Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

target market

The Best Little Restaurant You'll Never Eat At

This past weekend I ate a restaurant that had a “C health-sanitation rating. A long electrical cord hung from a light bulb in the ceiling. The blinds, half broken, did their best to keep out the sun’s rays. The tables, made of formica looked like something straight out of Granny’s kitchen, the mis-matched wooden chairs had surely been rescued from the Salvation Army’s give-away pile. The floor – large grey linoleum tiles that were cracked and faded - had certainly seen better days. The walls covered with yellowing newspaper cut-outs and old horse posters really made you feel like you were walking back in time 40 years. And the menu (don’t expect any at the table), was scribbled on a white piece of paper in sharpie and scotch-taped on the wall.  

Yet the place was packed, wall to wall on a Sunday morning – the atmosphere electric and excited as horse-people from practically every discipline tucked into freshly cooked bacon, Southern-style grits and a stack of French Toast so high it was difficult to see across the table. The owners, who work 7 days a week, welcome you with a smile that is worth driving three hundred miles to receive as they peek out from amongst their piles of dirty dishes, grease smattered walls and happy chaos of a kitchen.

This place is an institution for horse people. It has been for the last 30 years. In a world that is over-sanitized, over-modernized and over-sensationalized, this little restaurant is a happy antidote. It has succeeded despite the odds, not because it’s the best place to eat breakfast in town (it isn’t). But because they treat people the best. They remember your name. They ask you about family. There’s no air of pretention. But make no mistake – the success of this business is no happy accident.  This family understands perfectly their target market and what they need:  a good, hearty breakfast served fast – with a sense of belonging.  

track kitchen.jpg

That brings us to your business.  How well do you understand your target market and what their needs are? If you stripped away “all the bells and whistles”, would your business still be successful because of the experience you deliver?

Step 7 of the Client Stampede Formula is – deliver an extraordinary experience.  This little track kitchen has this nailed, so much so that if the health authorities tried to shut them down there would probably be a revolt at the licensing authority. 

How can you engender that kind of loyalty and culture in your clients?  

It’s food for thought!

How to get the WHO right

You might have heard me say this before.  The WHO of who you're marketing to is actually far more important than the WHAT or the HOW. By WHO I mean who exactly is your target market?

Great marketing hinges on the successful marriage of three things - your market (the Who). Your message (the What).  And your media (the How).

By far the most important of the 3 is WHO you choose to sell to. Why? Because the tighter you can define your target your market, the better you can tailor your message, and the more effective it will be.

For example the way that you sell to men and women is very different.  Men are fact and experience driven.  Women are story driven.

Equally a baby boomer age 50-60 is a very different market from a mature baby boomer-approaching senior age 60-70.  Very different markets, and therefore very different messages are needed to reach them in order to sell to them.

Let me use an example of a company you'll be familiar with to illustrate the .  Home Depot.  Many people would say their target market is anyone looking for home improvement products and services.

That's far too wide.  Here would be a much better definition:

"Do-It-Yourself Homeowners - typically married couples between the ages of 25-55 who live within a geographic radius of 10 miles of a Home Depot store, with a combined household income of between $50,000-$200,000/year."

By using this definition instead, the Home depot now exactly who they're going after, what messages to use and what forms of media will best reach them.  Eg their messages are going to be about creating the ultimate happy, harmonious family life  which having a beautiful home is part of.

If you're not sure who your target market is, then here are 2 strategies I can suggest:

1)    Review your existing customer list - look for patterns as to gender, age, geographic location, earnings, buying habits etc. to help you better understand WHO your market really is, or

2)    Build a profile of your IDEAL customer, and go after them.  This is where the REAL hidden gold is sitting in your business!