I’ve got another game. I’m going to name a product. Then I’ll give you three choices, and you can pick what information you’d like to figure out the target market for each product.
Item 1 – Highly Caffeinated Energy Drink
a. Males, Ages 15-30
b. Males, Yearly income of $25,000-$50,000
c. Males, that commonly: partake in extreme sports, listen to loud music, play aggressive video games.
Item 2 – Home-Made All-Natural Anti-Wrinkle Cream
a. Female, Ages 25-55
b. Females, Yearly income of $35,000-$60,000
c. Females, that commonly: buy/wear makeup, spend time getting hair/nails done at professional salons, have gym memberships.
If you picked either a or b in either example, you are using demographics (characteristics used to classify people for statistical purposes, such as age, race or gender) to try and figure out who the target audience is. If you chose c, you are using psychographics (variables are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests or lifestyles). Demographics are chartable; they are concrete classifications, unlike psychographics, which are open to interpretation. If you could fine tune your marketing for the appropriate psychographics, in addition to simply the demographics, you would have a higher success rate.
The challenge in the past had been, “How do I successfully market to a specific niche when they may fall into different demographic groups?”
Enter social media. You now have the ability to find your target audience, and specifically speak to them. In example one, if I was launching a new energy drink, I would actively post on extreme sports pages on facebook, sponsor cutting edge music groups on Myspace, and run ads on video game review sites. I would make sure that people that I felt would want my product could see it. Rather than relying on traditional print or television ads, I now have the ability to infiltrate the correct groups with my product, and give people that would want my product the avenues to find it.
That’s on a national level. What if my product was more like number two? A self-starting, small business that creates and distributes products that are locally made and sold would not want to go for a national market. That business would want to get into local homes, which means getting in with local businesses. The person starting that type of business would want to visit local gyms and salons, and offer sample giveaways. He or she would put the company’s energy into local fan pages in social media, to build up relevant excitement. The ability to cross market with other small local businesses through everyone’s social media channels can greatly increase visibility for every company involved.
Are you actively communicating with your target market, in their environment, or are you passively hoping they will randomly see your message? If your marketing is based on hope, you are risking failure.