How do I find and target the right audience for my local business?

It’s a question we get often. And it’s a good one.

Whether you’re running a restaurant, selling community-themed merchandise out of a storefront, or offering home remodeling services, the success of your local business depends on your ability to attract customers from your geographic surroundings. But how?

Here’s a simple three-step process you can use to help identify your local target customers and inform your marketing strategy to reach them.

Pinpoint your value proposition.

Your value proposition is a short statement that explains how your products or services create value for potential customers. In other words, what problem do you solve, and who would benefit from the solution?

For example, the value proposition for a reasonably priced remodeling business might look something like this:

Company XYZ believes in providing best-in-class remodeling experiences for every budget. We specialize in making your home improvement dreams come true rather than keeping you up at night over the cost.

 Get clear here first. Understanding the value you bring is critical to answering the next question.

Now, ask yourself, ‘Who could benefit from my solution?’

After clarifying your value proposition, you can ask the next most important question: ‘Who could benefit from my solution?’

Sticking with the example of the reasonably priced remodeling service mentioned above, examples of people who might benefit from those services include:

  • Young homeowners without big budgets
  • Residential landlords looking to keep refurbishment costs down
  • Other local business owners who want to fix up their spaces

This list could go on, and that’s a good thing! It goes to show that you have a market!

Identify areas of focus and segment.

Now, after developing your rough list of potential customer types, your next step is to decide where to focus. Why?

For several reasons:

  • Clarity of purpose: Simply put, few businesses can be all things to all people without first choosing an area of focus. That’s as true for local brands as for the mega brands we know today.

Just look at Amazon. Jeff Bezos didn’t start out selling everything and anything to everyone. He started with books. Similarly, Netflix didn’t start as a global streaming platform and award-winning original content producer. It began as a DVD rental service. In other words, each business started by catering to a niche market. From there, they found what worked and adjusted accordingly.

  • Product and service customization/optimization: Another benefit of targeting an audience is that it allows you to tailor your products and services to meet specific needs, setting you apart and giving you a competitive edge.

Thinking about that through the lens of our reasonably priced remodeling business, you might target young homeowners rather than landlords and other companies. And that could be for a variety of reasons.

Perhaps your strategy is to build your brand with those homeowners now to grow with them and get repeat business down the line. Or maybe you think that by targeting young homeowners and doing good work, you’ll be able to tap into their network of friends who are in the same stage of life. Then again, maybe you’re more passionate about working with homeowners than landlords or other companies.

Whatever your reason, by establishing your focus, you can customize and optimize your service. And that will give you a better idea of how to tailor your message to speak to the needs of your audience.

  • Targeted marketing: Picking up on that last point, with a clear audience and message, you can also begin thinking about where those messages make the most sense in the context of tactical executions (i.e., your marketing mix).

So, suppose you’re targeting local homeowners within a specific area of your community. In that case, you might decide that digital channels with robust local targeting capabilities (i.e., Facebook, Google, etc.) are more appropriate for your business than local mass media channels (e.g., local radio ads, local newspaper advertisements, etc.).

Of course, you’d want to test that theory and optimize. But knowing where to start is half the battle.

And there you have it. Finding your local target audience can be as simple as that. Well, maybe not that simple!

If you’re curious about your local marketing options, give us a shout.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your local strategy, build one from scratch, or simply looking for someone to get your Google My Business profile up and running, we’re happy to chat!