Identifying the people in your target market is one of the most basic and most important aspects of becoming a successful marketer. While many people may understand the concept, there are a surprising number who never implement it. And unless you do, you probably will never become very successful in your marketing efforts.
For example, if you are someone who’s looking for a new car, then you’ll probably pay more attention to all of the radio and TV commercials and newspaper ads for cars. But if you are not in the market for a new car, you’ll probably “tune out” those same ads. They are still there, but because they are not in line with your interests, you just don’t notice them. Your ads will only be effective for the extent that they match your potential clients’ interests.
Regardless of where you were purchase the ad space there will always be a certain percentage of people who, although they may see it or hear it, are not viable prospects for whatever you are selling. Your target market should consist of people who not only need your product or service, but also have the wherewithal to pay for it. So you need to be sure that your message is directed toward and targeted only to those who are qualified prospects.
Up to this point, we’ve been discussing offline advertising. Does the Internet have this same requirement? The principles are the same so the answer is a resounding yes! Although the Internet is worldwide and spans most of the globe, it is probably more important to find and then focus on your target market there than in any other medium.
However, while the principles are the same, the audience is vastly different. Unlike offline marketing, most of the online venues where you might advertise are not able to offer detailed demographics of their visitors or readers. While several companies are working hard to gather this information, they are often frustrated in their efforts because most people do not want to give out personal information on the web.
So without this data, you are going to have to use some common sense. You need to find out exactly who buys what you are selling and then talk only to those people. So, with that in mind, you should start identifying a few websites where you can place an ad, or search for a newsletter that attempts to cater to your potential client base.
Once you’ve found a few places to include your ad, you need to figure out how to measure and track your results. And often it is at this point that many people who claim to be marketers drop the ball. If you do not know the reason behind the results you are getting, then you will not know what you need to do to improve those results. When it comes to online marketing, there are several ways to track the source of where your leads are generated. One of the easiest methods is to use an email address that is different to that ad. If you have your own domain, usually you will have unlimited aliases that all point to the same email address. If that is not an option, then you could always use free email addresses.
Another suggestion is to use the web in your tracking endeavors. For instance, you could create a different form, which sends you an email for each ad someone responds to. You could include a keyword that the visitor will never see in the body that pinpoints exactly where your prospect saw the ad.
You should also consider using Newsletters. The fact is that if the newsletter has been in existence for at least a couple of years, and also has a good-sized subscriber base, then they must be doing something right. So, if your ad is not pulling in traffic, then you are targeting the wrong market, or you have a poorly written ad. If the latter is the case, then here’s the best way to solve the problem. You need to identify what you are selling and who will buy it, and then, in your ad copy, only talk to those people. Pinpoint your message. Pick out your prospects. Talk to them individually. And forget everyone else.
The final idea is to incorporate online tracking software in your advertising campaigns. Many good auto-responder services offer this feature, and you can also purchase software for this purpose. By creating a tracking link for each of your ad campaigns, you can review the tracking reports and get a true picture of how effective your ads and your ad campaigns are, as well as being able to pinpoint what is working—and what isn’t.