Finding and Motivating Your Target Audience: Niche Marketing At Its Best


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As an entrepreneur, one of your greatest challenges is the choice of where to put your advertising and marketing bucks. Who/what/where is my market? How do I reach them? What do I say to excite them? The wrong answers can cost a lot of useless expense and time as you learn this critical field. Many companies have gone under for lack of mastering these efforts.


Have you ever watched a TV commercial and thought to yourself, “Who on earth would buy that?" If so, you've seen an ad carefully targeted at a group which has different needs and desires than you do. If your response was, “Boy! I'd sure enjoy that" or “I'm going to call them tomorrow, " the ad had YOU squarely in its sights.


Advertising agencies discovered long ago that the fastest way to move someone into action (buying) is to discover something that is very painful to them, then disturb that person about it. If they stirred up emotions about a wound (i. e. , a deep desire going unfilled or an unaddressed fear) and then showed the prospective customer how to heal that wound or fulfill that need through a product or service, the person felt COMPELLED to buy . . . buying became a MUST!

This discovery has been refined over the last fifty years into a fine art. The purpose of the following is to introduce you to this system so that you can discover people's deepest needs, wants and wounds and heal or satisfy them with your product/service.


Advertisers understand this. It helped AT&T increase their long distance calls over 500% in certain areas. This is what helped Dr. Pepper move from the #9 soft drink to #5. Levis 501 Jeans used this information to double their sales in a six month period of time.

As a result of this information, you will: 1. Be able to determine the distinctions used by advertisers to motivate our entire nation. You'll never see a commercial again without determining its target market(s) virtually instantly.
2. Be able to create power levels of rapport by knowing a person's deepest emotional needs.
3. Be able to determine who is your actual target market.
4. Use this information in your direct mail, face to face negotiations, in and outbound telemarketing, advertising and marketing campaigns, strategic alliances. . . and in your personal life.


There are four distinct lifestyles, the last broken into two slightly differing types.

1. BELONGERS - 38% of the country.

LIFESTYLE: Hard working, 9-5 types. Midwest values, traditional, blue collar workers. They DO NOT LIKE CHANGE. You'll find no Mercedes in this group, no use of crystals. These people are NOT out to change the world. They belong to social clubs, play softball, shop at K-Mart and Sears. Their primary automobiles are - you guessed it - Ford, Chevrolet and Chrysler.

HIGHEST VALUE: FAMILY (Is it any wonder the major political parties constantly push “family values, " though they carefully *never* define what those values are?)

PSYCHIC WOUND: Traditional values are not happening any more.

KEY WORDS: Picnic, time together, patriotic, family.

Typical commercial appealing to this group: AT&T's “Reach Out and Touch Someone" series. They're warm and fuzzy, *very* family and friend oriented and appeal to the desire for connectedness. Family scenes tend to be country and/or small town oriented with lots of children and grandparents. Also recall the Kodak Moments series. Can you see how these ads appeal to this large group? The political ads, conversely, are aimed at how these things are under attack or no longer valued. They appeal primarily to fear.

2. EMULATORS - About 10-15% of the country

LIFESTYLE: Young, the 16-38 age range. They model themselves after successful people. They are money and business motivated, materialistic and “wannabes. " They tend to move quickly, feel driven towards success and have strong sex motivated desires. In cars, their choices include Camaros, Mustangs, Firebirds and maybe leased late model Beemers.

HIGH VALUE: Desire to be confident.

PSYCHIC WOUND: Lack confidence (and know it).

KEY WORDS: Someday, I'm going to. . . I want. . . Be like. . .

Typical commercials appealing to this group: Coors Lite. It's action driven, sexy, young. ZIMA Malt Drink follows this pattern. Nike ads, too, featuring Michael Jordan. Cool. Action driven, often young people in the series doing cool things. Especially watch for ads which have young, beautiful and sexy people. Calvin Klein's ads are targeted to this group. And just watch Melanie Griffith in her Revlon series about “Don't lie about your age. . .defy it. " Almost all cosmetic ads are in this group. Notice, too, the driving music behind these ads.

3. ACHIEVERS - Again, about 10-15% of the country

LIFESTYLE: #1 in their fields, know they're the BEST. Economically top performers, $100K+ annually. This group tends to be 40-55 years of age. Their auto choices? Top of the line Mercedes, Jaguar, Rolls Royce. And guess what brand of mustard they prefer?

HIGH VALUE: Being unique, standing out, king of the hill.

PSYCHIC WOUND: Don't want to be one of the pack, part of the herd.

KEY WORDS: Unique, decision maker, leader, international, CEO, prestige, quality, different, take it to the next level, being in the vanguard.

Typical commercial appealing to this group: Lincoln Continental. Note its tag line: “Make Your Mark. " Cadillac also targets this group, as do the DeBeers diamond ads which often speak of 25th wedding anniversaries. See how they go straight at this age and financial range?

4. SOCIETALLY CONSCIOUS - (Two types) 10-15% of the market, fastest growing segment in the US.

LIFESTYLE: Not money oriented, tend to be college grads, grew up in the 60s, don't trust government programs.

Type A: Never left the 60s, long hair, not into career, sandals, Tie-dyed T-Shirts, Grateful Dead concerts. They often prefer used cars, VW vans.

Type B: Got into the system, cut their hair (not always) or trimmed their beards neatly, some wear suits, believe in “change-the-system-from-within. " Their car choices are Volvos, Saabs and Subarus. (From direct observation, it would seem that Berkeley, CA, is the Volvo Capital of the US!)

HIGH VALUE: Intelligence, Integrity

PSYCHIC WOUND: Being seduced or manipulated by the system in any way.

KEY WORDS: Mission, change the world for the better, natural, balance, nuturing, good person, outdoors, environmental, poor, homeless, global warming, recycling, pollution, etc.

Typical commercial appealing to this group: Chevron “People Do" ads showing scenes of environmental purity next to refineries. Coors Regular with cool, clean flowing streams. Ads which are low key and which stress “You Already Know What's Right, " or “You Can't Be Fooled. " So even though this group detests being manipulated, they, like everyone else in the world, can be approached psychologically.


Note that these are all general categories. People are not totally one thing or another, so individuals can be part of more than one grouping. Often you'll see commercials or ads which are targeted toward more than one group using mixed words and images. The viewer simply picks out those which appeal directly and rejects the others. . . or doesn't even see or respond to them.

So observe the advertising going on for awhile, see how it is put together and then go forth and do likewise. Find YOUR target market and aim all your advertising, marketing and promotional energies and dollars specifically at them. You're bound to have success!

Mr. Eric Barnes is President & General Manager of Capital Funds Group Ltd. , a Canadian based consulting firm specializing in Putting Companies and Money Together. They also work with non-US companies to take them public rapidly and inexpensively, then getting them funded. Visit our Web Site Email Him


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