You hear this term all the time. But what does it mean for a small business owner? Should you be reading expensive industry reports, buying expensive marketing books, and doing hours of research online? These are all passive actions, and as a small business owner you do not have the time. Instead you need to take the bull by the horns and find out for yourself. There are two reasons why this is a better approach. First, industry reports and most marketing books are informing you from a corporate business perspective. All that information is not very relevant to a small business owner. If you don’t paint the perfect picture of your target market it will not cost you millions of dollars.
The second reason is that your target market is constantly evolving. So why spend a ton of time trying to figure out your current target market. In addition you wouldn't want to exclude anyone from your market that is interested in your business. Don’t get me wrong it is important to know what target market means and have a general target narrowed down, so you can get the right message to them with your advertising. But remember your target market is evolving as your business evolves.
So how do you make sure you are targeting your target?
Test, test, test and test some more. Race teams spend months tweaking and tuning to make their cars just a split second faster on the track and chefs spend years working on their sauces. These are examples of how testing and tweaking are vital for the evolution of any business and targeting your target is no different. Notice how tweaking the race car or the sauce is an active process. Testing is an active process. Small businesses have the ability to be agile and engage in this process, unlike large corporations. Take advantage of it!
Pick a starting point and go from there. Remember being a small business is actually an advantage, because you can be quick on your feet. Implement a way to track your advertising and test, test and test some more. If you do this you will always target your target, keep your advertising relevant, and continue to have a sustainable competitive advantage.