If you want to go hunting you have to know what you are going to hunt. Strategic marketing planning will help you find out what customers you are looking for and how to catch them. Essential to any marketing campaign is finding and knowing your target audience. Knowing your target audience doesn't just mean identifying who they are but getting to know how they think and what they want and where to find them. After you know them you can find ways to catch them. The better you know them, the better your chances are at getting to them before your competition does.
Selecting your target market is only the beginning but it is a very important beginning. It is best to go after customers that you have some knowledge about and have a legitimate chance of getting with what you have available. While a BB gun might be enough to take down a small bird, you wouldn't want to try it on a grizzly bear. Use what you have at your disposal and use it on those you have a legitimate opportunity to be successful with. Choose a target audience whose needs you can meet. There is no shame in starting small. Use that audience to learn with and prepare for bigger targets. Many people choose to work exclusively with small markets and do quite well.
There are several factors to consider when getting to know your target audience and planning a strategic marketing campaign to go after them. You will want to know as much about their demographics as possible. Pay attention to things like their age, sex, race or ethnicity, education, income, family size, or any other factor that can have an impact on their buying behaviors. Don't believe that you are being racist or buying into stereotypes when you do this. Every demographic group has behaviors that are special to them, even though they may be subtle. Do your best to notice what those behaviors are and cater to them.
Knowing your target audience is incredibly important for anyone planning for a successful strategic marketing plan because it is how they use that knowledge to their benefit that will separate themselves from their competition. All of that knowledge is going to give you insight into how to meet the needs of those future customers of yours.
In planning your strategic marketing campaign you need to know how the other elements of your marketing mix will work together to meet the needs of your target market. The other areas to take into consideration will be things like the particular product or service you want to offer, your method of distribution, your promotions, and the price. The better your knowledge is of your market, the better your ability will be to find a mix that will have an advantage over your competitors.