Forbes Technology Council — Keeping your small business staffed and profitable can be a challenge, and determining the right marketing strategy is even trickier. A helpful small business marketing tip is to devote time to discovering your ideal customers and then implement hyper-targeting to improve return on investment.
Hyper-targeting can be an efficient tool for small businesses to reach their target demographic, decrease ad spending and create a positive connection with customers. In a nutshell, hyper-targeting is the practice of delivering relevant messaging to your target consumer. Rather than blanketing a neighborhood, technology can now allow you to pick and choose who receives your direct mail piece. Being choosy improves your ability to get qualified leads versus over-saturating a community with people who won't be interested in your services. Hyper-targeting takes some work upfront, but can deliver better results in the long term.
Benefits Of Hyper-targeting
• Reach the right audience. Sending direct mail to an entire neighborhood might be beneficial for grocery stores or dry cleaners, but many small businesses appeal to a specific audience. A fitness center with senior customers, a swim school franchise or a CBD store does not cater to everyone in the community. Hyper-targeting can help ensure you are reaching your target audience to increase your ability to garner loyal customers.
Hyper-targeting can be a useful tool when it comes to improving your digital marketing efforts. Digital platforms, including Facebook and Google, allow you to tap browser searches, likes and views to customize your campaign. If you already use email marketing to drive sales, hyper-targeting can allow you to personalize digital content to reach specific groups based on demographics or hobbies.
• More bang for your buck. My company focuses on new mover marketing, and we have a wealth of experience with direct mail marketing. Sending your message to an entire ZIP code can provide an uptick in customer traffic, especially if you include a proven offer. In our experience, however, delivering targeted mailers can not only increase customer traffic but can also help improve retention and drive repeat visits. Hyper-targeting can allow you to pinpoint your ideal consumer by a variety of markers—including age, income, educational level and lifestyle. Providing stellar customer service when they visit can ensure your efforts convert.
• Provide better customer service. Hyper-targeting can enable you to customize your marketing message, which can create a personalized experience for your customers. For example, your ideal customer may be both a Millennial who lives downtown and a senior with disposable income. Hyper-targeting can allow you to change your message between the two age groups to make them more receptive to your brand.
How To Get Started With Hyper-targeting
Implementing hyper-targeting effectively requires small business owners to do some research and get creative. Here are my small business marketing tips to help you start taking advantage of hyper-targeting.
The first step is to take the time to identify your target customer demographic and segment it into several different buyer personas. A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer. Understanding your ideal prospect can help you attract high-value customers to boost profits as well as improve products and services.
To find out the best buyer personas for your small business, do your research. Talk to your employees and your customers to learn where your patrons work, live and play. Once you compile this information, determine how you want to separate your personas. You may choose to separate them by age, ZIP code or industry and then create a fictional customer from this information. In my experience, a manageable rule of thumb is to start with three personas.
Once you have your personas, it's time to get started. One disadvantage of hyper-targeting is it can take many man-hours to implement. If you think hyper-targeting will help drive traffic, my advice would be to consider finding a partner who can support your efforts and track results. Handing the job off to someone with experience may come at a cost, but a successful marketing strategy can be the differentiator in achieving your sales goals.
Staying abreast of new technology, like hyper-targeting, can help small businesses reap the rewards of their marketing efforts.
Article by Forbes Technology Council Member and President/CEO/CTO of Our Town America, Michael Plummer Jr. Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives.