Defining Your Audience
Carefully defining your audience before conducting any marketing or advertising efforts can save thousands of dollars and hours of wasted efforts. Audience research and awareness also helps you organize and design your website to appeal to this demographic. Your audience is anyone who uses your site - from reading it to ordering on it and navigating through it.
Start by defining personal aspects of your audience to reach specific answers that can further your business. Identify the following:
1. Their sex (percentage of male and female)
2. Their age (the dominant age range and categories)
3. Their technical ability
4. The number of years they've used the Internet
5. Their primary language
6. Their buying motives (economy, efficiency, durability, performance, labor- or time-saving, construction, operation, ease of repair or installation, availability, quality craftsmanship, etc.)
7. What emotions cause them to buy (need for security or convenience, curiosity, pride of appearance or ownership, prestige, fear, need for individuality, need for recognition, etc.)
8. How much money do they earn each year, and how much of this is disposable?
9. How much money do they spend each year on products similar to yours?
10. Where do they live?
11. Do they shop online? If so, how often?
12. Do they watch television, read the newspaper or search online?
From these questions, you can deduce the most effective means of advertising and promotion. You'll also identify the best way to reach into their pocketbooks using the right copy, design and user navigation. Will they see a Google AdWord ad if you started a campaign? Do they want a hip, creative or bare bones design? Will your site be compatible with their browser? The answers should unfold.
When you're just starting out, your audience demographic data is often based on your own instinct and research. As you develop your business, conduct user surveys to fine-tune the actual figures. Then repeat this step every one to two years to ensure you're always marketing and selling toward the right clientele. Stay tuned for Part Four: Setting Your Business Structure in this ten part series.
Developing a Sales, Marketing and Business Plan
Though it may seem like wasted time, careful business planning is a critical task when launching any new business. Your sales, marketing and business plans force you to develop action items that can propel your business to the next level. Further, If you need funding, investors will need to see where your business is going - and how you plan to get there.
Your business plan describes your company, its competitive landscape, operational structure, possible threats to its success and plans to avoid these threats. You'll also want to tell investors and other interested parties where your business capital lies, along with offering projected finances for five to ten years out. This plan typically includes an Executive Summary, Business Description, Market Strategies, Competitive Analysis, Development Plan, Operations Plan, Management Background or Bios and a Financial Overview section. Business plans typically range from 20-50 pages, with some even longer depending on the amount of detail you want to include.
Once you've created your business plan, research your audience and create a similar plan for your marketing and sales objectives. Carefully determine who your customers are, what their buying habits are and where they shop. Estimate their income and education level. Outline distribution channels, suppliers and competitors. Once you have firm insight into your sales objectives, you can plan a winning advertising campaign.
Revisit your plans annually to adjust figures, forecasts and strategies. You'll be surprised, looking back, at the progress you've made and the accomplishments you've reached in just one year's time.
Clinton Douglas IV, writes E-Business articles for people who want to achieve more online success. Learn Today, "How to Start an Online Business in less than 30 Days starting from Scratch"! Free Special Report - Limited Time! Plus, weekly newsletter from Online Empire Secrets (A $400 Value). Click ==> Small Business Ideas To get Your FREE REPORT!