Young Jordan Belfort a.k.a. “The Wolf of Wall Street” started out in business as a magazine subscription seller. For a long time he couldn’t make a penny out of it, he even started failing.
Fortunately for him, the lessons that he learned allowed him to succeed in his next business. The good news is that you can also.
He saw an opportunity in neighborhood nearby, where he found out that no one was subscribing to the newspaper. He decided to acquire some magazines and try his best on this virgin market. However, after many days of unsuccessful attempts, he gave up. Few weeks later, he had a chance to talk to one successful entrepreneur, who told him that he had chosen the wrong market.
Those people were not used to reading newspapers, and therefore, would not be interested in a subscription. He advised him to go to the neighborhood where people already were in the habit of reading, and offer them new magazines. Belford followed that advice and it resulted in his first business success.
Audience is everything
Imagine that you are opening a coffee shop. What would be the location, name, logo, interior, atmosphere or music? Everything depends on who you would like to serve.
If your target is C-level executives, you will probably place it somewhere in downtown, near offices, equipped it with elegant wooden furniture, preferably with modern steel finish and the space arranged in a way that facilitates private conversation.
If you, on other hand, want to open a bar for young hipsters, everything would be totally different, starting with the location.
The same goes for writing content, designing apps or creating commercials. You have to know, and understand, the person you are talking to. Choosing an audience and understanding its needs is the most crucial thing.
In marketing, the systematic and organized method of understanding and choosing the right audience is called targeting. Military connotations are not accidental, in the end it comes down to choosing the right object and taking a precise shot.
To get the most from targeting, and to take your business to the next level, follow these 5 steps. Don’t forget that there is a special tip at the end of this article.
Step 1. Understand deeply what kind of problem your product solves
Many young marketers make the mistake of thinking in terms of features, not benefits. Users don’t care if your smartphone has 1, 3 or 9 core processors, they just want to stream video on 1080p or play 3D games. When you talk, don’t talk about features, parameters and benchmarks, but simply say what would be the benefit. What kind of problem does it solve or what need does it meet.
To do so, start with deeply understanding why your users use your product, or if you haven’t launched it yet, why should they. Imagine situations why they use your product or service. Try to think in terms of their emotions, situations, and needs.
For all already operating companies, brand value is another important aspect to understand. It is just another form of benefit that you have to take into account. When people buy a Mercedes, one of the benefits they get is a sort of status that comes with it.
Step 2. Paint two portraits
When you understand the need, and the solution, it is time to understand your client. Actually two clients.
First, investigate who is already using your product or service. Use Google Analytics and Social media analytics to understand gender, age, language, country, city, education, and maybe even income and life expectation. If you are making mobile apps, you might want to understand some technical aspects as well. That includes device type, operating system, screen size and attitude e.g., mid-core or casual gamer. Gather as much data as possible in order to paint a complete portrait.
Marketing gurus call it creating a Facebook Profile. You must be precise with your description, as you want to make a full social media profile. That includes name, photo, bio, following pages and adding friends. All of that, so you can really understand your client and treat him like a human, not just an excel column. That will allow you to empathize with him and understand him deeply. To make a full profile, you will need to invest more effort than you might expect but that will pay off in the future.
Now when you know exactly what your current customer looks like, paint another portrait. Portrait of your perfect client.
Maybe you have a line of clothes that is currently bought by young high school females but you want to shift to a market of trendsetters and celebrities? Or you offer a service that is mostly used by individuals with a free plan, but you would rather serve companies with paid plans?
Whatever it is, the chances are that your current client doesn’t look, or spend, as much as the perfect one. Though if it is so, congratulations, you can go to the fourth step.
Follow the same guidelines as in the first step and make a Facebook profile. You do that to see the difference between those two persons. Maybe you are advertising in the wrong media or your product is too small, or it is just not compatible with other apps? In any case, make sure you understand the difference and be prepared to take some actions in the near future.
Step 3. Make an interview
There is a difference between quantitative and qualitative data. The chances are also that your intuition is wrong or you are missing some important pieces of the picture. This step is to literally make an interview with your clients. That will allow you to verify your hypothesis.
Each company has a few great clients with lasting relationship. Contact them and try to meet in person. If that is impossible, scheduling a Skype conference will do just right. You can also send them a survey or questions. Offering some little gift or incentive shouldn’t hurt either.
During the interview, focus more on their behaviors and interests than on their metrics, but don’t forget to get that information as well. Simply comparing it with your demographics will be an interesting thing. Ask them why they use your product, what they feel when they do, and what kind of effect do they expect. Ask about free time, where they get information, news, and what do they read. Fill out your spreadsheet with information that was missing or impossible to get from numbers.
Step 4. Run campaign
When you understand both your product or service and your audience, it is time to take some actions.
To run a campaign you need to have a specific goal in mind. You can’t fix everything at once. Choose stretching reach, penetrating the market, cross-selling or changing the target group, but do one thing at a time.
Also do not schedule too long campaigns, especially at the beginning of your journey. One or two weeklong campaigns and quick feedback are more valuable than a few month of continuous promotion. First of all, you spend less, second you learn faster. Schedule 3-4 campaigns for 1-2 months and you will notice how your understanding of market and business is changing.
Step 5. Optimize
Famous engineer and entrepreneur, Peter H. Diamandis, once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” What he meant was that you have to keep track of your records. That is also the reason why you should always focus on one thing at a time. So you can see if you are making any progress. What is more, if you would do several different campaigns at once, how would you know which one is working?
Optimization is understanding the metrics and improving performance in the long-term. It is also understanding that targeting is a continuous and dynamic process, with both ups and downs.
That said, we have covered the basics of the targeting process, but there is one more thing. Technology develops on many levels and one of the things that are constantly changing is marketing. Especially mobile marketing.
Let’s assume for a moment that you are selling replicas of old cargo wagons. Who would be your target market? Probably a middle aged dad with 80k per year and young kid who loves trains. Imagine that instead of trying to engage that person with some clever ad you can appear in his living room. Despite any demographics, just appear near his collection and offer one that he doesn’t have already.
Wouldn’t that be great?
Fortunately for you, it is possible right now and it is called Appographic Targeting.
Appographic Targeting is a term introduced by InMobi, a leading Indian mobile ad company, to describe targeting users by the applications they are already using. They divided the market for app users of specific interests, despite demographics, geographic and everything else.
Appographic is basically inserting an ad for your app into a very similar app or an app that meets complementary needs.
For example, if you’ve developed a game that happens in WWII, has 3D graphics and has the ability to match with other players, you can advertise your app in other similar 3D graphic, World War II games or in apps about 20th century history.
At Mobincube, we have more than 400,000 users with thousands of apps published in all 4 markets and downloaded by millions of users. That allows us to target your potential clients very precisely.
Targeting is a long process without shortcuts. However, if you do your homework right, there are way is improve performance.
InMobi noticed in tests they were running “up to 72% higher install rates, 26% lower Cost-per-Install (CPI) and 30% higher consumer Lifetime Value (LTV) on app promotion campaigns,” and we are expecting the same results.
If you are interested in using the benefits of this new approach, please contact us directly to get more information.