Lucas Weaver
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Lucas Weaver

Marketing Strategist at Weaver Communication
Lucas Weaver is the founder of Weaver Communication and author of Explaining Digital Marketing.
Lucas Weaver
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digital marketing dominate your market

What do you think of first when I say “fast food”? Soda? Sports?

I think of McDonald’s, Coke, and ESPN. And so do millions of others.

We think of those companies because they’ve spent billions of dollars to make us think of them first. McDonald’s spent $988 million in America in 2014 on advertising. Coca-Cola spent $3.3 billion globally in 2013. ESPN calls itself the Worldwide Leader of Sports and spends billions to make sure they have the content to keep you viewing them as such. Billions such as the $15 billion they spent to keep Monday Night Football and the $7.3 billion to broadcast the new College Football Playoff. Call it simple branding if you wish, but the way to dominate a market is to make consumers associate your name with whatever service you offer.

“No matter what business you’re in, there’s a smaller market segment out there within your larger market just waiting for you to take it over.”

Call it simple branding if you wish, but the way to dominate a market is to make consumers associate your name with whatever service you offer.

But how do you dominate a market if someone beats you to it? Or, how do you dominate a market if you don’t have the budget to outspend your competition? The answer…. you have to

Or, how do you dominate a market if you don’t have the budget to outspend your competition? The answer…. you have to SEGMENT the larger market. Maybe you don’t have the budget to make every single resident in your city think of your company when they think of your service, but there are many different categories that the people in your city identify themselves with.

Think about it like this. There are 2.2 million residents in Houston proper. But those 2.2 million people can be broken down into smaller categories. 70% of the Houston population describes themselves as Christian, 20% of those Christians identify themselves as Catholic. 25% of all Houston residents are immigrants, having been born in another country. 8% of residents are over the age of 65, and 28% are under the age of 18. Of all Houston families, 15% are headed by a single mother.

Any of those demographics are a specific portion of the market you can target. You may not be able to budget an advertising campaign targeting all of these demographics, but you can dominate any one of those market segments.

Get creative and think about non-traditional markets. How many people in Houston identify themselves as Aggies and Longhorns? How many are Soccer fans? How many employees of Exxon, Memorial Hermann, Dow Chemical, all live within the area you service? You might not be able to get everyone to think of “ABC Plumbing” when they need a plumber, but what if you could get every Aggie to think of ABC Plumbing?

How many employees of Exxon, Memorial Hermann, Dow Chemical, all live within the area you service? You might not be able to get everyone to think of “ABC Plumbing” when they need a plumber, but what if you could get every Aggie to think of ABC Plumbing?

“You won’t become Coca-Cola overnight, but you can be the Coca-Cola of one segment of one market, and that’s the first step.”

You might not be able to get everyone to think of “ABC Plumbing” when they need a plumber, but what if you could get every Aggie to think of ABC Plumbing?

Make your business the go-to for one specific market segment. If you can market your plumbing business as “the bathtub specialists,” then you get the chance to show the customer that calls you to fix her bathtub what amazing and honest customer service you give. Your employee explains to your new customer that you service all plumbing needs, and leaves behind a refrigerator magnet. Then your new customer calls you when they have a water heater problem.

The game-plan here is you pick one smaller market segment within your larger market and go after it aggressively. You service the hell out of your smaller market and get referrals to customers outside of that market. Then you have killer referral programs encouraging your customers to bring you new business (Read: How to Create Effective Referral Programs here). It’s all about how creative you’re willing to be and how hard you’re willing to work.

How does digital marketing figure into this? Did you know that Twitter allows you to target ads by selecting followers of individual Twitter users? Let’s say you want to take the Aggie approach. You can run a Twitter ad campaign that will only show to followers of Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M head football coach. Your ad of course will say “The best plumber for Aggies in the Houston area.” See where I’m going here?

Imagine you’re a Veterinarian and you just opened a new animal clinic. You can run a Facebook ad that will only show to Facebook users in Houston who have liked the pages of the most popular dog groomers in town. Your ad can say “10% off yearly check-ups for ABC Grooming Customers.”

The possibilities are almost endless. It all depends on you. No matter what business you’re in, there’s a smaller market segment out there within your larger market just waiting for you to take it over. You won’t become Coca-Cola overnight, but you can be the Coca-Cola of one segment of one market, and that’s the first step.

Sources: McDonald’s Ad SpendCoca-Cola Ad SpendHouston Demographics