(The following might seem like very obvious advice to some; however, I see it put into practice at so few businesses.)
Before spending a dime or a minute on marketing, you must define your target market.
The more you can define it, the more your marketing (and sales efforts) will be successful. We’re talking quicker revenue cycles and fewer expenses. When defining your market, be as specific as possible. Let’s say you sell cost-savings software and are targeting finance departments at Fortune 500 companies. Can you narrow that down with the realization that those with 50 percent or more of their sales from outside the United States are much better prospects? Also, what role or title at these companies will the buyer likely have?
This applies to sales as well. In companies that I have run and consulted with, I always get the salespeople to create a list of their top 100-or-so prospects. It is easier to both create that list and execute on it when you have really defined your target. Said another way, it is hard to aim for something if you don’t know what you are aiming at.
In a previous post (http://www.levin411.com/the-benefits-of-focus/), I mentioned that when you focus on a market, you build a strong reputation in that market. And once you develop a strong reputation in one market, it makes it easier to expand to other markets. Therefore, better defining your target market also opens up additional opportunities in the future.
The alternative, which, unfortunately, I have seen in too many companies, is to take a broad, passive approach to marketing and sales. While you will spend less time and brain power up front with this approach, you will spend more time and money later.