“It May Be More Than a Recession ...” Says Somerset Accountant

“It May Be More Than a Recession ...” Says Somerset Accountant

March 27, 2012

Not a great media backdrop for the President’s campaign launch last week — we have the new jobs numbers. Interestingly, the “official” unemployment rate went down to 8.1%, but even more interestingly, the media (for once) acknowledges the hidden stories behind these numbers.

Specifically, that the vast majority of this drop can be explained by huge numbers of former job-seekers dropping out of the search altogether. There are more unemployed people who have given up looking (“discouraged workers”) as a percentage of the population than at any point since 1980. But I’m not here to spout gloom — far from it, I think.

After all, I’m just a simple Somerset Area small business accountant — not a political prognosticator. But I do know business. Which is why I bring all of this up. Because you’ve probably seen it commonly cited that more fortunes were made during the Great Depression than during any other time to that point — and well-beyond, when you adjust for inflation.

However, the fact remains that strategies in marketing, sales and other areas which worked like gangbusters for years may not be having the same results now as they did even six months ago.Which is why I’m continuing to expand my input into your business–so that you can THRIVE, even now! Your business referrals help to form the lifeblood of our firm … so I suppose you could say that I am truly invested in your success.

Look–if my friends go out of business, it certainly doesn’t help our firm! So, let’s all be smart about how we grow, because opportunity abounds.Somerset Area Small Business Accountant Talks About Your Exact Target Customer

Do you know the profile of your ideal customer or client? Because that’s the first place you must start when creating a marketing campaign to get new customers, especially in the Somerset Area market. But many local business owner friends with whom I discuss these matters approach their marketing from the following perspective: “I need more customers, so I will run an advertising campaign to reach everyone in Somerset Area.

I will then choose a good media (direct mail, TV, radio, internet, etc.) and work with the representative to come up with the kind of ad which works best for that medium. This will ensure success.” Actually, this is completely backwards. The most successful clients I work with have the following approach:”What is my exact target market and what do they want? Next, since I know my target market and what they want, I can create a message which matches up with what they care about (not just what I provide). Lastly, the right media isn’t a big deal because I just pick the one which reaches my target prospect most effectively.” Do you see the difference between these two approaches? I sure hope so, because it can make a big difference in your bottom line.

So, now that you operate from this paradigm, how do you narrow down your target market? Well, what you’re really talking about is coming up with the right list. In selecting a list, you’ll want to target people most likely to have an existent interest in what you have to offer–as well as some things in common with your present good customers.

These commonalities might be found in age, sex, occupation, income level, neighborhood or geographic area, credit card ownership, family size, magazine subscribed to, or any number of other data. These factors are called “demographics” and the professional sources you might rent a mailing list from can be incredibly sophisticated in finding or compiling a mailing list of people who conform to your set of desired demographics. In business-to-business marketing the same sophistication is available.

Lists of companies can be obtained by size, sales volume, asset value, number of employees, type of business, geographic area, magazines subscribed to, credit rating and other factors. Lists of executives, owners, sales managers, personnel managers, purchasing agents, stockholders, or secretaries are also readily available. List selection can be as simple or sophisticated as you need or want to make it. The owner of an upper class club might want to obtain a mailing list of homeowners within a 50-mile radius of his restaurant who have at least one bank credit card. A private jet manufacturer might want the list of corporate officers and business owners with net worth’s in excess of a half million dollars all across the country.

As a rule, the more demographic factors you can use in controlling the list, the costlier the list. To a great degree extra money spent in narrowing down the list to fit your desired factors is money well spent. But the money can be very well spent, because you reduce the “waste factor” in your marketing when you can narrowly slice down your target to the most responsive possible.