green beans blog target market

Defining Your Target Market

Have you ever heard the saying that you can’t be all things to all people? In the business world, this couldn’t be closer to the truth. If you set out to create a product or service that will work for everyone, you won’t succeed in the end. It’s impossible to market one specific product or service to everyone, because people want and need different things based on their demographics, behaviors, and various other factors.

In order for small businesses to effectively compete with larger businesses, it’s important for them to find their target market and work to build strong relationships it’s members.

If you’re like a lot of small business owners, you might have read the first paragraph of this blog and are now wondering “What is my target market?” We’re here to help you figure that out. If you’re still trying to find your niche, read on and learn how to market to that group of people.

Analyze your Current Customers

See what kind of people are already buying your products or paying for your service. First, consider demographics: Male/Female? Do they live in the city or in the suburbs? Age? Married/single/divorced? Do they have kids at home, grown kids, or none at all? What is their occupation or their income level? What’s their education status? Then, consider what the experts call “behavioral and psychographic attributes”, or things they do often/ways they act. Do you own a nice restaurant and consider your customers to be foodies who eat out often? Do you own an organizational service and see that most of your customers work long hours or consider themselves to be messy and disorganized?

Find the commonalities between those who are already buying from you. Chances are, those people should be your target market. Others like them would probably be interested in your products or services as well, and by marketing to them, you can be sure that you’re spending your marketing budget with a higher chance of profit.

Understand What Problems your Business Solves

People buy your product or use your service because you’re fixing a problem that they have. Think back to the attributes we talked about earlier. An organization company solves a problem for people who are too busy to organize themselves. Another example might be a retail store that specializes in business clothing for young college grads and those starting jobs for the first time. If you didn’t solve a problem, people wouldn’t be buying from you. Consider what your business has to offer and who stands to gain from it. Those people are the ones you want to target with your marketing efforts.

Consider your Competition

It’s always important to look at your competition and see how what you offer is different and unique from what they do. Why is your offering better? It might be a simple answer— maybe your office is closer for people who live in a certain neighborhood. Maybe your product is slightly less expensive, or maybe people are willing to pay more for your customer service experience. Whatever that advantage is, promote it! Reach out to those who would benefit from your business and make sure they know why your product or service is the most beneficial option for them.

Evaluate

Target markets should be very specific, but they shouldn’t be so specific that there aren’t enough people in that group to justify spending money on marketing to them. Recent college grads who are starting their first business job within the Charlotte metro area is an awesome target market. Recent college grads from a NC college who are starting a business consulting job and will make more than X amount in the South Park neighborhood ….that’s a little bit too specific.

Once you think you have a great target market, ask yourself some of these questions: Are there enough people that fit my customer description? Are these people going to be interested in my product and can they afford it? What information can I learn about this group that would help me market my product more effectively to them? What marketing channels are most accessible to this group?

Although defining your target market might take some time and effort, it’s well worth it in the end. Defining your target market is the difficult part; after it is decided, you will have a much easier time developing a marketing strategy and determining how you’re going to reach out to those people. In the marketing world, one size doesn’t fit all – make sure that your marketing message is effective in reaching those who will be most interested in your product. The rest will be a piece of cake.

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green beans blog trader joes spotlight

Marketing Spotlight: Trader Joe’s

If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Trader Joe’s you know that it is not your average grocery store. While each store is decorated in a slightly different way you’re bound to see fun things like murals of a cow surfing or Hawaiian shirts as the employee uniform throughout the store. The beachy theme throughout and the friendly and helpful employees create a relaxed atmosphere that turns the chore of grocery shopping into an enjoyable experience.

Originating in the 1950’s, this chain has grown into a popular stop for healthy and affordable food.
Trader Joe’s has also realized that being a grocery store isn’t enough in today’s market. With cool recipes to try on their website and their Fearless Flyer that is full of personality and bound to put a smile on your face, Trader Joe’s knows how to keep their customers engaged.

Here are 7 Reasons why we put the marketing spotlight on Trader Joe’s, and what works about their strategy:

1. Trader Joe’s makes you feel good about what you’re buying.

Whether it’s their cage-free eggs or their non-animal tested beauty and hygiene products, Trader Joe’s is looking out for those furry little ones. They even encourage customers to bring re-usable bags and only offer paper ones that can be easily reused and recycled. By advertising and living up to their environmentally friendly antics, they never stop drawing in fresh customers.

2. As mentioned before, the store’s theme is also unique.

When you walk through those doors your spirits are automatically lifted with the tropical theme and super friendly employees. From the murals vibrantly painted on the walls to the colorful packaging, lots of customers opt for Trader Joe’s simply for the comforting vibes.

3. In addition to their unique cruelty-free food options, Trader Joe’s also has tons of funky international cuisine products that set them apart from their competition.

Shoppers skim through coupons and ads to decide where to pick-up their groceries for the week, and seeing an array of unique cultural options often sways their decision.

4. One of my favorite parts about Trader Joe’s is their customer service.

They have been known to treat their employees really well, and it totally shows! They are always incredibly friendly, patient, and eager to help you. This definitely weighs in on a returning customer’s choice of where to shop.

5. Their prices aren’t ridiculously expensive either.

They provide organic and GMO-free options at prices that are way lower than similar stores, such asEarth Fare and Whole Foods. Making it more affordable for everybody to have healthy food options is reason enough for people to head over there.

6. They have stayed consistent throughout the years and remain true to their values.

They have made slight changes in their logos to stay up to date, but they always have kept the same iconic font to make their brand easily recognizable.

7. They have an awesome little newsletter called the Fearless Flyer.

It highlights special products each month and provides delicious and easy recipes to make as well. In addition to all of the product information, the newsletters are also jam-packed with cool graphics and funny little cartoons, helpful for distracting children who’ve been dragged along while their parents run their errands.

Hat Tips:

Photo cred: Rend Creative

green beans blog effective marketing tips

10 Tips For More Effective Marketing

Whether your business is brand new or 20 years old, marketing is not an option anymore, it is a must to keep things going at the rate they are going or it will simply make your business grow as you not have ever expected it.

Check out those 10 quick tips about marketing that are going to make you do things differently to bring the attention needed to your business. You have to understand that no matter what economy your business is evolving in, a strong and smart marketing will get you to the edge of success. And sometimes, it may even be easier than what you would have thought.

1. Recognize and appreciate your customers

Understanding your customers is the basis of a good marketing strategy. Remember that you are nothing without them, you cannot sell anything without them, and more importantly, you have no reason to be without them. Your goal is to identify perfectly your customers’ needs and aspirations so you can make sure that you will be the only one able to speak to them in that unique way. By doing so, you will hold the advantage to build a solid relationship with them, and then insure their loyalty. Many tools are at your service to understand your customer’s behavior, demographics and requirements. The most important thing is to be as accurate as possible in order to guarantee selling efficiency. You will sell well is you know your target very well.

In a seconds time, you need to be interesting to your customers. To make sure of that, we recommend building a brand identity in which the customer is going to rely on, to identify himself to, and to buy from. Also remember that a happy and interested customer is going to say good things about you, so better keep them entertained!

2. Be aware of your competition

Once you can actually affirm knowing your customers better than they know themselves, it is time to focus on your competitors, because you will never be the only one aiming for your target. Ideas are flowing all the time, and this why you should pay attention to whatever innovations people are coming with. Global conditions are constantly changing and evolving, meaning that you have to stay at the top of your game not to be outdistanced by an outsider that has been studying the market more than you have been.

Today, everything is a matter of timing and reactivity. Everybody is keeping a close eye on each other, and that is to regularly monitor the external environment, looking for opportunities over the existing threats. They are aware of what you are and what you do, do not stay out of touch with reality.

3. Your product should be shaped after your customer’s needs

After having your competition secured, and your customer well identified, it is time to talk about the product that you are developing and selling. Just know that your product should not find a customer to fit his needs, it is the product that you are providing that has to fit the needs of the customer. Your product or service should be tailored to the expectations of your customers and this has to be valid from the product itself, to the way you promote it or even the packaging that is going to catch the eye among all the different products.

Do not fall into the stubborn approach of entrepreneurs who want to stick to the way they see their product (because they are the one who thought about it), make sure that you are designing and presenting the product as the customer would want to see it. Don’t forget that you may have thought about this revolutionary product on your own, but think about why and mostly who you decided to create it for.

4. Make sure that you are resourceful and persuasive

Marketing a product or a service means that you know your stuff by heart. No one should be able to trick you into complex questions. Deliveries should be taken care of in the smoothest way, after-sales service should be available to any questions, returns should not cause any problem and your staff should be happy to be here to help. You need to have all the answers prepared, and you need to be willing to face competitors’ product in the eyes of your customer. Your goal is to fight the competition and prove that what you sell suits your customer better; so don’t leave him hanging, fire all those arguments that will put the competition out of sight.

5. Get noticed and available to your customers

Today’s way of advertising has evolved and you have to live up to it. Nowadays, placing a few ads is not enough anymore. You have to embrace all the channels you have to reach your customers. Don’t stay classic, be outgoing and unexpected as much as you have to be unforgettable. Your message has to be short and clear to make sure that it will have a quick and strong impact on the minds. But mostly, you need to use your rational arguments in an emotional way so you can make sense to your customers. You have to prove that they need something they did not even realize they needed, and that you are the only one providing (selling) that product. Just make sure that your messages stand out for your business, and that you are accessible at anytime.

6. Put your staff first

Never forget your people. They are the ones that are here for you and who struggle with you every day to make it possible. You have to show them that you are motivated so they get the same energy. Take care of them so they feel involved, train them so they can give the best of themselves, make them feel needed and required. Give them the tools to be competent so everyone can work together and make you business work.

7. Display an eye-catching shop front

The outside can sometimes be the reason of an impulsive purchase. This is why you should grant some attention to the presentation of your business and its products. Having a clean shop front is a huge influence as an evidence of trust. Customers usually don’t buy from a website they do not feel comfortable navigating in. If they have a weird feeling about it, their trust is going to reduce. Inevitably, a messy front is going to lower your standards and won’t attract your target anymore.

8. Come up with a solid pricing strategy

Pricing is not just a matter of production costs and margin. You obviously have to take this in account to make sure that you earn enough money to run your business but above all that you need to decide what you are looking for. For example, high price is going to mean premium, so you will sell less but you will still have a good return on investment if you manage your image as well. On the other side, you could be selling at a low price to get and break into the market, but this will high profitability only in the long term. Pricing is a very important issue to consider in your marketing plan.

9. Foster strong relationships

A dissatisfied customer may be the worst thing for your business. A happy customer will spread the word around that you have a good thing going on, but an outraged customer will bring your business down by telling every single person they can. You need to put your relationship with the customer first to avoid this kind of situation. Don’t let anyone the opportunity to spread a bad story about your business because it would damage your brand and people usually remember the bad things rather than the good ones. Make sure that any issue that you could be having could also be sorted out as briefly as possible.

10. Have a well-planed marketing strategy

Once you have all of those things figured out, you need to write down the development your strategy so everyone can work in the same direction. This marketing strategy goes back over all the points mentioned earlier in a step-by-step plan. This document will help gather all of the essentials that will make you strong in your marketing path to success. This will be a document you will refer to in case of misleading times.

Ambition, motivation and marketing will become the three pointers you will always refer to in order to achieve success in your business. Never be afraid to try, you need to stand out there to make a name for yourself so don’t hesitate for one second.