All marketers can learn from the dedication, preparation and planning of Olympic athletes. This series of posts will put that into perspective when preparing your own marketing plan.

Here are the posts in this 5-part series:

  • Part 1 – Competitive Analysis: remove obstacles like a judo champion
  • Part 2- Targeting Markets: zeroing in on your customer like an olympic archer
  • Part 3 – Unique Selling Propositions: what artistic gymnastics teach you about execution
  • Part 4 – Goals, Metrics and Timelines: the triathlon of marketing measurement
  • Part 5- Tactics: sink or swim by using the right Olympic strokes

Today, we talk about hitting your target market like an olympic archer.

According to the official 2012 Olympics website, archers have it easy. Their objective is simple: “shoot arrows as close to the center of the target as possible.” If you are following the advice in this post and started your strategy planning by analyzing your competition then you are halfway to the target already. Now it’s time to hit the bullseye.

Defining your “target market” answers one question: who should “buy” from you. If you’ve been following this blog at all then you know I use the term “buy” to refer to any kind of influence you as the marketer exert on your audience. Many marketers make assumptions about their target market that sometimes miss the mark. So how do you know whether your target is correct?

7-Factors to Identify Your Target Customers

There are 7-factors used to identify target customers. If you already have a customer base, these 7-factors will provide you with a clearer picture of your proposed market to see if it meshes well with what you are selling.

Demographics: includes age, sex, geographic location, income level and education. You can get this information on sites like Quantcast, Google Ad Planner and

Likeographics: includes specific interests based on what your customers say about themselves on social media. You can get this information by identifying your target customers on sites like Facebook and Twitter, interact with them and then connecting to get a better sense of who they are. You can also conduct interviews with a representative sample of your customer base, doing online surveys and holding focus groups. The take away here is to genuinely care about your target customers and getting to know them better so you can serve them better.

Deeply Held Beliefs: includes religious, ethic and philosophical outlooks. It differes from Likeographics which are preferences and refers to the more ingrained parts of your customers’ life experience. You can get this information from surveys, interviews and discussions with your customer (it is the next level up from Likeographics). Understanding these beliefs help you to create campaigns and content your audience will care about and connect with on a demotional level.

Financial: includes a deeper understanding of the customers’ spending power and values. The superficial financial demographics in point 1 refer to income, but that does not give you insight about how people spend their money – that’s what this consideration looks into. You can get this information based on buying history, published repports from sites like Neilson and and surveys. Remember, this is not always about what they earn, rather what are they willing to spend (it’s not always about price).

Goals: includes personal, educational and professional. You can get this information based on published reports, surveys, interviews, what customers say on their online profiles and by having conversations with them. Understanding goals of your customers will show you how to position your products as being able to help them with their goals. Great marketing creates the need for the product in the mind of the customer by promising to bring them closer to what they really want – hint: that’s not your product they really want, it’s all that other stuff like security, prestige, love, etc.

Online Activities: includes which sites they visit, spend time on and interact with. You can get this information from the Quantcast, Google Ad Planner, and Alexa combination as well as other sites. By understanding where your customers go online you will be in a better position to be where they are. The old say, “go where the fish are” applies as much to marketing as to fishing.

Keywords: includes which words and phrases they are likely to use when searching for your category of product. You can get this information from Google Ad Planner and the Google Keywords tool. When honing in on these keywords use the basic principles of good SEO to find the right ones and use them in your marketing.

Caring is Your Best Marketing Strategy Ever

Remember always that you are marketing your product to people. In Chapter 9 of his book Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk presents the best marketing strategy ever. And it’s only one word long.


As obvious as that sounds, many marketers forget and fall in love with what they have to offer, assuming that everyone should want it. This is like shooting arrows with a blindfold on. People care about themselves and the problems your product promises to solve. Use that as your guiding principle, fill your quiver with knowledge, understanding of and care for your customer, and let the arrows fly.