How to Find Your Public Relations Target Market

HiResBefore launching a PR or marketing campaign, take the time to learn exactly who your target market is.  This might seem obvious, but studying your market can save you a lot of grief in the long run.  Assuming you know and understand your market can set you on the wrong course, needlessly costing you time, money and effort.

Who is your market?  Who are your customers? For example, is your target mass market or a special niche audience?  And if it is indeed a niche audience, how is it defined: age, gender, and geographical demographics?  What is your customer profile?  Is it mainly male or female, urban or rural?

These are all important questions that you want to answer before launching a media relations, social media, or any type of marketing, campaign.  Here is where it pays to do your homework. Study your product or service.  What inspired you to develop it?  What customers or clients did you have in mind?  Now study your competition.  How do they market?  Where do they market? Who do they market to?  If they’re successful, you want to know why and you want to know who they’re selling to.  If you have a relatively new product or are carving out a new market, you still need to figure out who your customers are.  You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg doing demographic testing or studies, but you do want to make sure that before you launch your marketing or public relations campaign that you’re headed in the right direction.  Your first job is to get rid of any preconceived ideas you have.  Often entrepreneurs approach a business from an unrealistic perspective.  Instead of looking at your business from the inside, step outside and look at your business not as an owner, but as a potential customer or client.

Although there is much to be said for listening to your gut feelings, keep in mind that your gut sometimes needs a reality check.  Be realistic, be cautions, get feedback from others, weigh all of the possibilities, and then make your decisions.

iStock_000016947133XSmallFor example, let’s say you’ve developed a new children’s toy. Okay, who is your target market? Kids are who are going to play with your toys, but generally they won’t be the ones buying your product.  Your target is going to be parents, and primarily mothers. Right off the bat, I’d say you could write off auto racing and scuba diving-oriented publications as your primary media targets.

Now your job is to figure out where you reach mothers. The most obvious would be parent and child-oriented publications (of which there are many), talk shows, local magazines, newspapers, TV and radio programs, and women’s magazines. But here too you need to limit your focus.  Are you targeting mothers who have infants, pre- teens, teens, what is the specific age range of the children you’re looking to reach?  Study the various women’s magazines.  If you’re looking to reach mothers of pre-teens, study the media outlets that cater to that demographic.

Your first step is to define your message once that’s done, you want to define your market, or various markets and narrow your target audience.  Make those your two priority steps when preparing to launch your marketing and PR outreach. Once you’ve defined your message and your market, you’re ready to successfully use the reach, impact, credibility and validation of an effective public relations campaign to reach you clients and customers.

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013

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