aboriginal photography in Calgary, we aim to help all business owners grow their business.
In this issue we discuss the importance of narrowing down your target market and why the spray effect is not effective (even though you think more people see it)
And I want to make a special shoutout to the wonderful people that helped make this happen:
Editor – Abel Pagaling
Photographer – Armand Flores
Nikki Cook – Evanescents – @weddingsbyevanescents – Makeup
Kirsty Duckett – Kirsteclipse – @kirsteclipse_yyc – Hair
Narrowing Down Your Target Market is the Best Thing You Can Do For Your Business
When you try to talk to everyone, you wind up talking to no one.
Every single time (almost without fail) I ask my new clients who they want to target with their advertising they say “everyone”. Some even ‘narrow it down’ by saying “everyone who (insert activity related to their product).” So, what is the problem? If you sell tires wouldn’t it make sense to target everyone who drives a car?
Let’s break this down.
Yes – everyone needs tires.
But does everyone want your tires? Do they want the service experience and atmosphere you provide? For the price you are providing it? In the time you can do it?
For me, I really just drive to get from A to B, so I will likely price shop for the cheapest tires I can. I also don’t really care about what I am going to do in the meantime because I am perfectly happy sitting on a curb watching YouTube videos – even if it takes a bit longer than expected. However, I know people who consider their car their baby and would only buy ‘her’ the best of the best boots. They usually go 200km/hr down Deerfoot and take corners like they are trying to turn the earth on its axis. So great tires really matter because, for them, it could be life or death. They also like to feel at home, pampered even, whenever they are in waiting rooms. They want a plush chair where they can kick their feet up and answer emails. They want free coffee and wifi, and maybe even cookies. They want it to be a clean, quiet space and they are willing to pay a little extra, as long as the car is done on time during their scheduled appointment.
Do you offer both of these types of services? For the majority of business owners, you cannot be both cheap and luxurious (and if you are, you are either not cheap or luxurious enough, or your business isn’t going to last long).
The point is, even for tires – there are different target markets. Even though everyone who owns a car needs tires, not everyone has the same needs. In turn, they will not respond to the same advertising.
If you try to target to everyone your ad would look something like:
“We have tires for all cars – switch out your winter tires with us and get back on the road. We have professional mechanics standing by”.
Pretty generic right? What does it tell us about the company? What does it tell us about the price, or the experience we will thave? Nothing. You can’t mention those when you are talking to everyone because then you would no longer be talking to everyone. You know who will click on this ad? Nobody. Why? Because they skimmed right over it. It didn’t speak directly to them and their needs, and therefore, in your effort to talk to ‘everyone’ you ended up talking to no one.
So you narrow your scope. You give details that you know your shop can provide and talk directly to the person you know would come in.
Important note: See how I said ‘person’ there? When narrowing down your target market you have to talk to one person – and then all people similar to that person will read it. Sit down with a pad of paper and write down the characteristics of your ideal customer. Give them a gender, a name, a family; write down their interests, what they do for a living, how much they make a year, what they do for fun; even go as far as to explain their physical traits. You need to have an image of one perfect customer in your head when you are writing ads (or public content of any kind) if you want people to stop and read. While you will not be sharing this info, it will allow you to more easily talk to people, as opposed to at them – resulting in more sales.
If you are a cheap tire shop who does the job for bottom dollar with a ‘drop in’ type model, you are targeting people who do not drive luxury cars and who just use their car to get from point A to point B (like me). Your business goals are quantity over quality.
“Bring your own coffee and get the cheapest tire flip in the city. We keep expenses down so our prices stay bottom dollar. Stay safe without breaking the bank. Drop in to see our professional tire technicians and we will get you back on the road, without the expensive bells and whistles. No appointment necessary, waiting room not included”
If you are a dealership or high end maintenance shop who sells only the best tires and charges for convenience, you are targeting luxury car owners who are more comfortable being comfortable, and will pay extra to experience that. Your business goals are quality over quantity (and your high overhead and expenses reflect that).
“Don’t sit on a curb in your custom-made suit, or risk letting your car out of sight and in the hands of strangers. Come in to our newly updated showroom and breathe life back into your sports car or luxury sedan with the best-on-the-market summer tires you’ve been waiting for. The floor to ceiling windows in our viewing room enables you to watch the experts from the comfort of a Lazyboy, free latte in hand. Phone chargers and free wifi are included, not that you’ll be waiting long. Getting your tires flipped with us is not a task, it is a luxury!
Does it make sense how these two people would not react to the first ad, but how they would be dialing for the second that relates to them?
When you are trying to get the attention of someone, waving your hands and whispering ‘hey you’ will always be less effective than handing ‘Bill’ or ‘Jeff’ a note directly.”