Knowing Your Market
guest article by Dave Cottrell
There is something unique about where I live that is very different from other places I’ve been.
I’ve lived in several communities in northern BC, Vancouver Island, Port Carling Ontario, and now here, on the BC Sunshine Coast.
In any of these other places, if I wanted to sell something, I simply wrote out an ad, took it to my local newspaper, and put it in the classified ads. Almost the moment the paper came out, the phone would begin to ring, and before very long, whatever it was I had to sell would be sold and the money would be in my hand.
But… that’s not what happened when I tried it here! No, I very quickly found that classified ads are just about the most unresponsive and most useless ways there is to sell something, here on the Sunshine Coast.
It wasn’t too long before I discovered that the best way to sell something was to stick it out in front of your house with a big For Sale sign on it. I mean, I sold a 72 Bronco I had tried for months to sell in the newspaper to a guy who just happened to be driving by, only days after sticking it out at the road with a sign drawn in felt pen on a piece of cardboard on it!
My problem when I arrived here is that I didn’t know my market.
I mean, I knew my market was made up of all the people who wanted to buy a 72 Bronco or something similar, but I didn’t know my market. I didn’t know how the market that I was targeting, the local, Sunshine Coast market, thinks. I just assumed they were like everybody else in every other town in this country. I was wrong!
You need to know your market. If you don’t, it’s like trying to pour water through a funnel backwards. Some of it MIGHT hit the target, but most will miss, and all you’ll have is a frustrating mess.
A lot of people trying to sell something on the internet end up frustrated for the same reason I did when I tried to use classified ads on the Sunshine Coast. They have no real idea how their target market thinks and while they may be getting their message to their market, especially if they are blogging and have a good following, it may be the wrong message for their market!
Know your market. Knowing what they’re interested is important; know how they think is even more important.
There are two very important things you can do to discover how your market thinks.
- Engage your followers. You want to get comments on your blog, and then you want to comment back. Here’s a BIG HINT: If you are not getting any comments, you are not even seriously hitting the target with your followers. They may be subscribed to your blog, but they’re not really paying attention to what you’re saying. You’re not really connecting and you need to really work on this area. Think about what you’re writing and ask yourself if you would really be interested enough to comment if you were a subscriber.
- Don’t overdo it, but run more than one ad at a time and TRACK YOUR ADS. There is nothing more important to understand how your market thinks than to track your ads. If you don’t know which ad draws the most clicks, you’re working blind and only guessing. When you track your ads, even if you’re not getting many sales, you will know which ad draws the most clicks, and you can then fine tune your advertising as you zero in on the type of ads that appeal to your readers.
Engage and track. These are two critical rules for knowing your market. You must know your market in order to be successful. Again, it’s not difficult. It’s not rocket science, but it takes time and perseverance. There is no magic bullet for instant success.
Put in consistent, daily, steady effort and know your market. You will succeed!
Guest article is by Dave Cottrell, Adlandpro’s affiliate manager. Dave has been selling online and blogging for many years. His Tahltan name is Klagoosh. He is an outdoorsman, writer, online marketer, preacher, grandfather and former heavy duty mechanic.