Know Your Target Audience

Time and again, we hear business people say, “yeah, yeah, I know all about target marketing”, but then proceed to market to everyone. This blanket approach generates poor results and wastes precious marketing dollars.

When you define your target market, you will:

  • Gain focus and steer your marketing efforts
  • Save money by spending your marketing dollar more effectively
  • See better results from your advertising.

With your target audience clearly defined, it’s easy to build your brand and product around it. 

Put yourself in your client’s shoes

Imagine you’re a high-income executive who already knows some basic karate and you’re keen to learn more. You prefer to invest in quality training to get great results. Which of the following three approaches would entice you?

  • Example #1 – poor/lazy targeting: Are you looking to learn martial arts? We teach all forms of martial arts for all levels. Whether you’re young, old, beginner or expert. Call XYZ Martial Arts School today!
  • Example #2 – good targeting: Are you a fitness enthusiast ready to embrace the challenge of Muay Thai? Develop your physical and mental endurance. Join our Muay Thai training course today!
  • Example #3 – good targeting: Are you seeking authentic karate training in a professional facility? Learn true Okinawan Karate in small groups or one-to-one sessions with our elite instructors.

Without question, you’d respond to example #3! That’s the power of well-targeted marketing.

Getting started – a step-by-step guide

How do you define your target market? Take some time to answer the following questions and you’ll have a very good outline of your ideal client

  1. Which kind of client do you currently (mostly) attract? Young, old, male, female, fit, unfit, happy, depressed? Is this kind of client good or bad for your business? Do you wish you had more or less of this type of client? (If your school isn’t open yet, write down the kind of client you’d like to attract.)
  2. Who is your ideal client? What characteristics make them ideal for your business? This could be anything. For example, their age (children vs. adults or seniors), their geographic location, their dedication to sport, their willingness to spend money, their fitness level, their positive attitude, etc.
  3. Do your answers to #1 and #2 match? If not, consider why not?
  4. What keeps your ideal client awake at night? What are their aspirations? What are their worries or pain points? How can your business help solve their problems?
  5. Who will you definitely NOT market to? (Perhaps based on location, age, fitness level, etc.)

Take Action!

  • Take at least half an hour to answer the step-by-step questions above. Use a pen and paper, a computer or even an audio/voice recorder while you drive! Just get it done.
  • Using the examples above as a guide, write simple advertising ideas that target your ideal client.
  • Consider how you could adjust/create your brand (business name, logo, imagery) to attract your ideal client.
  • Remember, your work here can inform a broader professional business document! Use these notes as a benchmark later to see how your marketing is working and which clients are best for your business.

If you’re looking for further advice and tools to make your martial arts business a success visit The Institute of Martial Arts

TIMA1-150x150Graham McDonnell and Phil Britten are Directors of the WA Institute of Martial Arts, one of Australia’s leading martial arts providers servicing over 1,500 clients over three locations with their world class programs. In addition to running successful martial arts schools, they have also established The Institute of Martial Arts (TIMA), offering business coaching and learning programs to help other martial arts businesses plan and develop for success.