Choose your target | Irrigation and green industry magazine

Plan your work, work your planning. This is good advice when developing a marketing strategy for the New Year. But what if you don’t know where to start to create the starter plan? The best advice I can give you is to start by creating a reasonable and achievable goal and work backwards to complete the steps that will help you reach that goal.

Let’s say a reasonable goal for 2022 is to increase your sales by 15% to homeowners in the affluent part of town we’ll call Richland. What steps and marketing plans can you put in place to achieve this goal?

Define your marketing budget

If you want to increase your sales to the good folks in Richland, you need to ask them to spend their money with you. This “demand” is called marketing. Since it takes money to make money, you’ll have to spend some of it to get more. Ah, but how much should you spend? Conventional wisdom has always been to set a marketing budget of around 2% to 3% of your gross income. The Small Business Administration recommends that small businesses with revenues of less than $ 5 million allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing, assuming you have 10-12% margins after expenses. I recommend that you do the math and allocate funds in the 2% to 5% range that is right for you. If you go low and need more, you will have some leeway.

Define your target audience

Since you have already defined your goal of increasing sales among the affluent people who can afford your services in Richland, your target audience is defined. This means that advertising in other neighborhoods will not help you reach your goal. So don’t advertise there. Although it sounds simplistic, it is not. Throughout the year, you’ll be approached by advertisers who want you to exhibit at an event, buy an ad, or sponsor a team for a great cause, and you’ll be tempted to devote a portion of your budget. Your best defense against these salespeople is to keep your goal in mind.

If the event, publicity, or team isn’t reaching your audience in Richland, you can more easily say no. Conversely, if the featured advertising vehicle reaches your Richland audience, you will feel more confident in assessing the merits of the request.

Create your strategy

Knowing something about the residents of Richland will help you get your marketing message out in a place where they are likely to receive it. Are there local newspapers, websites, community forums, or newsletters that specifically target Richland residents? Since you know where they live, would restrictions from the community or homeowners association allow you to walk the streets of the neighborhood and put up door signs or brochures? Since you are so specific with your target audience, a postcard direct mail campaign could be effective. And, of course, digital marketing through Google Ads and Facebook allows you to localize your post in more specific regions and zip codes.

Develop your campaign

Now that you know who you want to receive your message and how you might deliver it, it’s time to decide what to say. If the residents of Richland really are that wealthy, they might not be motivated by coupons or discounts. Instead, think about what would motivate that customer to buy. These could be concierge services, specialized products or messages that convey prestige. Develop a creative campaign that is what the customer wants, using language that motivates them to take action.

To help you define your target audience and create messages that they’ll respond to, you can download a free workbook from If you want more information on how to put together a marketing plan for the New Year, follow me on Facebook and Twitter @whatsyouravocad or email me at [email protected]

Stacie Zinn Roberts is an award-winning writer, marketing expert and the founder of What’s Your Avocado? Marketing and Public Relations, Mount Vernon, Washington, specializes in green industry marketing. She can be reached at [email protected]

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