Building a marketing strategy for your business includes the basics such as identifying your target audience, understanding your existing customer base and emphasizing your value proposition. For those businesses that fall into specific demographics, there can be advantages to promoting your demographic as part of your marketing strategy.
The United States Census Bureau provides ownership statistics for these three demographics:
- Minority Owned
- Veteran Owned
- Woman Owned
Although there are smaller subcategories for each, if your business falls into one of these main three, here are some things to consider.
Certifications and Resources
While there are often requirements to be met for certifications and resources, the opportunities for marketing your business by its demographic can be valuable to growth.
Here are a few certifications and resources to consider if your business falls under one of the categories:
- Federal Certifications — organizations like the SBA provide federal certifications that could help your business win federal contracts reserved for specific demographics.
- State Certifications — like federal certifications, many state governments provide similar certifications to allow a business greater consideration for state contracts based on demographic.
- Chambers and Organizations — national chambers of commerce and nonprofit organizations can help open doors for your business:
- Join a local group such as the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs.
- Research to see if the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides support and services of your specific demographic.
- Join a national organization such as the National Association of Women Business Owners
When it comes to marketing your business and including your demographic as part of that strategy, some subtle, simple and common ways to promote include:
- Social Badges/Indicators — platforms such as Google and Facebook provide businesses the opportunity to add diversity information to your profile.
- Website Tags — utilize the branded information from your certifications and memberships to highlight your demographic.
- Partner with nonprofits — find ways to have your business add value to a local charity or nonprofit within a similar demographic
While there are numerous benefits for business growth when highlighting your demographic to prospective customers, it’s important to consider how information is presented and through what channels. Placing too large of a focus on a specific demographic can inadvertently turn away potential buyers.
Here are a few ways to market strategically while avoiding limiting or unintentionally alienating members of your audience:
- Reviews — utilize customer reviews from those of a similar demographic to promote.
- Relevant Hashtags — while the content may not highlight directly your business demographic, appropriate hashtags are a subtle way to be found.
- Share Similar Content — identify other businesses or thought leaders in your demographic and share their content on social media.
- Piggybacking — Use national recognition days or holiday as an opportunity to promote. For example, promoting a Minority Owned business during Black History Month or a Woman Owned business on International Women’s Day.
However you choose to market your business, make sure it’s thoughtful. Supporting the foundation that built your business is a great way to gain competitive advantages and unlock new opportunities!