No matter what kind of business you are in, a targeted marketing campaign can reduce your spending while improving your ROI – that is, your return on investment. Targeted marketing is a better approach than advertising everywhere because it ensures that you are only investing in markets where you are more likely to turn over a profit.

Why targeted campaigns?

Your business was developed to uniquely address the needs of certain consumers.  While you know that there are people whose problems can be solved if they knew about your product, it is important to also know how to reach these customers to inform them of your solution.

Consider this – you have a business selling snowshoes. You spend your time and hard-earned money for advertising on simply getting the word out there, without targeting anyone specifically. Ads are placed across the US, including Alaska and Hawaii. While snowshoes are popular items in Alaska, there is not the same kind of demand for your type of product in Hawaii.

The result is that you aren’t really satisfied with a number of sales generated in comparison to the amount of money that you have funnelled into the effort. This problem of overspend on wasted efforts can be solved with targeted marketing – focusing efforts on a specific audience that is more likely to be interested in what you have to offer, more likely to purchase your product, and more likely to become a customer. By narrowing your scope, you can also reduce spend – or you can spend more efficiently by using more budget to advertise in markets where you can earn more sales.

How to target your audience

You can adapt your marketing based on factors that might be specific to your target consumer.

1. Interest – This can also be called niche marketing. For example, if you are trying to market a sport performance nutritional beverage, your efforts would be wasted if you invested in advertising to consumers who spend most of their day on the couch and have no interest in improving their athleticism.

Targeting consumers who already have an interest in sports performance (perhaps they have previously purchased or browsed athletic training equipment and apparel) means that you focusing your efforts on people who are more likely to have a need for your product.

2. Age –  If you are selling a children’s toy, your target market is likely going to be children, and by extension the parents of children.  Budget spent marketing the hottest new stuffed animal to high-school and college-aged consumers is not likely to have good returns. Similarly, if you’re selling anti-aging products, you will have more success targeting an older-aged crowd, to which the physical signs and appearances of ageing are a real concern.

3. Location – The need to target based on location can come from various reasons. This could be due to varying climates which can impact consumer needs (such as the case with snowshoes), but this can also come from different regulatory limitations.

For example, with 8 states in the US having passed legislation that legalises the recreational use of marijuana, there is a new industry growing for cannabis marketing. Just make sure you’re not throwing your spend into marketing in states where recreational marijuana growers, distributors, and retailers are legally prohibited from operating.

Results, analysis, and continued marketing

Anytime you are running a marketing campaign, it should be monitored on a continuous basis for performance. Keep an eye on KPIs – key performance indicators – and continually collect and analyse data so that you can ensure that each of the marketing campaigns you are running is reaching the intended audiences and achieving your sales goals.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups, Contributor @Entrepreneur, Columnist @Inc. Magazine and Curator at Postanly (his free weekly digest of the best life and career improvement posts on the web. Subscribe for free.

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