According to Professor David Bell*, the 7 M’s of Marketing are:
- Message Design
- Media Strategy
In this series of articles, I’ll define what each of these M’s refers to.
The First “M”
Market: Defining your target market
Your target market, or audience, is the customer who will purchase your services or products. In order to write a marketing strategy that does the heavy lifting for you, you’ll need to be specific about who your audience is. While it’s tempting to say everyone, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to market to such a broad group. Most businesses have a marketing budget they’d like to use effectively, and narrowing the audience will allow you to use that budget to bring in the people most likely to purchase from you.
Let’s start with what your business offers. Who uses it, and who would likely use it? Consider these demographics** of customers and potential customers:
- Geographic Location
- Family Circumstances
Write out a few profiles of who your target market is. For example, if your company is an assisted living facility that accepts rehab patients, your customer may be:
Margo—Margo has been living independently in her home and up until a week ago was driving herself to church, the grocery store, managing her finances, and taking care of her house on her own. However, she fell and injured her hip while walking her small dog. Her recovery will take time and she needs a place to live while recuperating. She’d like to be close to her neighborhood and friends.
Stephanie—Stephanie’s mother has been living on her own in a senior independent living apartment. Stephanie has been able to help her when needed, for example to carry in groceries or drive her to doctors’ appointments. Lately, Stephanie’s mother has been forgetting to take her medication, and has lost weight. Stephanie asked her mother’s doctor to evaluate her, and the evaluation came back showing early stages dementia. Stephanie needs help with her mother, and would like her mother to be around more people in order to have a social network. Stephanie would like her mother’s new home to be close to where she lives so it’s easy to get there to spend time with her.
You can see from the profiles above how helpful this exercise can be in determining who might purchase. These descriptions can help you narrow down your customer demographics:
- Age: 45-80+
- Gender: Primarily female but also male
- Geographic location: Living within 5 miles of the assisted living facility
- Family Circumstances: Adult children of customers
The more information you can gather about your target market, the easier it will be to put together the message and media you need to reach them. In the next blog, I’ll discuss the second “M”: Message.