[ Bonus article with permission from Jay Levinson. ]
THE GUERRILLA’S THREE TARGETS
by Jay Conrad Levinson
You’re a guerrilla. So your marketing plan probably identifies your target audience. As a business owner or marketing honcho, you probably have doneyour homework to learn at whom your marketing should be directed. You have probably put into writing your exact target prospects. Now, I invite you to aim at larger target as well as to more targets.
Realize as all guerrillas do, that you don’t have merely one, but three target markets at all times.
Your first target market, and this is the largest of all three markets, but will generate the least profits for your company, is absolutely everybody in your geographic area, giving no thought to how well they fit your customer profile. The name of this target market is the universe, and if you are thinking sanely, you are investing 10% of your marketing budget talking to these people.
They are too important to overlook, regardless of what’s happening right now. Things and people change. Marketing messages grow stronger when nourished by time.
Your second target market, and it will generate substantial, but not gold-medal profits, is your prospects, those members of the universe who do fit your customer profile. They have the right demographics, psychographics, income, proclivity to buy, and they have the kind of problems you can solve — or the kind of goals you can help them achieve. Thinking clearly, you should be investing, 30% of your marketing budget talking to these people – these potential customers, poised on the threshhold of purchasing, needing you to nudge them a little — maybe even a lot.
Your third target market, and this is the teeny-tiniest of your markets, but can and should generate, by far, the highest profits for your company, is your customers, Guerrillas happily invest 60% of their marketing budget talking to these wonderful, special, tasteful, discriminating people.
When you are in the guerrilla mode of investing marketing funds directed to all three target markets — and use the percentages only as a rule of thumb – you will realize that marketing isn’t an event as much as it is a process.
It’s the process of moving members of the universe onto your prospect list, then motivating these prospects to buy so that they can get onto your customer list. When that happens, you will see why guerrilla marketers continue to be guerrillas. Your profits will rise as your marketing investment diminishes.
Because it now costs you six times as much to sell something to a new customer as it does to an existing customer, your marketing costs will go down because it costs you relatively so little to market to current customers. After all, 60% of your budget goes to them and you already know who they are, what they like, what they need, and how much they’ll spend. But customers move, they die, and they get wooed away by competitors, so you must always add new people to your customer list, and they will come in a steady flow if you consistently market to prospects. Think in terms of them being a solid long term investment for you. Realize that members of the universe have ways of becoming prospects, and it’s a lot easier to sell to a prospect who has heard of you than one who hasn’t.
Most likely, you are aiming almost 100% of your marketing budget at prospects. Does that mean you are wasting 70% of it? I hate to tell you this in public, but it does. The rule of thumb says 30% goes to prospects, 10% goes to the universe, and 60% goes to customers. Marketing works well that way. Ask any guerrilla.
Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, “Guerrilla Marketing,” plus 30 other books which have sold 14 million copies worldwide in 41 languages. Levinson taught guerrilla marketing for ten years at the University of California in Berkeley and practiced it in the United States — as Senior Vice-President at J. Walter Thompson, and in Europe, as Creative Director and Board Member at Leo Burnett Advertising.