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Last winter I took a trip to New York City. It was absolutely freakin’ cold (remember, I’m from Phoenix where a 120F day is not uncommon) but I’m ready to go again (warmer months, please).

There were some great sites to be seen for sure, but I distinctly remember this one fella. He was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, foot traffic swarming around him, and he was just screaming.

Not sure what about, but he was definitely screaming. And no one paid him any mind (I’m told this isn’t uncommon for New York).

Odd, eh? Unfortunately, this screaming fella and many Realtors are more similar then you may think.

Ideal Client vs. Target Market

When Realtors are asked about their target market they may be able to tell you about a neighborhood, income level, perhaps income or industry. They may be able to even tell you about the psychographics of values, motivations and goals. Each of these descriptors outline an ideal client but none, however, a target market.

So, while the crowds of New York were within earshot, they weren’t interested in the screaming man’s message. They weren’t a target market for his message.

The Foundation for Effective Marketing

So what’s a Target Market? It’s a Foundation piece for effective marketing:

A group of people large enough to be profitable, yet small enough and interrelated enough so that your reputation can precede you.

Large enough to be profitable” should be pretty clear. Going after a group that’s too small (“Left-handed albino bowlers from Wichita”) isn’t exactly going to create any windfalls.

Small enough and interrelated enough” because you want to make sure your message can be heard and not get lost in the marketing maelstrom. You also want these folks to be close-knit and communicating with each other.

So your reputation can precede you.” The holy grail, right? Folks knowing about you, your product or service, and the experience you provide your clients. All because they’re communicating your message with each other. Call it word-of-mouth or viral marketing. I call it profitable.

Your ideal client can exist inside your target market. And knowing your target market – where you’ll be spreading your message – makes it much easier to reach them.

The screaming fella? May have had a great message and an idea on who his ideal prospect may be, but he was definitely putting his message in front of the wrong folks.

5 Questions To Build Your Marketing Foundation

Here’s a few qualifying questions I use to determine whether a target market is a viable one:

  1. Is there an association for this target market?
  2. Are there events, conventions, or groups where these folks hang out?
  3. Is there a publication for this market?
  4. Can you affordably reach them?
  5. Can they afford you the lifestyle you want to live?

Pay close attention to that final question. You may have a Yes on the others, but if the market can’t pay you the income you need for the lifestyle you want… you may wanna move on.

Your target market is part of the Foundation from which to build your marketing campaign. Being clear here saves you time, money and energy. And for our screaming friend, lung power.

How’s your target market?