Target Marketing is an essential skill to have in a bookshop. In these days, there are multiple means for purchasing, renting, or getting a free book. In addition, books may be found in the forms of physical, electronic, or audio. Yet, all of these books are available to a diversity of customers, hence it is important to know who those customers will be and what is it that they desire from their book selections as well as the service they expect from your bookshop.
In a bookshop, you can have many different book titles that pertain to a particular subject or topic. For the most part, the more general your collection, the more likely you are to have a little of everything for most of your customers. However, it your bookshop is small in comparison to a chain bookstore, then you will not be able to do so. Hence, you have to be a little more specialized with the subjects that you manage within your bookshop. When such is the case, you need to find whom your target customers will be and what is it that they like from their books and expect from your service. This is where the journey begins.
Choosing Your Targets
As in the beginning of establishing your bookshop, you have to do some research. What is it that people in your town or city like to read? What is it about the places that they shop at that makes them go back again for more books? What makes the area in which books are sold so special? Are there any nearby schools, colleges, or universities? Perhaps there is a nearby hospital or medical center. You need to do your research so that you don’t waste your time and resources on misses but instead focus on hitting your target customers and good grouping of them too.
For instance, I want to open a bookshop that targets customers who are in the business field. I know this is a broad cluster, however, I know that I could focus on targeting customers who work at banks as well as both insurance and real estate agencies. In fact there are several streets where all three are within a city block. So one of the things that I could do is more in-depth research for all of these business. I could start by walking into one of each type of places and requesting to speak with one of the attending managers or cluster of managers to inquire as to what is offered to their employees during their lunch break and after their work shift. Perhaps I could see their lounge or some of the reading resources that they recommend to their employees and customers as well. I could also inform the business that I will attempt to fill in that void with resources from my bookshop. In addition, I could have a small lounge-like area where I could offer tea, coffee and some snacks. I could also have a select number of books or booklets that cater to this target population. Another thing I could do is to help promote their place of business by having a small bulletin board or table where such products can be displaced. In such manner, I would also be providing a referral service for my customers. Each type of business will have their own specialty, but if I can focus on providing for the needs that they have most in common, then I could do well in selling products and providing a service for my cluster of target customers.
Market advertisement is the action that you take to let your target customers know your presence in their community and both the products and services that you offer to them. In our case, we let people know that at my bookshop I sell books, magazines, and booklets that address the areas of business with regards to banking, insurance, and real estate. I also let them know that I offer several types of teas, coffees, and snacks that are available at a low cost; sometimes change with seasons. I further advertise to them that there is a small lounge area where they can distress or check on their messages before heading out to their homes at the end of the work day. More importantly, I inform my target customers that I want my bookshop to become an essential living element of the local business community in the area, and that I want them to become a part of that experience as well.
In market advertisement, we also need to let our target customers know of the recent releases of books and related products. We need to let them know about special events, such as a local area business person speaking on the topic of “customer relations beyond the office space”. We can’t do it all by word of mouth or print form. We have to learn to incorporate the use of the internet and social media. We can use a website that provides the essential information about the bookshop. Additionally, we can incorporate relevant articles by the staff, but also target customers who frequent the bookshop and with whom we have established good customer relations. Furthermore, special events by local business can be posted as well. For further interaction and customer engagement, a social media site can be used and integrated with the website. The social media site can feature some of the articles, local businesses and the people who work there as well. It will take some work to keep it active and fresh, but it can yield good sales towards the bookshop. In addition, keep in mind that you don’t have to turn your who website or social media site into a sales market board; it could be a catastrophe if you do; learn to balance them and you should do well.
In closing, “target marketing” is not limited to advertising and sales. Target marketing involves research and knowing what the target customers desire from your bookshop. It involves a human element and personal level of getting to know the target customers beyond the surface level. Target marketing also involves human behavior and thought by both customers and the workers of your bookshop; including yourself. It is hard work, yet when done right, it yields positive results for your bookshop, workers, and most importantly, your target customers.
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R. A. Gómez