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					Identify Your Target Market                                                         1

Market research should help you decide what part of the market you can
effectively and efficiently serve based upon the characteristics of the market,
your own resources, along with the strengths (and weaknesses) of the services
and products you have planned. It will not help you to over-estimate your
capacity and disappoint customers with a lower quality product or an initial
inability to provide enough of the product.

Obtain information about your customers such as age, gender, ethnic origin and
family status (called “demographics”) to get acquainted with who your customers
are. Find out information such as life-style preferences, personal behavior, and
buying style (called “psychographics”) to learn why people prefer one product
instead of another.


Identify Your Target Market                                                         2

One can waste a great deal of time, money and effort marketing to individuals
and companies who aren’t in your “target audience.” For example, if you price
your honey higher than most, don’t waste your marketing efforts going after
consumers who always buy the lowest-priced honey.

Tip: Before you do any marketing, you need to know the
important characteristics about those to whom you’re

If you've been in business for some time, you probably have excellent knowledge
about your audience. If you're just starting to sell honey, you’ll need to define
your audience before doing any marketing. Either way, taking this quick survey is
an excellent method to help you determine the target of your marketing efforts.

The primary audience (consumer) for my honey is:

Age ____________            ❏ Male        ❏ Female

Occupation ________________________________________

Annual income (for individuals) _________________________
- or –
Annual revenue (for businesses) _______________________

Price conscious? ❏ YES ❏ NO

Quality minded?    ❏ YES ❏ NO

Already aware of my business? ❏ YES ❏ NO


Identify Your Target Market                                                          3

My customers are located:       ❏ Locally                   ❏ Within a day’s drive
                                ❏ Nationally                ❏ Internationally

My customers buy:               ❏ In small quantities       ❏ In bulk

Once you’ve defined your audience, you need to decide what you want that
audience to know about your business. For more on this, move on to the next
section — “Defining Your Message.”

If you have difficulty defining your audience, you may want to enlist the services
of a marketing professional to point you in the right direction. For more
information on finding a marketing professional, check out “Working with a
Marketing Professional” found in the advertising section of “Honey, Get Selling.”


Identify Your Target Market                                                         4

When we talk about “message,” we’re talking about what you want your audience
to know about you or your product(s) in order to convince them to do business
with you.

Are you the low-price leader? Do you provide a better quality product than your
competitors? Do you give away free honey stix with every purchase?

Determine exactly what you want your audience to know about your business
and stick to that message. Remember to keep your message very focused. If you
overwhelm your audience with too much information, they may not pay attention
to anything you say. As they say in the media world — STAY ON MESSAGE!

Complete this quick survey to decide what you’d like your audience to know:

The thing most people remember about my honey is _____________________

The most unique thing about my honey is ______________________________

My prices are: ❏ HIGH       ❏ AVERAGE       ❏ LOW

I’ve been in business since ___________

My audience is familiar with me and my product’s name:       ❏ YES     ❏ NO

Once you know this information, take a stab at defining your message. An
example of a clear message is:

“Buzzy Bee Honey Company has been providing the people of Chadwick
County with top-quality, Clover honey at reasonable prices since 1965.”

Now take a minute to define your marketing message _____________________


Identify Your Target Market                                                         5

Once you’ve decided on your message, be sure to communicate it clearly in
whatever type of marketing activity you pursue. If you run ads, make sure your
message comes across loud and clear. If you meet a prospective client face to
face, make sure they understand what you can do for them.


Identify Your Target Market                                                         6

During market research and product development you may wonder whether your
product is appropriate to sell in the international marketplace. There may be
many reasons to export your product, among them:

  • An opportunity to increase overall sales

  • Higher profit potential (after initial stages)

  • Utilize excess production capacity

  • Soften the impact of domestic seasonality

  • Take advantage of the world’s preference for American products

  • Take advantage of the opportunity to sell specialized, high-profit items to
  areas with greater demand than found in the U.S.

Several agencies offer assistance to U.S. exporters of domestic products. These
agencies offer a wealth of information running the gamut of topics from
international market research, identification of markets, analysis of the
competition and description of market characteristics to identification of channels
of distribution.

National Honey Board export promotions help increase U.S. honey sales in
targeted areas around the world. Activities such as the following are an important

  • Promoting U.S. honey to food traders in Japan and the Middle East through
  newsletters, trade seminars and food shows, then drawing from our
  experience to provide export market information to U.S. exporters.

  • Promoting U.S. honey to consumers in these countries by conducting in-
  store promotions, providing point-of-sale materials and holding educational
  seminars. We also maintain a National Honey Board Web site in Japanese,

  • Sponsoring and staffing exhibit space at international trade shows. We invite
  U.S. honey exporters to participate in these events.


Identify Your Target Market                                                         7

Obtain help from government agencies
Rather than bearing all of the expenses alone, U.S. exporters may work together
to cut costs. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Trade Development Office of
Export Trading Company Affairs (OETCA) encourages U.S. firms, especially
small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to work together for the purpose of
exporting. SMEs that conduct joint exporting can increase their economies of
scale and gain export-related advantages enjoyed by larger firms. Such benefits
are of special importance to those SMEs that lack the resources to access
foreign markets and conduct export business which may be profitable on their

TIP: The OETCA provides in-depth program counseling
at no charge. You can reach them at (202) 482-5131 or
visit their Web site at

Get a low-cost or free listing in the U.S. Exporters’ Yellow Pages
The U.S. Exporters’ Yellow Pages™ (USEYP) is coordinated by the Office of
Export Trading Company Affairs. At little or no cost, the USEYP helps U.S.
producers match with export service providers and makes it easy for foreign
customers to connect with U.S. suppliers. Distributed worldwide in print form
through the U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service outlets and as
an e-commerce service via the Internet, the USEYP serves as an effective
international trade referral tool for businesses located around the world

To obtain a preview print edition of the USEYP or get help with exporting, contact
your local U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center (EAC). To
locate the EAC nearest you, contact Commerce’s Trade Information Center toll-
free at (800) 872-8723.


Identify Your Target Market                                                         8

Learn how to make overseas contacts, take advantage of low cost promotions,
subscribe to a trade lead service and more by visiting the following Web sites or
contacting the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

  U.S. Small Business Administration
    409 Third Street SW
    Washington, DC 20416
    Tel: (800) 827-5722
    Web sites:
    Features information on SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) and
    SBA Loan Programs.

  Export-Import Bank of the United States
    Craig O’Connor
    Tel: (800) 565-3946
    Web site:
    The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) was created to
    aid in financing and to facilitate U.S. exports. Ex-Im Bank provides
    guarantees of working capital loans for U.S. exporters, guarantees the
    repayment of loans or makes loans to foreign purchasers of U.S. goods and
    services and provides credit insurance against non-payment by foreign
    buyers for political or commercial risk. The Ex-Im Bank must also ensure
    that there exists a reasonable assurance of repayment.

  National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
    Richard Kirchhoff
    Executive Vice President
    1156 15th Street NW Suite 1020
    Washington, DC 20005
    Tel: (202) 296-9680
    Telex: 9103500181 NASDA UD
    Fax: (202) 296-9686
    Web site:


Identify Your Target Market                                                         9

  U.S. Department of Commerce
    1401 Constitution Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20230
    Export Assistance Center
    Tel: (800) 872-8723
    Web site:

  Food Export USA-Northeast
    Members: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire,
    New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
    150 S Independence Mall West
    Suite 1036 Public Ledger Building
    Philadelphia, PA 19106
    Tel: (215) 829-9111
    Fax: (215) 829-9777
    Web site:

  Foreign Agricultural Service
    Trade Services and Exporter Assistance Branch
    Tel: (202) 720-9509
    Web site:

  Mid-America International Agri-Trade Council (MIATCO)
    Members: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
    Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
    309 W Washington Street Suite 600
    Chicago, IL 60606
    Tel: (312) 334-9200
    Fax: (312) 334-9230
    Web site:

  Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA)
    Members: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,
    Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South
    Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.
    2 Canal Street Suite 2515
    New Orleans, LA 70130
    Tel: (504) 568-5986
    Fax: (504) 568-6010
    Web site:


Identify Your Target Market                                                       10

  Western U.S. Agricultural Trade Association (WUSATA)
   Members: Alaska, Arizona, American Samoa, California, Colorado, Guam,
   Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and
   2500 Main Street Suite 110
   Vancouver, WA 98660-2697
   Tel: (360) 693-3373
   Fax: (360) 693-3464
   Web site:

  National Honey Board
    390 Lashley Street
    Longmont, CO 80501-6045
    Tel: (303) 776-2337
    Tel: (800) 553-7162
    Fax: (303) 776-1177
    Web sites:

Web sites of interest for exporting assistance

  U.S. Trade Department             
  Agricultural Trade Office, Mexico 
  Foreign Agricultural Service      
  Dept. of Commerce’s Stat-USA      
  Export Hotline                    
  Trade Post                        
  Trade Information Center          
  Int. Assoc. of Food Ind. Suppliers
  Int. Food Information Council     
  SIAL trade show                   
  ANUGA trade show