(Note: This podcast was originally published 1n 2006 under another domain name – bastioninternet.com/blog. In 2010, the blog was later migrated to this site. Some links may be outdated or there may be issues with RSS feeds)
Establishing the proper target market before you role out traffic-driving and conversion strategies such as Search Engine Optimization, Advertising, and landing page designs.
This podcast explores some examples of how your online target market may differ from your regular brick and mortar target. It also covers the effect of demographics, psychographics, and technographics on site design, search engine strategies and other web marketing vehicles.
Download it now – Drive It – Convert It! Podcast #2
Here is a more complete transcript …
Drive It – Convert It! is all about driving more traffic to your website and converting that traffic once it’s there.
Many Bastion Internet clients dive right in and want to talk about the latest in Search Engine Optimization techniques or how to write a good Pay Per Click ad. Now these are certainly important items.
First though, you need to be well aware of two things – Your Site’s Objective and Your target market.
We covered the site objective in Show Number 1. Today we’ll focus on identifying your target market and considering them when developing strategies and tactics of Driving and Converting.
Here’s what I’d like you to take away from today’s Podcast. If you’re in a strategic position with your company – make sure you’ve identified who your target market is and how that knowledge should be utilized by your web personnel (designers, optimizers, marketers).
If your role is tactical or technical in nature – first, make sure you’ve got the right strategic directives to accomplish what you need to do. Next, use the techniques I give you to do a better job when designing your site or landing pages, or implementing marketing programs.
Way back when I was in college, I had my first marketing course. One thing we really focused on was Target Markets. So here I am today talking about – Target Markets. I’m still learning about them. You’d think I would have gotten it by know.
Recognize that target marketing for your website may be significantly different than target marketing for your brick and mortar operation. Or you may need to support two target markets within your site.
Let’s go through an example:
You sell and install Energy Efficient lighting products. Your typical customer is a large office, retail operation or warehouse. You have a sales force that makes contact with prospects, explains your value proposition – which is to get higher quality lighting and save on energy costs at the same time. The cost of the product and installation is more than offset by the energy savings.
Your sales force is very consultative. They start by doing an audit of the prospects’ current use and then propose the new lighting products. The whole thing is very convenient for the client. Once they make a decision to go forward, your installation team takes care of everything during the client’s off hours.
Well, business is good and you decide to start selling over the Internet and across the nation. Your website used to just support your local team. Now it’s doing double duty to also sell product nationwide.
The first thing you need to recognize is that your target audience is going to be different. First, you now are getting inbound leads. Prospects are searching for you. That means that they are likely to be more knowledgeable or at least recognize they have a need.
Next, you have less control over the installation process. It’s no longer turn-key for the customer. They will likely need their own local contractor to do the installation. Your consultative approach may or may not work over the Internet. In-person it’s very effective – will it translate to the web?
So the part of this site that focuses on the nationwide market may end up targeting a different type of client:
– More self-reliant
– More knowledgeable
– Perhaps in a less metropolitan areas where not as many vendors are approaching them. They need to go out and find cost-saving products.
– More price aware
– They likely have never heard of your company before they reached the site
– They are looking for quality products and need a high level of electronic trust since there will be little personal interaction (at least initially).
So how will your website and traffic-driving strategies differ based on this alternate target market.
From a Site Optimization perspective:
– Geographic keywords and content
– Various utility companies mentions (rebates)
– More specific product names (“T5″s versus “fluorescent lighting”)
– Less focus on installation terms like “retrofit” or “installation”
– More focus on manufacturer brand names
From a Pay Per Click perspective:
– More focus on low price (“bulk pricing”)
– More focus on delivery and guarantees (“2 day delivery”, “Guaranteed Quality”)
– More focus on geographic prowess (“shipped nationwide”)
From a Conversion standpoint:
– Create landing pages specific to your PPC ads with specific offers and calls to action.
– Content supporting remote delivery
– How to choose an installer
– What your contractor needs to know
– Can you retrofit yourself
– How to save money without installation costs
– Sales case studies (printable so the researcher can use it to sell their boss on the idea)
– Reiterate in your eCommerce section policies on shipping, breakage, and returns.
So, we know that our target market may be different than what we think. Let’s take a step back and look at some other Target Marketing fundamentals:
Demographics (the physical characteristics)
– Target Company
– Industry, Size, location, population center
– Competitors (especially if you aren’t local and they are)
– Target User
– Age, sex
Psychographics (the mental characteristics)
– Status aware
– Consider themselves smart shoppers, an analytical, etc.
– Attitude of prosperity or frugality
– Appreciate quality, price, efficiency
– Is this an industry where stability is important, innovation, etc.
– Quick and decisive, slow and methodical, impulsive and spontaneous
– Visual (images) vs. studious (words)
– Appreciate beauty and creativeness or conformity and stability
Technographics (the technological adoptiveness of the user)
– Technically savvy
– Heavy web surfers
– How does your use of technology reflect on your products and services
– Creative industry = creative website
– Detailed service = no typos, less technical chances (e.g. browser conformity)
– Are they forgiving.
– Is the resolution of their monitors likely to be higher or lower.
– Are they likely to have plug-ins like Flash and Adobe Reader installed and are they up-to-date
– Do they have broadband or dial-up
– Macs or PCs
– Do you think they are more likely to use Google, Yahoo, MSN, or AOL
– Are they likely to use Shopping Engines or Directory services
– Do they own iPods; video or audio
– Are they likely to access the web through a mobile device.
– Are they likely to be a part of web communities (like MySpace, or Slashdot, or other forums)
The answers to these questions give direction to you from a web design, web architecture (both technology and likely navigation paths through your site), Pay Per Click, search engine optimization, content development strategy and more.
If you’re instructing someone to do the work for you, they should be asking these questions, understanding the ramifications, and tailoring their work on your website and Internet marketing to properly target your audience.
It will affect your web design:
– colors, use of images, resolution, navigational style, site depth, mobile version, printer version
It will affect your content:
– education level, level of detail, amount of content, type of content (words, images, audio, video, Flash use, pdf use, printable version, etc.)
It will affect your site optimization:
– keyword phrases primarily
– long tail
It will affect Pay per Clicks
– keyword phrases
– Ad write up
– Landing page design
It will affect other marketing vehicles
– email campaigns
– Newsletters or Ezines
– Whether to do a Blog or Podcast or Videocast
So, identifying your target market and leveraging technology to appeal to that target market is definitely a key building block in everything else that you do regarding web marketing. Correctly establish it and many other things will fall neatly into place. Well, as neatly as this industry ever allows.
Over the next few weeks we’re going to look at what I call “Web Marketing Vehicles” for Driving Traffic to Your site. We’ll start with an overview on the Search Engines. Why they are important, where that industry seems to be heading, and how you can leverage technology and knowledge to get the most from them.
Search Engines spawn two major web marketing vehicles. Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Advertising.
So download Show number 3 when it comes out.
Visit us at bastioninternet.com or Email us at email@example.com, with questions and comments.
Until then – I’m John Boulter for Bastion Internet and the Drive It – Convert It! podcast.