Think about what people are doing on Facebook today.   They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand.   They’re connecting with the audience that they want to connect to.   It’s almost a disadvantage if you’re not on it now.

Mark Zuckerberg

…congratulations you have a major part of the battle completed!  The hard part for you is to not deviate from it as you move forward. For the rest of you that did not start that way or are considering new or additional targets determining a specific target is critical to gaining real meaning among the potential purchasers of your product. Failing to define a clear target among which your product can gain significant meaning is a sure fire way to ensure your product will get lost in the sea of choices.

Prior to discussing some considerations to take into account when determining your target it is worthwhile to clarify what a target does and does not do.

Targeting Does:

· Provide a well defined sub segment of the population to aim all your messages.   These “messages” encompass everything from graphics design to media.

· Takes advantage of a known need within a segment of the population ensuring interest and passion can be generated for your product.

·Focuses the energy of your entire organization. This enables a quick check on activities… would this motivate “insert target”.

Targeting Does Not:

· Exclude opportunist sales. The goal is not to exclude anyone but you are not spending resources to “attract” non-target sales.

· Provide insight into how to market your product to your target.   Targeting tells you the “who” but not how to reach your target i.e. media or communication devices.  

Target Considerations:

Here are a few guidelines to take into account when defining a target:

· When defining a target make it specific.   Women 25- 54 would not normally be a target.   The variation within the target needs to be small to ensure similar reactions to your messages.   Women 25-54 could be a target if it was followed by “who jog over 3 miles at least 2 times per week”.

· Rather than have too broad a target start with one and fully develop it then move to a new one once the first one is performing at your expectations.

· Find a target that innately has need for your product.   While convincing someone they need your product is possible it is very expensive.   Don’t target a minivan to a single male 18-24 years old rather target it to people with 1 or more children under the age of 10.

· Find a target that is large enough to support you business goals. We would all like to have a billion dollars in sales but every product has its limitations.   Know yours and define a target that can realistically get you 80% of the way there.   I f the targeting and support is strong enough some non-target folks will be pulled in and account for the last 20%.

Effectively determine a target:

· Marketing Workshop has done this type of research for many companies across several business verticals.

· The research plan normally consists of a combination of syndicated data mining, qualitative interviews, and quantitative validation research.

· Like your target each company is unique and we create a solution custom created for your needs.   We use our ResearchWISE® approach: o Wisdom and Imagination, based upon over 40 years of experience helping companies define their target o Science, through the application of advanced analytics that are custom tailored to your study

·Providing Enlightenment, regarding your company’s optimal target.

Final thoughts on targeting:

· Targeting is not a straightjacket; it is the markers on a ski slope. It should guide you on your path but allow for others not on the path to venture into it.

· Every product/ brand should have a well defined target.   To not do so in our cluttered media intense environment is a formula to assure mediocrity with your consumers/ customers.

· A target can be easily identified through well planned analytical methodologies so there is no reason to throw a dart and see where it lands or just market it and “see who buys it”.   The return on the marketing research investment will far exceed the cost of not doing so in terms of your future revenue stream.

~Marketing Workshop