Targeting is one of the most important parts of small business advertising. If you want to appeal to a certain audience, it is important to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Also you should prove that you're overly capable of providing the product or service that your audience needs. Sometimes through small business advertising, the urge to be everything to everyone comes up. Too often, the end result of this type of "one size fits all" marketing approach is that the audience you are trying to reach can't recognize that your product or service is specifically geared towards them.
Not all products or services are made for everyone equally. It's a waste of valuable advertising resources to advertise to people that aren't interested in your product. Believing that your have a larger target audience than your actually do is a big mistake that a lot of small businesses make. Instead of narrowing their advertising efforts specifically towards their niche audiences, small businesses sometimes try a brand awareness approach, in an attempt to reach customers who might be in the market for their products in the future. Small business can't possibly stand up to the large corporations that can sometimes have this work for them due to their large advertising budgets. Instead of raising brand awareness, advertising resources which could have effectively reached a targeted audience are simply diluted in their effectiveness.
When it comes to advertising, people are more interested in the direct benefits that apply to them. If they're interested in a certain product or service now, then there's a higher chance of attracting them as customers. On the other hand, those who are not interested in a product will simply ignore advertisements. And aiming your advertising towards the latter group will just end in wasted advertising money.
Finding out who your ideal customers are is the first step towards maximizing your small business advertising attempts. The ideal customer is the person who would benefit most from your products or services. They are the customers that your enjoy working for, and that bring in the most profit. Even though the majority of targeted advertising focuses on a specific niche, knowing your "ideal customer" will help you to put a face on your target audience and help you to know what method of advertising would be most appropriate.
For example, instead of advertising in all the magazines that are available, your ads should go towards specific magazines and be fine-tuned towards your audience in an area that most appeals to them. If you're wanting to use direct mail advertising, then use demographics to target households and businesses that meet certain customer criteria. And when using internet marketing, you can fine-tune your advertising by creating various landing pages that target different types of audience.
Small business advertising can be much more effective by using this target audience method. Sure you may once in a while grab someone outside of your target audience every once in a while. But there's a much bigger chance of attracting your ideal, targeted customer.