The First Step To Finding Your Target Market

“The riches are in the niches.”

-Internet

I don’t like hard and  fast rules because every case, every business, and every person is different. But one thing that we can agree on is the web is a wide, wide world. But there is one little ol’ company that successfully delivers a narrow web experience based on an individual’s interests via keywords that are typed into a small little rectangular box: Google. And then there is one little sign that connects people’s interests all over the world into one place: hashtags. What that means for you, as a business, is you can find a niche that you can dominate with a potentially large audience that can reach the far corners of the earth. When someone types something peripherally related to your product or service, you can show up and fulfill what they’re seeking. There’s a reason why they say the riches are in the niches. Because with 7.5 billion internet users today, you can successfully carve out your piece by targeting a narrowly defined market.

But first, how do you know if the target market you’re targeting is the right one?

SELL TO CUSTOMERS WHO SHARE YOUR BELIEFS.

Ask yourself, what are your beliefs? What is your purpose? What is your cause? What about the world is changing that makes you, your company, product or service necessary?

This may seem counterintuitive because shouldn’t we be talking about what makes your product or service different? Many do. But according to Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why” what makes great companies stand out, big or small, is they don’t think from the outside, in; the what and the how. They think from the inside, out; the why.  And thinking from the inside out leads to you selling to customers who share your beliefs. Because people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. And the goal is to not have people buy what you have. The goal is to have people believe what you believe.  This incites loyalty. So that when your business evolves past the one product or service, they will be loyal to buy all of the other products or service you launch. Let’s look at some examples of how big companies and small to medium sized companies do this:

Apple is easy to talk about because everyone gets it. And Steve Jobs is regarded as a marketing genius because one thing he did well with Apple is lead all of their marketing efforts with a belief system. Like this ad to “Create.” Right next to their logo on the bottom right states “You are not here to do what has already been done.”

Their beliefs were about highlighting individuality. One’s uniqueness. To divorce oneself from the monotonous tones and sameness of the PC.

In their iPad campaign and commercials for “What’s your verse?” They ask, “How are you going to make your mark in the world?” The actual iPad product doesn’t come in until the very end.

Thus, they became much more than a computer company. Their followers bought their PCs, laptops, MP3 players, mobile devices, watches… etc.

UniDesk is a medium sized business with 100 employees. Their product is to create cloud networks for other small businesses to help manage their workflow so that their clients  can work from anywhere. Unidesk start off every sales presentation with their set of beliefs which are:

  • There should be only 1 Windows image and 1 application image to patch and manage.
  • You shouldn’t have to be an expert to deliver or update applications.
  • It should be quick and easy to fix a broken desktop.

When you discover your beliefs, it crystallises who your target market is. Unidesk began to ask: well… based on these beliefs, does a Wall Street bank share these beliefs? They concluded that they probably have 2,000 people in their IT department. Their IT managers want to be the ones that are called when a desktop breaks. Therefore, they don’t share Unidesk’s beliefs. However, a Vice President of a school credit union who has two people on his IT staff, does she share Unidesk’s beliefs? Absolutely. Because those two IT people are responsible for servers, storage, phone systems, and the list goes on. That Vice President doesn’t want them to spend half of their day updating Windows and delivering apps for the bank. The head of IT at a small law firm feels the same way. The Vice President of College of Maritime feels the same way. So their set of beliefs really informed who they sell to.

When you do this exercise, you begin to understand who you’re going to sell to. And it’s these folks that will become a part of your tribe.

Leading with your beliefs is what creates fanatics and radical support around your brand. A real community that will do the most valued kind of marketing for you for free: word-of-mouth to their social circles.

Ok, that’s the first step! Stay tuned for the next blog post on what the second step is (and it’s a really, really good one).

In the meantime, if you want to know more about our marketing hacks, download our B2B Small Business Marketing Framework to get some more insights or just ping Holly for a 15-minute Skype consultation (we really do know our stuff).