There may be many instances in which a one size fits all approach works, however, Marketing & Public Relations is not one of them.
If you are quick to point out that you are targeting everyone, the fact is you are targeting no one. Deciding on your niche or who you are trying to reach, is one of your key branding and communication decisions because it sets the tone for your messaging, your communication mediums, and your product/service offering.
With a clearly defined audience in mind, you can speak directly to their needs e.g., a beauty salon that only uses natural products, the health store that sources gluten free products or products for diabetics or the guest house/hotel that caters to business travellers or families.
Here’s how you can work out what your target market looks like:
1. Do your customers have any common traits? Depending on your business, your customers will have a few things in common including demographics and interests. Let’s say you decide to focus on the wellness seeker in your tourism/hospitality business. Your guests may have a common interest in detoxing, destressing for the sake of their mental health or engaging in healthy eating habits. Since you decided to focus on a niche as opposed to targeting every type of tourist, you can determine that the wellness seeker may wish to participate in activities such as yoga, spa treatments, hikes, and fitness classes among other things. This of course has implications for what you offer at your hotel/guest house because a wellness seeker will stay at a location that fulfils their goals e.g., a meditation room, a vegan menu or at least a partnership with a spa, yoga instructor or a local farmer/farmer’s market.
2. What’s your brand’s personality? – If I asked you to tell me about your mom, I am sure you can come up with a host of adjectives to describe her which will allow me to form an impression. The same applies to your brand. You should brainstorm the words that come to mind or that you want to come to mind when people think of your brand or when they see any imagery of your brand e.g., traditional, modern, budget, ethical, innovative, professional. Armed with your list, you can begin to formulate an idea of the kinds of people who would want to use your product/service.
3. Everything should be grounded in research – If you are an existing business, look at your most loyal or frequent customers. What do they have in common? What are they buying? Utilize any sales and marketing data you have at hand including website analytics and liaise with your customer facing staff to get their feedback. If you are a start-up, study the market to see if there are any gaps that your brand can fill. Remember that as time progresses you may introduce new products/services to suit the changing lifestyle preferences so in the future you find yourself catering to an additional niche which may necessitate an additional product line or business.
Candice Sealey is a freelance content writer, advertising copywriter, voiceover talent, media personality and the Founder & Principal Consultant at Ignite! a Full-service Marketing & PR Consultancy that helps businesses/brands to stand out, engage and connect with the right people through Strategy, Marketing, Media services and Design solutions.
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