Selecting your target market
March 1, 2022

A great way of figuring out your ideal customer is to use the PVP index (Personal fulfilment, Value to the marketplace and Profitability – Frank Kern concept) and give each market segment you serve a rating out of 10.

P – Personal fulfillment: how much do you enjoy working with this market segment.

V – Value to the marketplace: Are they willing to pay you a lot for your work?

P – Profitability: How profitable is the work you do for this market segment? 

We want to be laser-focused. Once we dominate this market segment, we can go on and add others. If we are too broad initially and target a laundry list of market segments, then our marketing efforts will be ineffective. 

Crafting Your Message

– An Accident Waiting to Happen

You could summarize the structure of most ads from small businesses as follows:

Company name, Company logo, A laundry list of services offered, Claims of the best quality, best service or best prices, Offer of a “free quote”, Contact details

It’s basically a name, rank, and serial number. Then they hope and pray that on the very day their ad runs, a prospect in immediate need of their product or service stumbles across it and takes action. This is what we call “ marketing by accident.” 

If these “accidents” never happened then no one would ever advertise. But as it happens the occasional random sale or lead will come from this type of advertising. It tortures business owners to death because while the ad generally loses them money, they fear not running it because some dribs and drabs of new business have come out of it- and who knows, next week it may bring in that big sale they’ve been hoping for. 

It’s like these businesses are visiting a slot machine in a casino. They put their money in, pull the handle and hope for a jackpot-but most of the time the house just takes their money. Occasionally they’ll get a few cents on the dollar back, which raises their hopes and emboldens them to continue. 

It’s time to start marketing on purpose – treating advertising like a vending machine where the results and value generated are predictable, rather than like a slot machine where the results are random, and the odds are stacked against you.

To start marketing on purpose, we need to look at two vital elements:

  1. What is the purpose of your ad?

  2. What does your ad focus on?

Our rule of thumb is one ad, one objective. If something in the ad isn’t helping you achieve that objective, then it’s detracting from it, and you should get rid of it. That includes sacred cows like your company name and company logo. Advertising space is valuable and these things taking up the prime real estate in your ad space often detract from your message rather than enhance it. 

Once your objective is clear, you need to communicate it to your reader. What exactly do you want them to do next? You need a very clear call to action – not something wimpy and vague like “don’t hesitate to call us.”

You need to be clear about what they should do next and what they will get in return. 

Have you ever been to a party or gathering and been seated next to someone who just spends the whole night talking about themselves? It gets old pretty fast. You keep giving half-hearted smiles and polite nods but your mind is elsewhere, and that exit sign is calling your name. 

Similarly, most advertising by small businesses is inwardly focused. Instead of speaking to the needs and problems of the prospect, it is focused on self-aggrandizement. The prominent logo and company name, the laundry list of services, the claims of being the leading provider of that product or service. All of these things are shouting “Look at me!”

Unfortunately, you’re in a crowded market, and with everyone shouting “look at me!” at the same time, it just becomes background noise. By contrast, direct response marketing focuses heavily on the needs, thoughts, and emotions of the target market. By doing this, you enter the conversation already going on in the mind of your ideal prospect. You will resonate at a deeper level with your prospect, and your ad will stand out from 99% of other ads that are just shouting and talking about themselves. 

What are your marketing challenges? Tell us here.