Marketing Strategy - Target Market

Marketing Strategy: How To Instantly Catapult The Growth & Profit Of Your Business

One question I often get asked is: “Steve if there was one marketing strategy, just one thing that I could do to grow my business, what would it be?”

Before I answer that question, whilst I understand why people ask it, just be aware that there isn’t a magic bullet. You need to use a combination of tactics and marketing strategies (by way of introduction, you should read all about ‘The FORMULA’ and the ‘Core Elements’).

But one marketing strategy does stand out above all others.

It should be the foundation of EVERY other marketing strategy and tactic you apply to your business.

It’s the first ‘Core Element (read about the Core Elements here).

I call this marketing strategy the ‘Target Market’.

And the target market is basically the group or groups of people or businesses that you specifically target who are most likely to want, need, desire, and can afford your product or service. They are your BEST types of clients, customers or patients.

This is where most people make the BIGGEST MISTAKE…

Marketing Strategy – Target Market: The BIG MISTAKE

The normal approach that people take is they try and appeal and target to everybody (‘Mass Market’)…

Marketing Strategy - Mass Tarket

Notice with the 'mass market' approach, you have to use a general message. Therefore, your marketing message is weak because it's trying to appeal to EVERYBODY.

And the reason why being specific with who you’re targeting (target market approach) is because if you get specific it means you can actually match your message to your market.

You can match everything you say to that particular target market, because if you understand what their needs, desires, wants, concerns are, then you can target those specific individuals or businesses and match everything to them.

Plus, if you’re trying to target everybody, it’s going to cost you more to reach the people who are perfect for your business.

Marketing Strategy - Target Market: The Way To Do It

Whereas if you identify the target market, what you’re doing is you’re laser focusing on the right people or businesses, which means you can either spend less or even spend more per target to actually convince them to buy from you.  And as i said, it becomes so much more successful because your message is targeted to them...

Marketing Strategy - Target market

Marketing Strategy - Target Market: An Interesting Example (How Not To Do It)


What I want to do now is show you a really interesting example that demonstrates the importance of target market. The danger with telling you just how important target market is as a marketing strategy to grow your business, is you most likely have heard about it and know about it. And maybe you’re doing a little bit of it. But in my experience, people just don't apply it or apply it so it has an incredible effect on their business.

In fact, once you get the target market right, all your other marketing strategies become so much more powerful. And I'll show you how to do that too.

So this example’s really interesting...

It was an experiment that was conducted by the Washington Post in the USA, and it wasn’t anything to do with target marketing!

But when I saw it I thought, that’s just a brilliant. It's a brilliant video that I can show to people to explain the difference between really good target marketing and really poor target marketing.  And as I said, most people take the approach based around this experiment.

And this experiment was all about putting a guy called Joshua Bell into a subway in Washington.

Joshua Bell is one of the leading violinists in the world.

He plays the most beautiful music ever written. He’s very, very successful.

And what they did was they got Joshua to play his violin at the entrance to a Washington DC subway and they looked at how much money he would get given over a 45 minute period.  So watch the video below carefully and you’ll see what I mean. Towards the end of the video there's a simple question. Write down a figure...


So over a 1,000 people were the target market.

7 people stopped to listen, just 7.

27 passed and gave money.

He made $32 in change.

Not very impressive for a guy who would normally earn around $5,000 per hour.

So what was the problem?

Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it?

He’s playing firstly in a location that isn’t set up to listen to world class music. In other words the 'sales environment wasn't set up correctly.

But also it’s people that obviously haven’t got any affinity, with beautiful classical music.

Now, imagine if people had been invited to a hotel or theatre and they had no idea that Joshua Bell was going to be playing.

But they were targeted because they love classical music and they've been shown to actually spend a lot of money on going to classical concerts and maybe even private sittings.

Basically... they are people that love classical music.

And what would happen if Joshua Bell walked into that room?

He would command the audience and people would pay handsomely for that.

Hopefully that gives you the profound difference between targeting to everybody, which is what most businesses do (just like in the video) or then honing in on the target market.  And we do that by creating, what I call the 'Customer Avatar' or the avatar profile.

And this is so easy to do...

Marketing Strategy - Creating Your 'Customer Avatar'

What you do is look at your perfect customer, your perfect client, your perfect patient.

And you’re breaking down the things that make them tick.

You’re looking at their needs, wants and desires.

You’re looking at their frustrations.

You’re looking at their problems.

You’re looking at the reasons why and the motivations for buying your product or service.

And you write all these down.

You’re looking at the commonalities between the perfect customer and what your product and service delivers to them.

This is how you build your Avatar Profile.

You're also going to look at their demographics and psychographics.

For consumers, you’re looking at where they live.

What type of houses they live in.

How many cars they've got.

What type of cars they drive.

How many children have they got.

Who the decision-maker(s) is.

...all these sorts of things will play a part in determining the perfect Avatar Profile for you. You just need to decide which ones are relevant.

If it’s businesses you’re targeting, you're looking at their location.

The size of the business.

The industry they’re in.

Who the decision-maker(s) is.

...all these sorts of things.

You're collecting this information to build a beautiful profile of your perfect customer.

And then once you know who that perfect customer is, you can then target those people.

And today one of the amazing things about the development of the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google AdWords, all these sorts of online media is that their profiling and their targeting is incredible. 15 years ago we had to rely on offline data. But now these organisations are making it even easier for you to target your Customer Avatar(s).

So if you’ve created the perfect Customer Avatar Profile you can use these different media, plus obviously you can use things, more traditional things like advertising and direct mail to laser in on these people.

And because you can do that, as I’ve already said, your marketing becomes much more focused...

Marketing Strategy - Getting 'Inside Their Heads'

It means you can actually spend less to reach these people.

And because your message can be laser targeted to them... it means if you can get inside their heads, and anything and everything is possible when you do that!

You can’t underestimate how valuable this is.

As I said, this is THE most important marketing strategy that you can use to grow your business.

I promise you, the target market is critical, and actually when you get this right, everything else becomes so much more easier.

So to demonstrate this point perfectly, I’m going to show you another video clip.

It’s from a film that I love, called 'What Women Want'.  And for those of you that don’t know what that film’s about, it basically

It stars Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt.

Let me set the scene...

Ironically, the film is centred around an ad agency in New York.

Mel Gibson plays an advertising executive called Nick.  And he is a male chauvinistic pig.

But the agency has a challenge...

They’re successful, but because they’re dominated by a number of male chauvinists, like Nick, they don’t represent any of the leading female brands.

They’re about to appoint a new creative director, Mel Gibson thinks he’s going to get it but surprisingly to him they bring in a woman from another top agency called Darcy, played by Helen Hunt.

And she’s been brought on board to specifically help the agency get more advertising revenue from the large female brands.

On her first day, she calls a meeting with all the top execs in the agency.

She’s already prepared a box full of female products that are looking for advertising representation right now and she asks all the team to go back home, spend the night looking at each product and then come back the next day with slogans and maybe ad creatives for those particular products.

Mel Gibson reluctantly does that and he’s in his bathroom and he’s trying on the lipstick, he’s messing around with hair mousse.  He’s putting on eyeliner and there’s a storm going on outside.

Anyway, he starts putting on a pair of tights to try and get a good feel for them and as he's trying to put them on he slips.

As he slips he’s falling towards the bath which is full of water and at the same time, he knocks the hairdryer off the ledge and it's still on and the hairdryer and him fall into the water at the same time.

Obviously he gets electrocuted.

Anyway, something magical happens and he wakes up the next day and all of a sudden he can hear what women think, which is incredible.

But it scares the bejeebers out of him because all he can hear is all these things going on and women talking.

He thinks he's going crazy.

So he goes to see his shrink is played brilliantly by Bette Midler.

And what I’d like you to do for a couple of minutes is pretend that you’re Mel Gibson, okay.

And pretend for a moment that I’m Bette Midler (don't laugh too much!).

And you’re coming to me scared saying "I have to target smaller segments of my market and it really scares me".  And what Bette Midler is doing or what I’m trying to do is make you realise that this is not a bad thing.  This is a great thing, as long as you harness the power of it.

That sets the scene.

Let me just play the clip...

That part right at the end when Gibson was in Bette Midler’s office where she says, "you must learn from this... the world can be yours."

That's what I'm trying to emphasise to you.

That's what target market brings to your business.

And in that instant Gibson smiles and knows he's got this phenomenal tool. And that's how I want you to think.

So now you can see the potential of using target market to your advantage.

But how do you use it?

Marketing Strategy - Influencing Their Behaviour

What you do is you take your Avatar Profile and then tailor your message to resonate with your target market(s).

As long as you've created your Customer Avatar, you'll find this simple.

And to show you how it's done, here's another clip from the film What Women Want.

Gibson now armed with this amazing gift is going to put it into action to his favour.

He's gone to his favourite coffee shop and he’s going to try and get a date with the girl behind the counter, who’s played by Marisa Tomei.

For months and months Gibson has been trying to get a date with her. But even though she likes him, she's so far resisted his charm.

Let's see what happens...

Notice he starts off as he used to... all guns blazing but then you’ll notice that all of a sudden he hears what she’s thinking ("don't hurt me Nick, I've been hurt so many times").

That's her big fear. It's what's holding her back. So he then remembers t use his new found power to his advantage and he then appreciates her fear and then makes her feel at ease by empathising with her ("I know what it's like to get hurt") and then overcoming her fear ("let's take it slow").

And just by doing this, all of a sudden her whole demeanour changes and he gets the date.

That's the difference it makes when you start tailoring your messages to your target market.

To find out more, why don't you register for my live FORMULA webinar, which runs every Thursday. Alternatively, at the moment you can get my book titled, 'The FORMULA' for FREE. You can get it here.

Steve Hackney is a best-selling author, and renown business growth mentor, coach and consultant. Over 26,000 small and medium sized businesses are working with The Core Asset to quickly multiply their sales and profits, transforming their businesses and their lives.

About The Author

Steve Hackney

Steve Hackney is a best-selling author, and renown business growth mentor, coach and consultant. Over 26,000 small and medium sized businesses are working with The Core Asset to quickly multiply their sales and profits, transforming their businesses and their lives.