It seems like every day; SMEs have a new way to reach potential customers. Whether it's TikTok, WhatsApp Business, or some other platform that didn't even exist a few years ago, SMEs are fast adopting new ways to target potential consumers. This trend is more pronounced in Zimbabwe where SME competition is stiff and where almost everyone is selling something. But what if the answer isn't necessarily a new method of marketing, but rather a return to an old one that might have worked perfectly well? Here's why.
SMEs cannot afford to target everyone with their products or services. There's just not enough time or money to market to everyone. As the world becomes more and more competitive, businesses are increasingly turning to niche markets to stay ahead of the curve and stand out. Some local SMEs are carving out their markets and are investing time and resources to satisfy their specific customers as opposed to creating a product for everyone.
Selling to the right target market can catapult an SME to growth that scales. One of the most effective ways that SMEs can sell to their specific target markets is by understanding what their customers want and need. This means creating a tailored marketing strategy that resonates with their customers on a personal level. With so much noise out there, it is important for SMEs to be able to zero in on their ideal customer and speak directly to them. This not only saves time and money, but also increases the chances of achieving long-term success.
One of the most important steps in identifying a business’ target market is to conduct market research. This can include gathering information about consumer demographics, preferences, and behaviour. When an SME understands its audience, it can create a marketing strategy that appeals to its customers’ specific needs and wants. This will help it create more effective marketing campaigns, messaging, and branding.
Another important step is for an SME to segment its market. Not all consumers are the same even if they are within the same demographic group, so it is important to divide them into different groups based on their characteristics. This allows the business to tailor its marketing efforts to each specific group, increasing the chances of making a sale.
Once the target market has been identified, it becomes essential that the SME creates a strong and consistent brand message. This will help to build trust with the respective target audience, making the customers more likely to purchase their products or services. It is also important that the SME has a strong online presence, as the vast majority of consumers turn to the internet to research products or services before making a purchase. Creating and consistently engaging through a Facebook/Instagram page, WhatsApp Business Account and a website are the foundations of building a digital brand.
Mass marketing on the other hand, also known as "spray and pray" marketing, is a strategy that involves sending the same message to a large audience in hopes that a small percentage will convert into customers. However, in today's digital age, this approach is becoming increasingly ineffective.
One reason mass marketing does not work is that consumers are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of marketing messages on a daily basis from their WhatsApp groups, Facebook Ads, Instagram, Tik Tok and much more. This saturation makes it difficult for any one message from a business to stand out and capture their customers’ attention.
Moreover, mass marketing does not take into account the unique needs and interests of different segments of the population. Sending the same message to everyone, regardless of their demographics or buying habits, is unlikely to resonate with any one group. Essentially, your customer cannot be ‘everyone’.
Therefore, targeting the right audience is crucial for the success of any SME in 2023. By conducting market research, segmenting their market, creating a strong brand message, and having a strong online presence, SMEs can effectively reach and engage their target audience, thereby increasing the chances of making a sale and achieving long-term success.