Now that you have defined your niche and target market, make sure you are properly marketing to them. But how, and where?
We’ll start by switching your in-house marketing to match your target customer. What does your target customer like? Does your atmosphere appeal to them? There are some easier tweaks you can do to make sure your target customer knows that you are appealing to them.
If your target customer likes sports, arrange the tables to give the best views of TVs. If your target customer is a wine drinker, have a selection of wine displayed behind the bar in the most prominent locations. Put featured drinks on a table tent or in a menu insert to target customers that are into specialty drinks they can’t get everywhere else.
Use in house posters, chalkboards, table tents, menu inserts, and other display medias to outline your niche to existing customers.
As mentioned in the last post, if you are unsure of what these interests may be for your target customer, ask your target customer. Ask them what they enjoy and what they’d like to see more of. Let them know you want them to be as honest as possible, and that you value their feedback. You can also ask them where else they frequent, to get a good idea of good external places to market yourself.
Determine which medias your target customer uses and advertise there to bring in more customers like the ones you have. We will look at some standard media options in the next post, but don’t be afraid to look at the the less typical options.
If you market to parents with kids who like sports, consider advertising in the school newsletter, sponsor sporting events, or give deals to local sports teams when they come in after the game. You can do a special when the local team wins or scores a certain amount of points.
If your target is senior citizens looking for breakfast and coffee. Consider advertising at retirement communities and nursing homes. If there is a large nearby population, you may consider getting a shuttle van to transport them for free. Partner with a local grocery store and split the cost by going between all three places. Offer specific times or days to keep labor and gas cost down. Going above and beyond to meet every need of your target customer will lead to guaranteed business.
Obviously, do the math. Don’t just go buy a van, but don’t be afraid to think outside the norm either.
A local bar put in a pool with a swim up bar a couple of years ago and has had great success with it. Others have allowed dogs on a portion of their outdoor patio to appeal to families with pets. It takes a bit to get through the liability and political loopholes, but that barrier to entry also means you won’t have a lot of copycat competitors vying for the same shtick as well.
It doesn’t have to be a something grandiose to be special though. Maybe it’s just really personal service at a hole-in-the-wall bar that you can’t stop talking about. Maybe it’s a burger on a glazed donut instead of a bun. Maybe it’s a random, delicious, green colored drink that nobody knows what’s in it, but they keep coming back for.
Whatever it is, make sure it matches your target market and your niche. Then create a succinct message telling people what that differentiating factor is.
Use a consistent message in your marketing. Using the same phrases and stories repeatedly will give your greatest supporters the words to say when they talk about you. People like to be part of the story, part of a movement, part of something great. Create something great and let them spread the message.
If you give your target market something to talk about, they’ll talk about it. It may seem simple and it can be, but you need to stay vigilant. As you repeat your message over and over and over and over and over and over again. It gets tiring. However, keep in mind that your future great customers are hearing it for the first time and want to spread the message. Present it strong every time and be consistent. When your message is strong, consistent, and memorable, you’ll make word-of-mouth your strongest advertising force. After that, alternative media sources will just be backup to reinforce the message.