52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.
A ‘target market’ is a group of individuals that might be interested in your product or service. Depending on your business model, you might have one, or more than one. Knowing what yours are, who’s in them, and how you can reach and communicate with current and potential customers is an important early step in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Target markets can be categorized or grouped by both demographics and psychographics.
Demographics are factual, quantitative data reflecting things like age, income, gender, family size, and type of work; psychographics are more of the ‘touchy-feely’ type of information, about how people behave or their emotions and preferences. Here’s a very clear illustration of the differences, by Bonnie Albo at suite101.com.
For a horse business, a target market description might look like:
- Female dressage riders, age 40-55, household income over $150,000, who own 2 horses, compete as Amateurs with the help of a trainer, and like to travel to warm vacation spots like Hawaii.
- Barrel racers age 20-35, who like bling and bright colors, prefer Paint horses, and listen to pop/rock music instead of country.
- Natural horsemanship practitioners, age 40-60, who leave their horses barefoot and use acupuncture and massage therapy as healing modalities for themselves AND their horses.
You get the picture. Learning about target markets and where to find yours is referred to as market research. Once you’ve identified your target market’s qualities, you can begin to identify ways to communicate with them.
What magazines or books does your target market read? What Web sites or online forums do they they visit? Do they prefer to receive emails, or snail mail? Are they on Twitter or Facebook? These questions can only be answered after you’ve identified your ideal customers in your target markets.
Come back next week for 52 Fridays #2, about the importance of setting goals.