Business Plan Element: Market Approach – Target Market

Janet is a 58-year-old librarian in Ajax. She’s gluten-free by choice. She is an avid outdoorswoman and likes that an outfitter provides all of the gear and food for her adventures as well as a partner to canoe with, because none of her friends are into the outdoors anymore.

That profile – an amalgamation of one outfitter’s clients – represents the one person the outfitter “talks” to when telling stories on social media, her main form of marketing. She has seen success in talking to this one person, through engagements with her Facebook posts (likes, shares, comments). She’s also built a solid community on this target market, where discussions about women’s rights, animal rights, and environmental awareness happen daily.

Who are *you* talking to?

We’ve looked at why we should do some planning for our business, at crafting a solid mission statement for our organization, at examining its strengths and weaknesses, and evaluating the environment in which we play. Now it’s time to look at our target market.

Your organization may have a number of ways it looks at its clients and prospects:

  • Geography: are you a local business operating within a defined radius of your location?
  • Demographics: do you mainly work with people of a particular age, gender, religion, socio-economic status?
  • Psychographics: do your clients have similar lifestyles, attitudes, interests?
  • Behavioral: do you run a loyalty program for clients and / or are they coming back at regular intervals to buy from you? Do they know exactly what they want when they come to see you?
  • Channels of distribution: are your products or services offered only direct to your customers or do you have other channels through which your offerings are sold?

If you can answer those questions, you can create your own customer profile for your business. Armed with that knowledge, tailor your stories and your marketing to that one person.

Do you already have your customer’s profile? Share it below or share some of the wins you’ve experienced using this approach.

What do you think?