Is Your Target Market “Everyone”? Here’s Why That’s Problematic
You’re excited about your business, and you know everyone else should be too—as long as you get an opportunity to show them what you have to offer. For many business owners, the idea of developing an idea of the ideal client or target market is strange. After all, if you have a product or service that everyone can benefit from, shouldn’t you share it with everyone, not just a certain type of customer? If your target market is “everyone”, you may think you’re opening your business up to more potential revenue, but this kind of thinking can be problematic. Here’s why.
You Won’t Identify the “Pain Points”
In order to sell a product or service, you need to fulfill a desire, or solve one of your customers’ “pain points”. While people do spend money readily on items they want, they’re more likely to buy things they need—products and services that solve their problems and make life easier. “Pain points” are problems and frustrations your customers have that you can help to solve.
The problem with marketing to everyone at once? Every market is made up of people with different pain points. Take the example of traveling. The business traveler’s frustrations are very different from the family traveling with young children or the millennial taking a solo trip abroad. It’s nearly impossible to solve the problems of these three markets simultaneously, which is why defining a target market and defining how you will solve the market’s problems is key.
Your Marketing Won’t Be Focused
People buy when marketing materials are relevant to them and their needs. If your marketing campaigns aren’t targeting a specific demographic or market, you’ll find they become more general and less focused. In order to have a focused marketing strategy, you need to determine a target market and consider this ideal market from multiple angles. Age and gender are a good starting point, but it’s a good idea to narrow it down even further: what is the income, lifestyle, and habits of this market? Remember, starting with one market doesn’t mean you can’t expand later, but creating a focused marketing campaign will be crucial to your success.
You’ll Have Trouble Setting Goals
Goal-setting is an important growth activity, but if you’re trying to sell to everyone, it will be harder to set realistic goals. In order to set smart goals, you need to be able to make predictions and focus on what’s important. How can you do that when you don’t even know who you’re selling to? Narrow your market and focus on the goals that are most important to growth and building revenue.
The Data Won’t Inform Your Strategy
We live in an age that offers businesses access to rich and informative data. Segmenting your data properly is the only way to make sense of it as you try to analyze and use customer behavior to inform your strategy. When your market is too broad, there are too many variables at play, which can make data far less valuable to your ultimate business goals. You’ll still collect the data, but it won’t be nearly as useful in determining your next move.
Resource Allocation Will Become Haphazard
How much money does your new business have? If you’re like the majority of entrepreneurs, the answer is probably “not enough”. So how are you going to allocate your precious resources? If you’re trying to target everyone, you’re probably not spending your marketing dollars effectively, and you may be wasting time and money chasing customers who aren’t interested in your product. Be realistic about your priorities, and direct your dollars to the markets that are showing their enthusiasm for your concept. If your not sure who that market is, then start using predictive analytics to narrow in and find the highest converting audiences. Don’t waste money targeting everyone until you find out.
Overall Lack of Focus Kills New Businesses
The statistics on new business success are grim. The truth is that 96% of new businesses don’t make it to the 10 year mark. These failures can be attributed to many different factors, but the fact is that successful entrepreneurs are laser-focused and know that there’s little room for error in our cutthroat economy. Defining a target market is just one way you can stay competitive and become one of the 4% that does make it.
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