You are ready and raring to go. Your marketing plans are all set and you have put away a nice budget that'll help you inform your potential customers about your daycare center … but wait! Do you know who your customers are? Does your target customer have a "face"? Do you know where they live, what's their lifestyle, etc?
To effectively kick-start an effective marketing campaign, you first need to give your customer a "face". You need to know who you are intending to target. To do that, you need to perform some form of segmentation and target marketing. Without proper market segmentation and targeting, your entire marketing strategy will be without focus.
Segmentation is the identification of subgroups of consumers within a market who share similar needs and demonstrate similar purchasing behavior. Which means you need break your customers down into smaller groups for easy management. Studies have shown that customers within the same segment are likely to exhibit similar behavioral trends and therefore, you can focus your marketing efforts on the group of prospects that are "most likely" to purchase your services. Sounds like a tall order, do not worry. Read on, it is actually fairly simple.
First, there are a number of ways in which you can segment a market: By Demographic (based on gender, age, etc), by Psychographic (based on lifestyle or belief), by Geographic (based on location) or by Behavioristic (based on purchasing behavior). Here's how you apply it to the daycare business.
o Demographic – You can choose to segment the parents according to their age.
o Psychographic – You can also choose to segment the parents according to the number of children they have.
o Geographic – This is simple. You segment your market according to where they stay or where they work.
o Behavioristic – You segment your market according to their purchasing power.
After you have successfully segmented your market, you need to select the right segment targeting. For simplicity sake, let's say we choose to segment our market by geographic region. After segmenting the parents according to where they stay / work, we choose to target at parents staying / working at Town A. Before you start marketing to parents staying / working in Town A, you need to consider a few criteria.
o Is the segment viable and sustainable? Can we make a profit from it?
o Is the segment accessible? How easy is it for us to reach the segment?
o Is the segment measurable? Are we able to obtain realistic data to consider its potential?
If your segment passes the test, then you are now ready to market to them. Your target customer's now got a "face"!