Marketing how to communicate with your target audience: part 2
- Publish date: 26 September 2014
- Archived on: 24 February 2016
While the first article was concerned with identifying your target audience, this second part looks at ways to start communicating with your audience to make them aware of your practice and how you can be of benefit to them.
You’ve decided what type of clients you want to attract to help grow the practice, so how do you go about ‘targeting’ them?
If you’ve explored all the options for getting introductions to these prospective clients, ie, introductions from your staff, current clients, business contacts etc, you’re going to have to identify new methods of communicating with them.
Get to know their interests
Rather than jumping straight in with a mailing or a cold call, first try to find out where these clients ‘hang out’, ie, where do they carry out their business. For example, do they attend networking groups, local business functions, awards ceremonies, charities or sports events and so on? If so, could you get involved with these events, whether by attending or becoming a sponsor, or organise a similar event which you could invite your targets to? Whatever you do it’s about raising your profile in the ‘space’ your target occupies, in order to bring them closer to you.
While we’re not suggesting you stalk your potential clients, do remember that people buy from people. Identifying any shared interests will make it easier to start a conversation and develop relationships with potential new clients.
Pinpoint their issues
When you start communicating with your target audience it’s important to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand what opportunities or problems they may have, such as: getting to grips with the new auto enrolment plans; or trying to grow their business but needing external funding to do so. Marketing is about being in the right place at the right time. So if your conversation at an event touches on one of their issues, or a mailing or email you send them identifies that you can help them, it is more likely to produce a positive response.
One further thing to bear in mind when communicating with your target audience is timing and frequency. You would be very lucky to have only one conversation or send just one mailing which results in sign ups. In practice, they will want to get to know you better first, develop a rapport and start to trust your expertise, professionalism and judgement.
Create a plan
It’s important to develop a 12 month plan for targeting prospective clients, so there is a drip feed approach to them receiving information from your practice which demonstrates your credibility, problem solving abilities and the personality/culture of your practice. The best way to ‘map out’ your communications is to create a 12 month marketing calendar which contains details of which target audiences you intend to communicate with each month and what methods of communication will be used.
The 12 month calendar can help you spread your marketing activities (and their costs) across the year, while assisting you with maximising their effectiveness and keeping a steady trickle of communications going out to your targets. The same exercise can also be used for planning ongoing communications with your existing clients.
The key to communicating with your target audience is to focus your marketing activities on places where they go, ie, you need to find a way so they notice you. On top of this, you need to understand what their issues are and how you can help them and to make sure all your marketing activities demonstrate this.
Read the first article in this series: