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By Rama Beerfas


August 18, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)—Last month, we started talking about how to plan for a successful marketing campaign. We looked at the “why” of the campaign – the ultimate goal to be achieved. If you didn’t see that article, you can read it now at Now, we’ll take a look at the “who” of the campaign.


In order for any marketing campaign to be successful, it is essential to determine who the primary target market is for that particular campaign. Now, before you proclaim that “everyone” can use your products or services, let’s be realistic. First of all, even if “everyone” could benefit from what you are offering, would everyone want it? NO! Some will object based on price, or delivery method, or disbelief, or a million other possible reasons. You also probably couldn’t fulfill everyone’s needs should “everyone” come knocking at your door.

No matter what you are offering, there is always a primary group of people for whom your product or service will have a specific appeal because it fills a particular need that they have at that moment in time. Your job is to determine what those people have in common demographically and/or psychographically so that you can create a marketing program that will speak to them in that moment of opportunity.
How do you determine who that primary group of people is? Some methods include:

Review your records of past sales to see what the majority of your customers, or your best customers, have in common.

Consider conducting focus groups and/or surveys of current or potential customers to determine why they are (or aren’t) interested in your product. (You may be surprised by what you find out!)

If it is appropriate, invite some of your best customers for a cup of coffee and ask them why they do business with you.

Look at who your competition is attracting and why. Or, look at who you’ve lost to your competition and why.

By defining your target market and designing a marketing program that will appeal to the commonalities within that group, you will maximize your marketing time, dollars and efforts. If you are lamenting that by defining one target market, you are leaving money on the table – STOP! If you do your research well enough, you will generally find that the individuals in your target market account for approximately 80% of your revenues. This is exactly the type of customer that you want to attract. It does not mean that you need to turn away business that comes to you in spite of targeting your marketing efforts!

You may also discover that you have a large enough group of people sharing different commonalities to create a viable secondary target market which requires a slightly, or perhaps a radically, different marketing approach.

Whatever criteria (or combination thereof) you use to define your target market (age, gender, location, occupation, job title, income level, education level, parents, DINK’s, etc…), once you have defined it, you can move onto the “what” of the marketing campaign – stay tuned to next month’s article for that.

Rama Beerfas is the Chief Solutions Specialist of San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering marketing consulting and promotional product programs. Rama also offers seminars and training in topics related to marketing and customer service. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at Please submit requests for column topics to the above e-mail address.

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