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Knowing your market

Andrew MacKenzie, the Managing Director of Boomtown creative agency, says that the digital world is putting pressure on businesses to use their marketing spend more strategically than ever before.

In today’s competitive business environment, marketers need to invest every Rand of their marketing spend wisely. And, by wisely, I mean understanding who you want to communicate with, what you are saying, and where you hope to reach your target market.

The broad consumer approach is a thing of the past – this hit-and-miss approach is simply unaffordable for many marketers and, in particular, for SMMEs with relatively limited budgets.

It’s time to dig into understanding your target market. And when I say dig, I mean understating the little things that drive their behaviours and trigger purchase behaviour. The culturally relevant insights that can help you connect your brand to them and to drive brand loyalty. 

Consider the following. According to the UN World Population Prospects Report, Africa will be the fastest-growing continent over the course of the 21st century. In the last 10 years, six of the top 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, according to The Economist.

In the last 10 years, six of the top 10 fastest-growing economies were in sub-Saharan Africa, according to The Economist.

The African population exceeds one billion people, has over 500 ethnic groups, more than 2,000 languages spoken over 53 countries including six island nations. We will spend $1.4-trillion by 2020, and we will have one billion Africans of working age by 2040. The facts don’t lie, and they tell us two important things:

  1.    The wealth of African society is growing tremendously as a result of a wave of social change and the emergence of a strong middle-class.
  2.    We simply have to be more focused if we want to sell to the right people and retain our existing target market.

You can start by seeking to unlock what makes your target market tick. Think of the music they listen to, the clothes they wear, where they hang out, with who and why? What do they do in their spare time? What social media channels do they engage with, and when? What are their dreams and aspirations?

Start by building your target market’s personality. Ask the engaging questions that will open up the insights that you need to craft a marketing message that deeply connects with them, and then deliver the message using media they engage with and, preferably, are likely to share. 

A few years ago in the UK a pet food supplier launched a new range of dog food. They advertised in all the pet and broad-reach publications, but sales did nothing spectacular. They regrouped and did some real target market research, looking into the profile of their target market. 

Something interesting came to light: as it turns out, a huge percentage of animal lovers are also keen gardeners. The company changed their media strategy and started advertising in gardening magazines – and their sales soared! This simple insight unlocked the success of the new range. The importance of knowing your target market and finding an insight that connects you to them is invaluable. 

An individual’s feeling of belonging holds great loyalty dynamics, if brands can tap into this then they stand a better chance of building long-term loyalty. In an age of super-diversity across geographies, income levels, and languages, how will you make sure that your marketing converts your target market from bystander to buyer?

Something interesting came to light: as it turns out, a huge percentage of animal lovers are also keen gardeners. The company changed their media strategy and started advertising in gardening magazines – and their sales soared!