Now that you’ve solidified your brilliant idea and have begun to produce your offering to the world, how are you going to make sure the world knows you’re there? How can you spread the word about your amazing company and your irresistible products so that the right people come to your storefront or website and purchase your company’s products? What does your marketing model look like and who is your target customer?
Let’s get down to business and start answering these questions!
There are three layers to a good marketing model: your target customer, your specific marketing strategy, and your environment.
We’ll start with your environment, since this is the part of your marketing model that is beyond your control. Surrounding your business are the legal and regulatory environment, your business’s competition in the market, the advancement of technology, and the lifestyle you, your employees, and your customers live. Though these are outside of your control, it is important to take note of these concepts as the environment in which your business and your product exist.
Let’s say your business produces notebooks and other paper products. If suddenly, a method for faster tree-cutting is invented, you’re going to want to know about that technology in order to appropriately adjust your marketing strategy. On the other hand, if your competitors come up with a superior product and you are unaware, it could negatively affect your business.
Zooming out slightly, we reach the marketing strategy level, which consists of the four P’s: Product Offering, Price, Place, and Promotion. These aspects can be adjusted according to the target customer so as to best appear on their radar and meet their needs.
For example, your notebook business may have a small pink notebook for that young girl. The price point may be appropriate for high income parents and the promotion materials may look like a little girl sitting at a desk in a school uniform, writing in her pink notebook. However, if you are only selling it in neighborhoods where lower-income people live, then your marketing strategy lacks in the Place department.
Target Customer – Marketing Cube
Finally, let’s discuss your target customer, since this is often the hardest to nail down. The target customer can be classified according to four dimensions:
Each of these can be further divided into smaller denominations. For instance, demographics can be subdivided by age, income, and gender. To analyze each of these groups, we’ll create what’s called the Marketing Cube.
This cube addresses three aspects of demographics: age, gender, and income level. You may want to fine tune this cube even further to target females age 5-9 with pink flowery notebooks and wide lines. Further, males over 18 may want some subdued colored cover with narrow lines inside and a slot for business cards. There may be a variety of paper that costs more and is a higher quality thickness which can be directed toward the high income individuals vs. a thinner version of the paper that may cost both your company and the customer less for lower income individuals. The main purpose of the cube is to identify as specific of a target customer as possible.
Each one of these concentric circles should be methodologically understood and directed toward your business’s growth and development. Not only will these marketing models help you analyze your product’s reach, but they will also support your internal definition of your business’s purpose and operations. These may be parts of your business you’ve never thought of.
Get Employees Feedback
Try asking your employees who they think the target customer is and hold a discussion of how to direct the four P’s, based on their results. This is an excellent exercise for the staff of a startup and I’d love to hear your impressions!