Reaching out (to your clients and the world)

This learning material will help your learners
- to research their new and existing target audience using design thinking tool persona mapping,
- to research businesses already in the new markets they are looking to reach and, if possible,
- to try collaborating with like-minded companies and
- to learn about the importance of having a digital marketing plan and strategy that can reach the most people while remaining cost-effective. 

Competences addressed/ learning outcomes expand_more

After completing this Learning resource participants will be able to
 Research your target audience to Reach & Engage Customers using the design thinking tool PERSONA MAP 
—  Study the competition.
—  Find complementary local businesses and align with them.
—  Find out how to create a digital marketing plan.
—  Utilize social media marketing.
—  Discover and learn how to use text message marketing


The objectives of this learning resource can be summarised as below
—  To become aware of the importance of having a marketing plan, using market reach techniques which are key to empower you and your brand to reach your full potential. 
—  To Reach & Engage Customers using Design Thinking. 
—  To make sure you know about your competitors and align with your local businesses.
—  To Utilize social media and message marketing

Theoretical background expand_more

When you have a business idea, you likely have a particular audience in mind to market your products or services to. However, your initial target market might shift as your business evolves. The reason is that our world is changing fast. Consumers want so much more than to simply find what they’re looking for in stores. Most companies are looking to develop genuine connections with the brands they do business with so that they can enjoy lifelong dependencies on their favorite stores to fulfill their needs.  Many consumers also enjoy bragging about stores they’ve “discovered” and they’re only too happy to recommend them to friends. It is vital that you take advantage of this. Know that it’s not enough to simply please the individuals who enter the front doors of your store or visit your website if you sell online. You need to work to build the relationships you have with those individuals once they exit those real or virtual doors.

This learning material will help your learners to research their new and existing target audience using design thinking tool persona mapping, research businesses already in the new markets they looking to reach and, if possible, try collaborating with like-minded companies and learn about the importance of having a digital marketing plan and strategy that can reach the most people while remaining cost-effective. 

This material is for social entrepreneurs looking to focus on their customers and plan for expanding into new markets.

Step-by-step implementation expand_more

1. Research your target audience: map your customer using the Design Thinking tool Persona map.
Consumers are often the target audience that needs your products or services. If you don’t understand your potential customers, you won’t be able to sell to them.  As a social entrepreneur you are most likely going after new customers in a different market, you want to be sure that you have researched your target audience and the existing market before you arrived to develop your marketing campaigns: to do this, you need to invest your time to really understand the market and buyer behaviour specific to your market.

Use the Design Thinking Tool PERSONA MAP: 

Why? You need to deeply understand who the user of your product or service will be. Design Thinking is human centered, so the human perspective is very important for a successful outcome of the project. There may be more than one type of persona for your product or service. It may be necessary to create several if they have differing needs.
What? The Persona Map is a visual understanding of the target user/customer that will help your team understand what success for them will look like.
1.  Start by brainstorming as a team who your target users are using post-it notes to capture individual suggestions, then discussing and grouping them. Choose which one or two that the team represents the user best to create a hypothetical typical person.
2. Position the PERSONA MAP on a wall space where the team can gather around it
3. Bring your chosen persona to life by discussing, agreeing, and fleshing out the chosen persona, use your collective imagination to create a rich character portrayal.
4. Draw a picture, use a photo, or a cutting from a magazine or website to visually represent your persona.
5. Give the Persona a realistic name.
6. Complete the About section of the Persona Map – what type of person is this? What personal characteristics do they have, are they single/married, do they have children, etc.?
7. Invent a quote they might use to describe the need/want that you think they have that you will solve for them.
8. Describe more about their life, their background, education, job title, and other key characteristics of the persona.
9. Identify what Goals the persona has in their life, and for the product/service you will provide.
10.Identify key motivational factors that will encourage the use of your product/service – what are their customer latent needs and desires?
11. Complete the section on Behaviors – what do they do? Tell stories about their behavior as it relates to your product/service? How do they communicate? What are their frustrations? 
12.Review the completed Persona to check that it accurately describes your chosen target user/customer.

From here, you can develop new marketing strategies that are customized to the needs of your Persona. You will be armed with the knowledge of how that audience thinks, feels, and behaves when it comes to making purchasing decisions, you can develop tailored marketing campaigns that attract and convert them.

Research your existing and future consumers!
Some of key critical demographic information might already be accessible to you. For instance, if your new market overlaps with an old one (as it likely could happen), it’s possible you already have data on the additional consumers you’ll now be targeting.
Look at the content of the learning material “Desktop research skills” to find out more about the basic information regarding how research skills can help you regarding updating your knowledge about your existing and future customers.

2. Study the competition
You’ll want to learn about your competition when shifting markets so you can answer questions such as:
- How will I stand out?
- What are the lessons I can learn from companies already targeting these audiences?

Try to identify the top influencers in the market and read their content. An influencer is someone who is able to persuade a lot of other people, for example their followers on social media, to do, buy, or use the same things that they do. This will not only give you insight into how to approach those influencers to cultivate relationships with them, but it will also give you insight into the behavior of the customers in that market. In this step it is key that you Identify ways your competition engages their audience, including the language and tone they use in their messages, their primary marketing channels, and the type of content they create to promote their products and services.
TIP: You can use Porter’s Five Forces to analyze your competition. This model helps you determine if your business can be profitable compared to similar ones in the market.

3. Find complementary local businesses and align with them.
Not all businesses in your industry will be your direct competitors. Perhaps some sell products or services that complement your own. Find ways to work with these brands rather than against them. In fact, collaborations are one way to boost your sales.

4. Find out how to create a digital marketing plan.
Digital marketing is essential in today’s business world. Not only is it crucial for your company to have a mobile-friendly website and strong social media presence, it’s important you also foster a positive reputation.
Make sure you check the contents under
- Netiquette
- Marketing and Metrics
TIP: An extensive digital marketing plan will not only ensure your business can easily reach a new audience, but also provide clear goals for sales leads. Check different sources to create your digital marketing plan: example: 

5. Utilize social media marketing
It’s imperative you properly introduce yourself and your brand before advertising in a new market. A great way to do that while being cost-effective is through social media marketing. Use social media to reach out to the ideal consumers in your new market and build a connection.
Make sure you check the contents under
Marketing and Advertising: Boost your personal branding using social media, and LinkedIn
TIP: Learn social media strategies to gain more customers and engage more effectively with your current customers. Examples: 

6. Don’t forget text message marketing.
A good way to personally connect with these potential customers is through text message marketing campaigns: this allows you to send bulk text messages to segmented groups and offers a more individualized and direct approach to access new customers. As with any marketing approach, the more information you obtain the better chance for success. Consequently, you’ll get the best results if your customer information is both current and organized.
There are plenty of tutorials and videos on the internet about this, as examples:
SMS bump tutorial: 
Youtube video: 
TIP: Text messaging platforms make this process smoother. Take a look at our reviews of the best text message marketing services
While all these tips are key for reaching a new market when you are starting your business, they should be part of a wider marketing and outreach strategy that will take form as you grow. Make sure you use it correctly updating your consumer demographics and set and update campaign benchmarks. This is essential to expanding your brand

Make sure you look to the related contents to this material, that is:
Marketing and Metrics
Marketing and Advertising

Time needed and group sizeexpand_more

TIME: 2 hours (30 minutes for exercise about persona mapping divided in Groups)
GROUP SIZE: 15-20 learners that can be separated into groups of 4-5 (to make sure different persona mappings are made

Materials needed for implementationexpand_more

Computer to show links and videos.
1 print of persona mapping (if possible A4 or A3) 
Sticky notes of different colors. 
OR use the persona map and put the feedback in a board and ask the groups to copy it and write their inputs
Post it notes of different colors

Further resources: Videos and/or useful linksexpand_more

Use the ones intserted into the previuos sections.


Caramela, S. (2023) 7 Smart Tips for Reaching New Customers in Different Markets. Link visited 13/04/2023: 
Uzialko a: (2023) The 3 C’s of Driving Sales: Connect, Convince, Collaborate. Link visited 13/04/2023: 
Social Up project (2018). PERSONA MAP: and . Links visited 13/04/2023:
Pineda, D. (2023). How To Use Design Thinking to Become Better at Marketing and Sales. Link visited 13/04/2023:
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