Monday Challenge: Writing a Business Plan: Week Five

In our last week of business plan writing, we analyzed our competition and now know where our products stand, and what improvements, if any, we need to make to remain competitive. This week we will use that knowledge to create a marketing plan. But first, we have to identify our target market.

Identifying Target Market

Let’s look back to the Products section of our business plan from Week Three where we determined exactly what we are selling:

Using my shop as an example:

I am selling handmade crochet housewares and accessories (and soon, soap). I
am also selling the idea of quality, old-fashioned, farm-fresh, Southern
goodness; Americana. That is what I want buyers to associate with my products
(and the Pomegranate Farm brand), and I try to convey those ideas in
everything I do – from the look of my shop to my photos to my listings.

From this, I can determine who might buy my products:

Women, ages 30 and up, middle class, U.S. southerners, like farmhouse style,
like Americana, possibly primitives, like simplicity, enjoy homemaking, like
vintage and antiques, rural living, like handmade.

______________________

These are helpful articles on defining your target market:

http://technori.com/2013/02/3122-5-critical-tips-for-identifying-your-target-audience/

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/define-target-market-small-business-29950.html

______________________

Marketing Plan 

Now that we have defined our target market, we need to identify how to get our products seen by those we are targeting.

First and foremost, we want our target market to find us on Etsy. So think on how we might use our titles and tags to reach our target market. For me, it might be adding “farmhouse style” to some of my listings. Or adding more photos with a “farmhouse feel.” Or maybe joining a team dedicated to rural living.

Secondly, we can search out the internet for blogs our target market might read and start interacting, leaving comments with a backlink to our shop, volunteering to guest write for the blog, or if possible, purchasing advertising on the blog.

Create our own blog directed at our target market.

Use social media: Facebook, Pinterest, SocialBliss, Craftgawker, tumblr, etc.
Think about how we are using these sites. Are we appealing to our target?

Directories: Submit a shop link to directories applicable to our product or target market. Example: http://www.craftgate.com

Locally, get products into shops, boutiques, antique stores, etc. where our target market might shop.

There are so many ways to target our market, but so little time. So we each should determine which of these avenues best fits our business and schedule. And, it may take experimenting and comparing results to find what works best. The main point is to have a plan. We don’t want to market willy-nilly, marketing here one day, there the next, spreading ourselves too thin and never devoting quality time or energy to either resource. Let’s find out what works best for us and stick with it!

This thread for discussion.

Next week:  How to Eat An Elephant Rump

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