One of the biggest mistakes I have seen consistently from entrepreneurs is the belief that their products and services are designed for everybody. The constancy of this mistake is what plunges many entrepreneurs into wastefulness. Some time ago, during a business consulting session with a start up entrepreneur, she gave me that same thought when I asked about her target audience.
While it is a great aspiration to satisfy everyone’s need with your new product or services in business, the reality is that everybody will not respond to your products and services no matter how beautiful you think they are. You must have the ability to define your target market from the outset. This clarification is what helps you choose and model your business and market penetration strategies to meet the kind of people you have been called to serve.
In business, the market is like an ocean. And there are many kinds of aquatic lives littered therein. You have the sharks, whales, crabs and others in between. A good fisherman knows that there are different strategies for catching the different types of aquatic lives. No good fisherman introduces the same method he uses for the big sharks and whales in catching the crabs. He has to decide from the outset what animal he intends to catch. This well defined intention allows him to devise an ideal strategy for his target.
On the surface, the market is segmented into three core areas: The upper class (Elite), the middle class and the lower class. Upon further inquiry, it is revealed that these classes are further segmented into different areas. E.g. the middle class is sub-segmented into three core areas: The upper middle class, the middle-middle class and the lower middle class. You can further break these down into different zones.
It is an unwise decision to develop a product or services for the upper middle class in an environment that suits the lower class. Your business is almost dead on arrival. No great entrepreneur does that.
While defining your audience, you must understand the culture of the audience. You must learn what makes them tick. This includes understanding their perspectives and languages. You must also listen closely to their sets of assumptions. These are what give you the room to communicate and connect with them emotionally and rationally. However, the bulk of the job in defining your audience is done emotionally.
Understanding audience culture also gives you the power to engage, educate and empower. This is the core of every audience intelligence strategy. The good entrepreneur must learn to engage his audience. This engagement is what allows him to educate them about his products and services. Good education is what finally empowers them with the chance to make a buying decision. You cannot achieve these things without speaking their languages.
Dear entrepreneur, everybody cannot patronize you. Study the market and choose your audience. This is very important. Also important is learning how to connect and engage them effectively for maximum productivity.