Market targeting is the only, truly cost effective way to promote your business. It may seem counter intuitive to you if you are a new home business entrepreneur, but everyone is not your customer. Money and time spent reaching those who aren't is simply wasted.
Scattering your marketing dollars across a wide, untargeted market, is like the deer hunter referred to by sales trainer Brian Tracy. This hunter stood on the edge of the forest firing wildly into the trees, and then turned to his hunting partner and said; "I sure hope something runs into that".
Targeting, on the other hand, is saving your bullets until you have something you want in your sights to spend them on. It's obvious you are going to be a lot more successful if you know where you are hunting, what you are hunting, and are saving your ammunition (read marketing dollars) until you find it.
Finding Your Target Market
Target Markets are defined my a set of chracteristics called demographics. The word, demographics, simply means the set of things about people that defines who they are within the larger world.
Some of the characteristics that go into a customer demographic are age, gender, income level, education levels, married, or single. Other things to consider include children - how many and how old, ethnicity, hobbies and even religious affiliation.
Why do these things matter? If you are selling a Day Care service would you be more likely to get value for your advertising dollar in "Parenting Magazine", or "Golden Years: a Magazine for Couples Over 50"?
OK, that one was easy and obvious but it isn't always so. If you are selling environmentally friendly cleaning products where do you advertise? What about Cruises? Young and old, singles and Married couples, all take cruises. There are a couple of answers to this question.
The first answer lies in your clear, exact definition of your product. A cruise is too broad and too generic to sell, but a singles cruise, or a cruise for mom entrepreneurs, or a seniors cruise will fill up.
The second lies in obtaining the customer profile for the type of cruise you offer. Libraries are filled with demographic data. For the price of a library card and a few hours of researching will provide you with a list of the demographic characteristics of the person most likely to buy a ticket on the type of cruise you offer. All you have to do then is create advertising that appeals to those demographics and get it into their hands.
The information you need to do that is right there in the same demographics. What does your target market read? Advertise there. What are his/her hobbies? Advertise in magazines devoted to those hobbies.
Home Based Internet Businesses
Work from home businesses that are internet based have the same goal, but a different approach. You have to know everything about your product and target market your counterparts on the "bricks and mortar" side of the aisle need to know - and more. You also need to know how that target searches for you on the Internet. That means the keywords and combinations of keywords they use in their search. You need those keywords on your site to turn up on your potential customer's search results.
To accomplish this you need tools. Search engine optimization (SEO) software that sorts and presents keywords and keyword combinations as they rise and fall in popularity.
Once you have the keywords generating traffic to your site you can use the target market demographics you've discovered to write page copy that appeals to the needs and wants of your target demographic.