Whom do you market to? Who should you be marketing to? Are they the same? If so, was that planned? If they’re not the same, why aren’t they?

These questions are critical to the success of any marketing program.

You can have the very best product or service on the planet. You can have the most attractive offer, the lowest prices, lots of bonuses, personal attention, and the best service available.

But if you offer this wonderful package to the wrong market, you’re sure to fail. On the other hand, what if your package… your total offer, isn’t that good?

Let’s say it’s just average. Let’s also assume that your prices are not the lowest, but they’re at least in the ballpark. You’ve really got nothing special that the rest of your competition can’t offer.

But you have a great list to market to. Well-qualified, highly motivated prospects with the authority and the ability (money) to buy.

With that kind of market you just about can’t lose. Targeting your marketing efforts to the right people can make or break your entire advertising or marketing campaign. And if you’re a small or medium sized business, you can’t afford to have that happen too many times. It’ll drive you right out of business!

One of the best ways to make sure you’re marketing to the right group is to go back over your records and create a list of your current and past customers and clients. You know the people in this group are the right people to market to, because they’ve purchased from you before.

Everyone who inquires about your products or services, or who makes a purchase from you should go on a list.

You should capture, at the very least, their name, address, phone number, date of purchase, what they bought, and how much they spent. If you’re using the internet, you should also try to capture their email address.

If you’re not sure who your target market is, you can send a Customer Questionnaire to all your existing customers asking for information that can help you determine who buys, what they buy, and why they bought from you.

By analyzing the characteristics of the people on this list, you can then develop a demographic model of other people who would be likely candidates for the kinds of things you offer.

Not only will your marketing costs be considerably less, your response rates will be significantly higher. You can spend a lot of needless time and money marketing to the wrong market.

No matter what anyone tells you – your target market is by far the most important element of your entire sales and marketing.

Get this spot on, and anything is possible. Get it wrong, and growing your business is harder and more challenging than it really should be.

Put another way, you can send a poorly written and executed sales letter to the right people and get decent results. Send a fabulous sales letter to the wrong people and it will bomb. That’s why getting the target market right has to be the first and most important element of growing your business.

That’s why we spend a considerable amount of time making sure the businesses we work with have one or more carefully chosen niches identified. This can be painstaking work but it always reaps rewards as soon as our marketing strategies are unleashed.

Just remember EVERYTHING starts with target market. Nothing should ever be done until your niches have been clearly identified.