Strategic Link NEW IDEAS

Article by Kelley-Anne Peck
Principal, Strategic Link

Crain's Detroit Business – Small Business Special

Target Marketing is Key for Success
In real estate, the axiom is "location, location, location."
In marketing, it's "target, target, target."

As with any consumer or business-to-business company, Image Sculpting's product -excimer laser sculpting- is only of interest to a particular segment of the marketplace. The trick is to identify those who are interested in the product and design a marketing plan to stimulate their buying interest.

Market research is the beginning of target marketing, and it should answer the questions, "Why do your customers come to you?" and "Why do those in your target market go to the competition?" Knowing the answers will allow Image Sculpting to define it's target market, to know the buying behavior of that market and to choose which of marketing's "four P's"-product, place, price, promotion-will be the one in which investment can increase the client base.

In fact, Image Sculpting has two target markets: the buyer (surgeons) and the user (consumers). However, the buying pattern of surgery centers is not consumer -driven, so Image Sculpting's marketing budget should focus on what is most important to the buyer. The research will confirm whether the needs of targeted surgeons match those of the over-all segment of surgeons.

In Strategic Link's experience, the key to marketing to surgeons is to help them maximize their own time and revenue. Therefore, Image Sculpting's marketing plan needs to focus on product and place.

A structured direct-mail and face-to-face selling campaign should tout the combined product and service of Image Sculpting: quick turnaround time for the operating room and equipment and block scheduling for back-to-back patient procedures.

Because excimer lasers are relatively new in the surgical market, Image Sculpting also should promote the benefits of it's up-to-date equipment.

For the consumer market, Image Sculpting also should research which of the following is the key to buying behavior: procedure safety, surgeon background or beautiful results. While Image Sculpting's current "Specs Aren't Sexy" billboard campaign is very catchy, it does nothing to address the buying behaviors of either of it's target markets.

Consumers expect physicians to choose where surgery will take place; they are more concerned about who will perform the surgery. Therefore, consumers advertising should promote the expertise of the surgeons who use the Image Sculpting centers.

A marketing and strategic-planning firm can confirm the specific needs of both target markets for Image Sculpting and develop a low cost communications plan to stimulate the "willingness to buy" of both surgeons and consumers.


Clients' First Phone Call to
Strategic Link:

  • We have a great product,
    why isn't it selling?
  • Competitors are crawling out
    of the woodwork!
  • Is customer loyalty a thing of the past?
  • You know, if our one client goes out of business,we are down the tubes.
  • Is our flagship product usable in
    any other industry?

  • This used to be our best selling product, what happened?
  • We know what we CAN do to market our service, but what SHOULD we do?
  • Will this new idea make it
    in the marketplace?
  • Budget is tight this year, which of these protoypes should we invest in?

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