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This post fits in with both product and promotion, but we wanted to introduce the concept of the target market with genre because writing a work (the product) becomes a different experience if you know exactly for whom you are writing it.

If you would like to be a part of a core test group to test a marketing segmentation system for independent authors, please contact heather@kbuuk.com. Please contact us soon, as we are limiting this test group to a very small number.

During student teaching our advisor used to emphasize the fact that one of marketing’s greatest contributions to the world of business is the idea of segmentation and the target market. That a savvy business person will use the concept of segmentation and targeting to identify and distinguish a group of potential users/customers/consumers who are more likely to purchase a given product or service based on a set of identifying variables that make that person likely to act.

This is a somewhat technical post. We tried to keep it simple, but there are some specific marketing terms we believe will be helpful for the independent Author + Entrepreneur to know.

In marketing there are four distinct ways to segment a market:

  • Geographics
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Behavioristics

The most simple way to segment a market is geographically. Using this technique, you simply choose a geographic region and base your efforts on variables unique to that geographic area. This works well for items particular to a certain climate. For instance, if you are a manufacturer of snow skis, you would probably segment your market based on proximity to mountains. Granted you might have a few retail outlets here and there that were not close to mountains, but most of your revenues are going to be driven by people who snow ski, and what do you need to snow ski, mountains.

The next level of segmentation would be demographics. People often hear this word, and to generalize, demographics refer to census data. Demographic information includes factors such as age, gender, income, education, and profession. These factors are important because they will give you a cluster of people that are likely to act in a certain way, but it’s not a guarantee.

For example an 18-year-old female from middle class suburbia, and a 65-year-old male from an urban dwelling could both really like and purchase chocolate ice cream on a frequent basis. Demographics in this instance is not very telling for the product at hand.

I’m going to skip psychographics and come back to it in just a minute.

Behavioristics would be the final method for segmenting a market. This method refers to grouping customers based on variables such as frequency and quantity of purchase. It also relates to purchasing power, i.e. the customer vs. the consumer issue.

Behavioristics is useful in consumer packaged goods. Think Wal-Mart vs. Sam’s Club, the difference in the experience and the reason for the existence of the two different channels is deeply rooted in Behavioristics.

When segmenting your market for your book, there are definitely reasons to take all of the above-mentioned segmentation methods into consideration. A healthy combination of all four of the methods will definitely give you the clearest picture of who your target market is; however, I would like to conjecture that the most important and I feel the most fun segmentation method is the psychographic element because of how it relates so closely to genre.

The psychographic method is based on determining the values, attitudes, and lifestyle choices a consumer adopts. Also psychographics looks at activities, interests, and opinions (AIOs). More than the other elements of segmentation, I personally feel the psychographic factors are the most telling in a consumer’s purchase decisions, especially for a book.

So how does this relate to you and your book? What is your genre? Now that you’ve identified your genre, think about all of the things that make your genre unique. Put yourself in the mind of the reader, and what values, attitudes, lifestyle choices, and AIOs does my work communicate to this reader? There are certain elements of genres that people are seeking and expect when reading a particular genre. So does your work capture those elements?

Again, if you would like to be a part of the test group after reading this post, please contact heather@kbuuk.com.

Yes, of course it’s great to know this information if you’re going to dedicate the time and attention to it, but at the end of the day we’ve realized that writers just want to write, as you should, it goes back to the product and refining your craft so that each time the product gets better and better. So why don’t you let us help you do the heavy marketing lifting!