By Meg Dedyne
The Tow-Knight Center For Entrepreneurial Journalism article was not the most interesting article I have ever read. However, the information it provided was extremely helpful and beneficial to anyone starting a business in the media landscape.
I really liked how the article first broke up the different aspects we all have to think about when starting a business: content, distribution, people and revenue. We have to think about our content strategy and how much content we are going to produce. Over-servicing and under-servicing can be a problem when entrepreneurs are just getting started and haven’t thought about how much content they actually want to produce.
How do we plan to reach our audience? This is probably the second most important aspect to think about, next to WHO are our target and market audiences. Reaching our audience undeniably requires a platform to distribute, means of distribution, equipment to distribute and more. This plan isn’t something entrepreneurs can come up with in a day, but rather requires thought, planning and execution.
People: everything in the business world undoubtedly comes back to people. Who will make up our team? What are our team’s strengths and weaknesses? This section of the article reminds me of The PMARCA Guide to Startups Chapter 4 when Marc Andreessen discusses how the team is the most important part of the startup. I agree with both articles on this matter, because without a team, there simply isn’t a product or a market.
Revenue also is kind of important when creating a startup. Did I say kind of? I meant extremely important. What can we do without money? Not a whole lot. This is when we have to define who our potential partners are, how we are going to generate revenue and if we are going to sell ads or not. All of these decisions are extremely overwhelming and just making me realize how involved startups are. Founders literally have to decide and figure out everything.
When Mandy Porta describes how to define our target market, she brings up one important fact. “Given the current state of the economy, having a well-defined target market is more important than ever. No one can afford to target everyone,” said Porta. No kidding. Even through Facebook ads, who can afford to target everyone? Most likely, not many people would be able to afford this. I found her article very interesting because most of the things she was telling us to do, we have already begun to do in our class while creating our startups.
First, she tells us to check out our competition, which we have already done. Then, she goes into detail about how to define our target market, which is different than our target audience. If you need more of a clarification, check out this YouTube video. It’s actually extremely helpful.
Porta also reminds us not to break down our target market too far and that we can have more than one niche market.
Her article reminded me of a real life example of this older couple who both went to Michigan State University and really wants to have a baby, but isn’t able to. My friends at MSU said they started seeing ads on Facebook for this couple wanting to adopt someone’s baby. At first, people were wondering why they were being targeted, but then it clicked for them. Of course they were being targeted, because MSU students are their target market!