5 Steps to Take in Response to Shifting Target Market Trends

January 9, 2013 at 11:05 am | Blog

Market Trends Are Predicted to Shift… Are you Ignoring Your Biggest Potential Customer?

There is great umbrage over the fact that women may still earn less than men for equal work in many areas. Market changes are worth noting:  women currently control $12 trillion in assets with an expectation that number will almost double in the coming years, according to a report issued by Wells Fargo’s First Clearing brokerage and the Cannon Financial Institute (New York Post, December 12, 2012.)  This may be one of the most notable target market shifts in this decade.

successful-womanWomen are no longer a niche market:  the NY Post article reports that in 2010: 60 percent of master’s degrees, 52 percent of doctorate degrees, and 48 percent of MD degrees were earned by females.  Women will outlive their spouses and will be the recipients of spousal and parental inheritance.  This represents a changing customer base which will require changes in sales and marketing approaches.

The Wells Fargo study revealed wealth advisors often did not know how to sell differently to women, in this shifting market trend.  Women may need more time to develop the relationship with the advisor than a man would expect.  Many organizations miss shifting trends that cause them to miss opportunities and lose market share.

As pointed out by Wells Fargo, women and men require different approaches.  In fact, different sales and marketing message is required for each target market that buys your products or services. If you sell a food product to grocery stores, cruise lines and country clubs, most likely each of those target markets has a different hierarchy of buying criteria; yet research reveals there is a 90% chance that you are in the pool of companies using one broad brush to market to all three. Ignoring the differing needs of different target markets equates to lost opportunity and lost revenue.

Along these same lines, the Post also reported a story about how Madison Avenue may be missing the boat on their marketing.  For a very long time, ads and TV shows have been geared to the younger generation – the 18 to 49 audience.  Yet Boomers account for nearly half of the consumer packaged goods sales, according a Nielsen report.  The Post reports a further Nielsen finding that, “…in five years, the post 50 crowd will make up half of the country’s population and control 70 percent of its disposable income.”  And Madison Avenue is ignoring them except for ads touting Depends and Viagra?

This may be a very costly mistake because marketers don’t know who their target markets are and where the money is for purchasing power. Every business must stay in touch with customer trends and changing target markets if they want to focus on relevant selling in order to maximize profitability.

Steps should your business take in response to shifting markets trends

  1. Keep an eye out for articles and industry reports that indicate a shift in market trends.
  2. Ask yourself if your business’s target market is included in these shifts.
  3. If so, work with your marketing team to make sure you tailor your existing message to these new trends – or create new messages that align with what new customers want.
  4. If not, use this as an opportunity. A shifting or new target market means new demand … why not be the supplier?
  5. Share this information with your employees – especially your salesforce! Arming them with this new data and messaging can lead to higher sales close rates and more business.

Run through these five steps. See what you can come up with and put it to the test.

Reflections:

  • How well do you know who your target market is?  Should be?
  • What opportunities should you now pursue that you haven’t before because of new trends?