Target Markets: A Counterpoint

15 03 2013

two men wrestling with armsWell, this is interesting…

Recently, my twin brother, a professor of entrepreneurship, guest blogged about the critical importance and use of target markets in marketing your business.

This is neither a new nor radical point of view, as a quick search on the ‘Net will show. And it is a factor that we take into serious consideration on all DMT Artistry design projects.

However, I’ve just digested a very different view on the subject – VERY different – on the blog of a designer I admire greatly. It aptly addresses the personal side of what we do at DMT Artistry and, more particularly, why our tagline reads: “Designing You.”

I believe it’s important that you, also, have the opportunity to read this alternate viewpoint:

Click here to read the Before & After blog, “Who is your logo for?”

John McWade’s blog has inspired me to reassess how and who I prioritize in the design process.

My conclusion? Depends on the project! Both are essential, though to varying degrees on each and every project. Whether the client’s or the target audience’s preferences take precedence depends very much on the goals of that design, the desires of the client, and the needs of the business.

What are your thoughts on the subject? When push comes to shove, whose input should “reign supreme?”

Please share your thoughts in the comment section! (click “Comment” below)

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Target Markets: Love ’em or lose business (Part II of III)

22 02 2013

Russian nesting dollsPart II of Professor Dave’s (my twin brother!) guest blogger series about Target Markets:

Greetings again! Last week we talked about the four components of a target market. This week, we’re going down the rabbit hole a bit more!

Your goal is to define your target market as much as possible. The more you know about them, the easier it is to design a marketing campaign that will attract them, which we’ll talk about in Part III. But be warned: don’t try to fit all of your customers into one target market. Most businesses have two (or more!) target markets.

Take a realtor, for example. They have six different target markets: first-time buyers, home buyers, apartment buyers, vacation home buyers, commercial buyers, and sellers. While they all share some similarities, there are enough differences between them to treat them separately, especially for marketing purposes.

For example, first-time buyers tend to be much less sure of the buying process and need more handholding than other home buyers. They tend to be just married and/or just starting a family. They also are usually relatively new into their careers, so they are looking for less expensive homes. And… wait a minute. We’ve started to define the target market!

That’s the beauty of target markets—you likely already know what your business’s target markets are if you stop to think about it for a bit. But let’s go through an example of how you can clearly identify one.

TARGET MARKET CASE STUDY: FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

  • Demographic: Usually ages 25-35, recently married, college educated, looking for a home in the $100,000 to $200,000 range (incomes in the $50,000 to $100,000 range), may have just started a family (1-2 kids), likely still paying off loans from school.
  • Geographic: Looking to move within 50 miles of the realtor office.
  • Psychographic: Scared or nervous about the home buying process, but also excited about owning their own home. Usually moving from an apartment, so they may not be aware of all the maintenance requirements a house will need. Often thinking about school systems and feeling of the neighborhood. Use the internet a lot to help with the home purchasing decision.
  • Use-based: They will on average interact with the realtors 10 or more times but make only one purchase, which will likely last them for multiple years.

The more specific you can get, the better. Be careful of identifying too many target markets, though! Your goal is to keep the number manageable, so if you find yourself dealing with 10 or more target markets, see which ones you can combine together. We’ll see why in next week’s post.

Until then, happy pondering! And if you need help, I happen to have a twin sister who’s great at identifying target markets…

Author Bio:  ”Dave Tomczyk, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Quinnipiac University. His background is pretty diverse, including video game development, working at NASA, a Masters in Economics, and some work in astronomy. And a love of target markets!”

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2013 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





What Design Is… and Isn’t

11 01 2013

Dawn Tomczyk-Bhajan giving a web design presentationMy husband’s a great guy. And because he’s a great guy, he insisted on supporting me at a recent speaking engagement at Eastern Michigan University, through a seminar-based company called Web Adventure Workshops.

I was asked to give an overview of Website Design.

While my mind was awhir with psychologically strategic content placement, target audience impact, and structural integrity across browsers, my husband was, very understandably, not-so-eagerly awaiting a 45 minute schpiel on how to make a website look “pretty.”

Happily, my podium time gave me the opportunity to dispel this popular myth for more than just my better half.

While I’m on a roll, let me clear up this point here, too…

Design is NOT the art of “making things pretty.” Design is the psychology of making messages effective, of initiating action via sensory stimulation.

In simplest terms: it’s getting people to do things… not in a creepy or mind-controlling way, but in showing them how your product or service provides a solution to their problem, whatever that may be.

More than that, design does not always have to be “pretty” to be effective. Looks play a role, but it’s not the end-all-be-all goal of a successful designer.

Here’s the thing… the purpose of a website is to elicit some sort of action from a targeted group of people, preferably within a desired time frame. That could be a call to contact the company, read its blog, follow its tweets, visit its store, leave a donation, pass on information, watch a video… the list goes on. And it can be several of those things at once.

A web designer – or any designer, really – needs to think about the psychology, the science, and the math of making that happen. The “pretty” part is icing on the cake.

Corporate culture, existing branding, structure, competitors, and mission all influence how the message is presented. That’s design.

Audience age, gender, income, interests, location, and culture all influence how a message is perceived. That’s design, too.

Colors, layout, navigation, style, imagery, and content all influence whether a message is acted upon. And that’s definitely design.

So, when you contact DMT Artistry LLC with your next design project, anticipate a fascinating, in-depth conversation that will not only help ME create effective marketing for you, but will give YOU useful insight into your own company and clientele.

And you can rest assured that we will make it look pretty, too. The artist in me is always happy to oblige.

“An object imbued with intent — it has power, it’s treasure, we’re drawn to it. An object devoid of intent — it’s random, it’s imitative, it repels us. It’s like a piece of junk mail to be thrown away.”  ~ John Hockenberry

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.





Ask the Right Questions, I Do

15 06 2012

Question markTo find the right answer, first you must ask the right questions.

Sounds like something from the Matrix, doesn’t it… or maybe Yoda. And while, on my rougher rise-and-shines, I may look like Yoda, this wisdom is straight-up designer’s mantra. Asking questions is how every great design is born.

When I discuss a new project with a client, we always have a pre-design interview. During this interview, I ask them important questions that help lead me to create not only what they like, but what will be most effective.

In the case of my logo re-design, I am the client. That would make it my turn to answer the questions! A few of those are below. Use them to ask yourself the same, and see if your marketing is matching your needs:

Who is your target audience for this design?
This is an important one! Many business owners forget that the goal is to attract and retain the clients that bring/will bring them the most value. It doesn’t make any difference whether your teenage kids, office staff, or best friends think your designs are “da bomb”, if it turns your best customers away! And let me tell you right now, if you’re trying to please everyone, your marketing is already doomed to mediocrity or just straight-up failure.

As a rough overview, DMT Artistry’s target clientele is small to mid-sized business owners and leaders, male and female, across the United States. These are entrepreneurial-minded presidents and top management that have a vested interest in the growth and success of their companies. They are enthusiastic. They operate on integrity and drive. They are not looking for down-and-dirty, but rather intelligent design. They come primarily from referrals, and secondarily via online search.

What message are you trying to convey with your design?
Part of the answer to this will come from answers to the previous question. But who your business is as a culture will help fill in the blanks.

For DMT Artistry, the message includes: energy, artistry, creativity, professionalism, uniqueness and warmth. It will be my goal to turn these general descriptors into a message that’s uniquely DMT, and then that message into a visual representation – my logo.

Sounds intense? It is! But that’s half the fun!

When is your goal launch date for this design?
What’s the point in tackling this process, if you need a logo tomorrow? A realistic timeline is crucial.

Right now, because the fate of my office decor and future marketing materials rests heavily on my logo re-design, I’d love to complete it in a month’s time. However, I did say “realistic”, and as my own re-branding must tuck into the cracks of my existing project schedule, 2 months is a more reasonable estimate.

Your turn…
Have you been asking yourself these questions about your own design projects as you read? Try it, and let me know what you discover!

Note: My next blog will post two weeks from now. ‘Til then, hope business keeps you hopping!

“Do or do not… there is no try.”  ~Yoda

Dawn M. Tomczyk-Bhajan  |  DMT Artistry, LLC   |  www.DMTArtistry.com

All content Copyright © 2012 DMT Artistry, LLC, unless otherwise noted. All Rights Reserved.