eCommerce Insiders

Targeting Matters: Do You Know Your Market?

Do yourself a favor: If someone ever comes along and offers you a vacation package involving salmon fishing in Arizona, save your money, and run away, fast! The freshest salmon that you’ll find in Arizona is located on ice and behind a glass case at Whole Foods Market.

It stands to reason that if you’d want to capture salmon, you’ve got to travel to a geographic location known for its salmon fishing, such as Oregon or Washington State. If you wanted Alaskan King Crab, then you could ride a ferry from the Puget Sound in Washington into Alaska. Do you want blue crab? Then it’s off to the Chesapeake Bay on the U.S. east coast!

The point is, if you want to get a specific item, then you’ve got to know where to find it in the first place! It sounds simple, but there are still a lot of frustrated affiliate marketers out there who are clearing the figurative cobwebs out of their PayPal or banking accounts instead of clearing cash.

Are you one of them?

Targeting the Market

If you were to ask certain affiliate marketers who their marketing targets are, they’d probably reply that their targets are anyone with a pulse and a credit (or debit) card! And then, they wonder why they’re not earning money.

Is this you?

With the Q4 holiday shopping season nipping at your heels, and with Cyber Monday just a month away, you can’t afford to leave anything to chance when it comes to targeting the right prospects for your products. According to Comscore, ecommerce holiday spending reached past the $45 billion mark, which was a 10% increase over the previous year.

And, an article listed on Consumer Affairs quotes the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, stating that a whopping 56% of holiday shoppers will perform all of their shopping online this year. And, while most shoppers will continue to exercise some of the same frugality they’ve developed since the Great Recession of 2008, the steady recovery of the U.S. economy has many shoppers feeling relieved, and fiscally generous.

That means that there will be a lot of money left on the table unless you can quickly figure out how to capture the right type of audience (read: traffic) to your landing pages in order to convert them.

Zeroing In

Here are some simple ways that you can find the right marketing targets who are sure to convert, now!

Perform marketing target research: In the old days, the insertion of a few clever keyword were all that was needed to direct the right traffic to your sales page. But in this new era of Google animals and stiff ecommerce competition, you’ll require a wide arsenal of tools in order to learn who your targets are.

Your arsenal will still include all the relevant keyword tools, but you’ll also need to perform deeper levels of research to extract the decision-making data that you’ll need. You can mine this data by reading articles relative to your product’s industry. You’ll learn who is asking for the product you’re selling. You’ll also learn where the gaps lie-if there are any gaps-in the market that your product could fill.

Use common sense: Common sense would (or should) dictate that certain products aren’t appropriate for certain marketing demographics. But, according to an article posted on, common sense didn’t exactly prevail when the manufactures of Breaking Bad action figures felt that it would be a great idea to form a partnership with an international children’s toy retailer.

Inappropriate product targeting creates a firestorm that will anger your targets and alienate your sales message. Worse, your intended targets will believe that you don’t get them, that you’re not in touch with their needs, and they’ll reward your misfire by directing their attention and their money elsewhere.

Break down the demographics: Let’s face it-not everyone is the right fit for the product that you’re selling. If you think about things, then you probably have a good idea in your mind what type of customers are right for your product. But, it’s always a great idea to perform a little brainstorming.

For example, ask yourself questions like, how much value your idea prospect is looking for in a purchase? How much value does your product actually provide? What type of promises are your idea targets looking to be fulfilled? Are you presenting irresistible value for your product’s price anywhere in your sales funnel?

Do you know even what a sales funnel is, and why it’s important to your affiliate marketing success?

What type of purchasing power do your targets have? Are you pricing yourself out of your idea market? Or, is your product priced too low to attract the type of prospects that you desire? What age range are your targets? Is your product appropriate for the ages you’re marketing towards?

What types of questions or problems do your targets need to resolve? What is their family status? These are the type of questions you’ll need to answer so that you can determine the types of issues that are important to your targets. When you can provide the right answers and solutions, then your products will meet their needs. Then, you’ll realize the conversions that seemed previously elusive.

You’d be wasting your time to fish for salmon in Arizona, and you’re wasting precious time (and leaving buckets of money on the table) if you’re not hunting for the right online marketing targets. Hunting for the right affiliate marketing targets isn’t as easy as slapping up a sales page, but if you’re willing to invest time, effort, and brainpower, then you’re sure to be well on your way to enjoying a profitable marketing expedition for Q4, and beyond.

Terri is a content marketing storyteller and strategist. She teaches marketing and entrepreneurship through stories for marketers of all stripes. Her specialty is creating narrative and she writes essays and memoir in her spare time.

Tagged , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *