Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Challenges of Specialized Target Markets

Some of my fellow small business owners face unusually difficult marketing challenges because their target market is extremely specialized.  This is the literal opposite of a grocer or gas station where the potential market can be large and wide.  Typical advertising plans in this case go out the window due to the very low coverage ratio (i.e. almost no one who sees the ad is a target).  So what to do?

Market Research is essential here.  At whatever cost or time is needed, the businessperson needs to figure out where to find the target.  I would also tap into networks and do some groupsourcing: getting ideas from that wide body of minds.  Sometimes there are professional associations or meetup groups.  Are there affinity publications? chat rooms? web sites?  A database can be created of people in the target market or leads to collections of them.

With that in hand, outreach promotion or advertising can be effected.  It may be easier in some cases to advertise or enter a discussion group.  In other cases direct contact may be necessary to tap people in the target, adding to the database, and making possible requests for referrals.  Another technique is to build a Meetup group oriented to the target where you can facilitate discussions and share information in a "soft" sell mode.

Last but not least, ask through networks for someone who may be a target.  Ask if you can share information on what you do or if the person can connect you to the right target, and keep building.  In very little time you may be able to assemble a sizeable, engaged and attractive data set of target prospects.

It can be done!  Start with that first small step.


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