According to Wikipedia, “a target market is a group of customers within the serviceable, available market that a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts towards. A well-defined target market is the first element of a marketing strategy.” In recent years, with the development of more sophisticated CRMs and digital marketing platforms and tools, it has become much easier to do what Facebook calls “People-Based Marketing”. Although Facebook may have coined this term, I believe the concept should be applied across all marketing platforms.
The goal of marketing should always be to get people to know, like and trust you, so that they will do business with you. That’s why more and more marketers are going from broad definitions of target marketing to developing unique customer personas. In a persona, you would try to understand the customer you are looking to attract in a more holistic way. By doing this, you allow yourself to think beyond your typical media plan and look for media and marketing platforms that match the individual interests of your customers.
When you switch to People-Based Marketing, you start to think in terms of making connections that are deeper and more meaningful than just hitting a target with a message.
People-Based Marketing includes thinking about the customer experience or customer journey in more significant ways. One of the newest trends in digital media and marketing is the concept of Micro Moments. This is the ability to reach an individual at the exact time when they would be most likely to consider doing business with you or have interest in your product. Before the advent of Facebook, Google, YouTube, Snapchat, etc., understanding people’s interests and identifying powerful Micro Moments did not exist. To convert these Micro Moments into effective marketing opportunities, you have to understand as much as possible about your customer or prospect.
One way you can start this process is by utilizing the customer data you currently have to see what you can understand about your customer - beyond just what products/services they purchased.
- Are you using Net Promoter software to understand why your best customers like you and what your detractors don’t like about you?
- You can also gain insight from analyzing feedback that you get from various Social Media channels. How frequently are your customers recommending you through these channels?
- If your company offers multiple services, what can you understand about those customers to interest them in purchasing your other services?
- How frequently do you survey your customers to understand how you can better serve them?
- Do you have a strategy for making deeper connections through the use of newsletters, Social Media posts and other opportunities in a real and personal way? Not just bombarding them with sales messages.
By going beyond target marketing to People-Based Marketing, you create an opportunity for your company to have a more powerful connection with your customers, which can lead to repeat business and ongoing referrals. With all the development of new technology, the fact remains, word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing. Earning those recommendations should be your #1 marketing objective.