Target Market Basics, Part Two

Our society is bombarded by information all day, every day. People have learned to disregard the information that doesn’t suit them. Most people can, very quickly, decipher whether a message is relevant to their needs, desires.

People fundamentally want to:

• ease their pain
• solve their problems
• realize their dreams

Since reading our first blog, you have developed a clear picture of your target market. Now you need to know where to find this demographic and how best to market to them.

To learn where your ideal client is, find out where they gather, what they read, where they spend their free time, and what level of technology they’re comfortable with. Get informed about their interests, needs, and motivations.

From there move onto creating the content, making sure that your message suits the medium you chose.

What to say to them? Use the data you’ve gathered about their pain, problems and dreams. Keep in mind that each age group has different collective memories, cultural icons and language expectations.

Age
The older baby boomers still read newspapers, watch television and listen to the radio, so these more traditional places canbe effective places to get your message in front of your audience. Traditional messages will work well here too – this generation saw the advent of the television and grew up with its advertising. They havea traditional attitude around language: a respectful and somewhat formal approach is wise.

Looking at the younger demographics leads us to the internet. Pretty much everyone, unless elderly or really young, isspending time there. For each demographic, it’s important to drill down into this opportunity.

How involved in the cyber worldis your target market?

An older target market hasn’t been weaned on electronics, and may only be comfortable with basics like email and Web 2.0 sites.You need a website regardless of your niche, and it will be especially effective with this demographic.

Things get a bit trickier with younger generations. Young baby-boomers might be on Facebook or Twitter. They may use these platforms to keep in touch or keep up to date, but they probably aren’t tied to them, and aren’t the first places they turn to for information. This group is good with internet searches, navigating websites and finding things online, but are not slaves to the web. Language expectations are likely to lean towards the more conservative.

The thirties and forties demographic is a step up the technological ladder, and they are using mobile devices too. It’s a fine line betweenwho’s savvy and who isn’t, so you may need to do some testing. What’s key here is that this group is likely to reach out to their social networks for information and opinions. The language of this demo is looser, but still solid grammatically.

Facebook and Twitter can be inexpensive places to communicate your message, but you have to be strategic, consistent, and build networks.

Twenties and early thirty-somethings use every conceivable online and mobile platform. They know apps inside out, in fact they build them. This group is Web 3.0 and their information moves at the speed of lightening. Language is very different for this group and anything conservative or formal will be a turn-off.

Education
Generally, the more educated someone is, the more likely they want to educate themselves on any given project. They want valuable information, from experts,that will guide them in their home search.

Location
If marketing to locals, you can refer to local hotspots and use slang for the various neighbourhoods. If marketing to non-locals, you have to spell it out, and work from the general to the specific. Rural vs. urban clients will also require different approaches.

Experience
Has your target market had experience with real estate? Have they bought and sold a home, dealt with a mortgage or the maintenance and repairs that a home requires? If so, they want information about these details. First-time buyers have little idea what they’re getting into, so some education will help them too. It will also help you establish yourself as trustworthy and an expert.

Income and Profession
Of course income level and profession is important to consider. Different professions tend to gather in specific places in the real and cyber world. There are also trade shows and publications specific to each profession. Very formal language may appeal to high-level executives, but it will turn off blue-collar workers and (alternatively) rock stars!

Measure
Make sure to measure the results of your marketing strategy and adapt and adopt as needed.

Marketing vehicles run the gamut from direct mail-outs, incentives, through traditional media streams, to the online world and mobile technology, all the way to the good old-fashioned personal telephone call. Choose your vehicles carefully. Monitor and measure your results, and tweak as needed.