Hitting Your Targets

1 10 2012

Fall is in the air and business is growing for those of us who are actively marketing our products and services. Don’t wait until the New Year to assess how your business has done this year. No matter how you want to approach it—dollar revenue, number of deals, number of new and existing clients or products—taking a tally gives you an invaluable perspective on marketing your business.

Marketing your business is absolutely crucial. It also may be simpler than you think if you keep focused.

One of the key marketing factors that I find new, and even experienced, art licensors get wrong or completely overlook is their target audience.

Make sure you always:

  1. Identify your target audience.
  2. Reach out to your target audience and communicate with them effectively.
  3. Learn how you turn the target audience from prospects into sales, customers, fans, etc.
  4. Know if you have reached the audience and have been successful (whatever that is for you).
  5. Repeat 3, 4 & 5.

So, ‘how do you decide your target audience?’ This step will influence how your time is spent and nearly every aspect of your business every day, hereafter. First of all, most entrepreneurs have more than one target audience—a business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) target.

These two questions will determine your B2C target audience:

  • Who does your painting, art, graphic design, cartoon, writing or other creative work appeal to in the marketplace? Be specific as possible.
  • What types of product or media should carry your ‘creative’ to consumers? Your answer will depend on the desires, interests, lifestyles and purchase habits of your audience(s).

Please don’t fall into the ‘everyone loves my art/design/photography/character’ trap. I often hear creators declare that their creation appeals to everyone…but to be honest, it probably doesn’t. So get real. Narrow it down to a primary and secondary, identifiable and reachable, audience segment.

Then to achieve your business goals, and to reach your audience(s), ask yourself whose assistance in the ‘business’ marketplace do you need. This will identify your B2B target audience, and it will vary greatly depending on your goals.

Some B2B targets you probably need to reach are:

  • Licensees—who do you want to license your art, property or brand? These are the manufacturers of all the worlds’ products that could sign a licensing deal to produce your creative on their product and wholesale it to retailers.
  • Agents—if you are looking to sign on with an agent, then they are an important target audience for you to woo. Do you need a licensing agent, literary agent, illustration rep, gallery agent or another specialized kind of manager/salesperson/marketer?
  • Retailers—do you want to go directly to retailers and offer them an exclusive licensing or purchase opportunity with your art, designs or brand?
  • Trade Media (magazines, web sites, newsletters and more)—these are the media channels where you reach the other businesses, the licensees, agents, and retailers, for example, to make them aware of your business.
  • Consumer Press (magazines, television, radio, websites, newsletters, promotions and more)—the media channels to reach your customers and potential customer to make them aware of your creativity and brand.

Now that I’ve got you thinking about the target audiences related to your business, go back and see if your web site, brochures, presentations, logo, trade booths—and all those critical branding elements—are making the impression you want on the businesses you must reach and influence to close sales. And ask yourself if the products that are being licensed or produced are the best designs and quality you can get into the marketplace for your valued customers.

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