As a gifted entrepreneur who has founded his own company—the Laser Outlet—Sam Lehrer is very familiar with what it takes to tap into the right customer audience. However, he explains that as online marketing trends become more prevalent for small and large businesses alike, it is more important now than ever to reassess methods for defining target audiences. Lehrer comments, “Demographics have always played a considerable role in traditional marketing, but now as campaigns become more direct—such as those reaching out to niche audiences—it is important for brands to truly understand who their consumers are.”
In accordance with Lehrer’s sentiment, Entrepreneur recently released an article that highlights “10 questions to ask before determining your target market.” The article states, “The better you understand your HYPERLINK “http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/findingcustomers/index.html” customer, the faster your business will grow. But new ventures often struggle to define their target market and set their sights too broadly.” Lehrer explains that he has also noticed these trends among many start-ups and strong recommends that any business considering a new marketing campaign consider the questions outlined in the article.
One of the most important questions in the article, according to Lehrer, focuses on the potential profitability behind a product or service. It asks, “Who would pay for [a] product or service?” Greg Habstritt, founder of SimpleWealth.com responds, “First, try to understand the problem that your product or service can solve. Not only do [your potential customers] need to have the problem, but they need to be aware they have the problem.”
Following a similar point of view, Sam Lehrer adds, “Many new businesses fail to overestimate who is actually going to buy their product or service. If entrepreneurs use faulty research methods they may try to tap into a consumer audience that is not going to be that responsive—leading to higher valuations and false representation to potential investors. Not only can overvaluing a company create headaches for a business in the future, but it can ruin an entrepreneur’s reputation. With that in mind, professionals must take the time to get to know the people who will actually pay money for their product and use this information to make more honest estimations.”
According to Lehrer, there is no excuse for incorrectly identifying consumer audiences, as modern resources offer endless opportunities for entrepreneurs to conduct market research and collect feedback. For example, Bryan Darr, founder of Mosaik Solutions, tells Entrepreneur, “As you try to understand your target market, it may be challenging — and expensive — to seek feedback from potential consumers through surveys, focus groups and other means. But you can tap into your social networks to get free feedback. Many people in your extended network will likely be willing to take the time to give you opinions and advice.”
While the concept of niche marketing has become popular, Lehrer indicates that many entrepreneurs can misinterpret the approach. He explains, “Niche marketing does not necessarily mean isolating a brand to a select group of people—it means identifying the most responsive groups of consumers and learning how to grow the brand from the inside out.” For this reason, Sam Lehrer highlights Entrepreneur’s suggestion to make sure that there is room to expand a target market. In the article, Darr adds, “Be prepared to redefine your target market or to expand it over time…For example, figuring out whether you’re targeting a domestic consumer or customers throughout the world can be a good start.”
Another point made in the article revolves around how to adapt marketing to consumer audiences—a matter that Lehrer believes all entrepreneurs should be prepared to handle. For example, Entrepreneur suggests that online stores may create marketing strategies around younger audiences, while a brick-and-mortar business should pursue methods to tap into local demographics.
According to Lehrer, the further one can forecast audience redefinition, growth and adaptation, the easier it will be to create compelling and effective marketing campaigns. “Many entrepreneurs who do limit their consumer outreach to a specific audience fail to remember that that audience will change as the brand and the products it represents evolve. The more careful the market research during initial stages, the easier it will be for entrepreneur to determine advertising budgets. While it can prove effective to tap into specific groups of consumers, if a business is prepared to branch out to other particular audiences, the more likely revenue growth will be” Sam Lehrer concludes.
Sam Lehrer, founder of The Laser Outlet, is an entrepreneur who has a strong background in business leadership and sales. A graduate of the University of Florida, Lehrer has built an impressive career that has allowed him to develop a wide range of professional skills, all of which have contributed to his ability to successfully build multiple organizations to date. Lehrer anticipates continuing to act as a leader in his industry and looks forward to continually providing a positive example for the next generation of entrepreneurs.