The first step is to identify your target customer
- How old is your average customer (or age range for your average customer)
- What do they buy (business apparel, family reunion, gifts (baby,wedding, etc)
- Are they male or female
- What is the average price of their purchase
- Where do they live (or did they find you online)
- Where would this person hang out
- Where would this person work
- Do they read the newspaper
- Do they go to the movies
- Do they read magazines
- Are they online (social media such as Facebook)
- Do they use a phone book
- Do they listen to the radio
- Do they watch local TV stations
Use the details you have learned about your target customer to reach out to them with your advertising dollars. There are a ton of options when it comes to advertising. And lets be real here, advertising is not cheap. It would be awful to spend tons of money and land zero results. Of course, this will still happen. But if you use this as a tool, it will happen less.
Example of what to do with this information
If you have a business that is making gifts, try to gear your advertising to the people that will be in the market for gifts. If you have a large wedding gift line up, consider advertising on wedding planning websites to catch the eye of the bride, or put advertising online specific to gifts. Maybe rather than spending a lot on advertising, you want to consider becoming a vendor on a site like Etsy that people use to shop for gifts. Sit down after you've come up with the description of your target customer, then write down where you would find that customer or how you would reach them. Now you have a marketing plan that utilizes the target customer.
Don't let sales people push you around - and use this info. to make your decision
I had a salesman come into my business and request that I purchase a phone book ad for $70 / month. Of course this sales pitch came with sales tactics to make me think that this ad was capable of GREAT things (and in the right use, it is). If my average sale is $50, and this ad gains two sales per month, it paid for itself. What I tried to explain to this salesman was that it is not a guarantee that it will gain two sales per month. He doesn't know who my target customer is nor did he understand I was a start-up business owner still paying her way through college. I was eating instant mashed potatoes for most meals! So when he wouldn't give it up, I told him very aggressively, "I can't eat your phone book. I like to eat food, so I need to pass on this advertising opportunity for this time." It is ok, and necessary to say NO when needed.
I also never make a decision on advertising without thinking about it for at least 24 hours
Sales people can be convincing...PERIOD. It may be a great advertising opportunity, but if it isn't right for you, or if you do not currently have the funds to pay for the ad, you should probably say no. One of the main things that makes a business fail is spending too much money. Advertising is risky. It is basically like putting $100 in a slot machine at a casino. There is a chance it will pay off, and there is the chance that someone has just made a profit and it wasn't you!
I hope this helps you when determining who your target customer is and what to do with that information.