No, You Can’t Just Market to Everyone
Listen, I know it’s tempting. I’ve seen it time and again — small businesses who are confident in their products or services know that they could improve anyone’s life with their offering. So, rather than choose a target market and market specifically to that segment, they water down their marketing by trying to be everything to everyone — everywhere. This is a quick and easy way to waste your time and money and confuse your customers while you’re at it.
Avoid the shotgun approach — aiming everywhere and nowhere all at once — and carefully narrow down your target market so you know exactly who you are marketing to. Knowing this target market very specifically will dictate the copy you use in your market, as well as where you will target your messages. You will know both their aspirations and their problems, allowing you to cater your offerings to their specific needs.
If your concern is that by targeting your market in this way, you will rule out the rest of the market, don’t fret — that’s not the case at all. When you get clear on who your ideal client is, and market effectively to them, you sell to the people who really need what you have to offer. Your product or service is a perfect match, which means that you gain loyal clients, and in turn, fantastic word of mouth marketing. The rest of the market still sees your marketing and may still buy what you have to offer, and if they don’t, they will appreciate knowing upfront that it wasn’t a good fit rather than being disappointed by a product that was represented through watered down marketing.
While I can’t cover the entire process of getting to know your target market in one blog post, we can have a look at where to start. You will begin by pinpointing demographics (age, gender, location, income and so on) and narrow it down to psychographics (their interests and what is important to them) from there.
First, take some time to develop a picture of your ideal client in your mind. If someone walked through the door right now who ticked off every box in the “Perfect Client for My Business” column, what would they be like? Be very honest about your brand values during this process.
Write down the answers to the following demographics for your ideal customer. Some demographics may include a range, however be careful to keep the range narrow.
- Culture or ethnicity (if applicable)
- Relationship status
- Children (yes or no? How many? How old?)
- Income range
Next, narrow down their interests and hobbies. Again, remember that you are not trying to serve everyone. Picture your ideal client to help narrow these points down. Include the following:
- Music preference
- TV shows and movies they like
- Websites they visit
- Social media platforms they frequent
- Causes they support
- Personality traits
- Are they driven by emotion or data?
Last, examine their needs and values. This is the section you can go on to use to ensure that you are creating value for your target audience. When you understand what they need and want, and what is important to them, you can tailor your offerings to fill those needs. You will also use this information to craft your key messages. You will want to give some thought to the following questions. Don’t rush through this — if anything, go over these questions and then take a few days to mull them over.
- What is important to them? To their family?
- What is important for their success or happiness?
- What specific problem do they have that needs a solution?
- What keeps them up at night?
- What is their greatest dream or desire?
Now, when you create any ads, write any copy (including social media posts), or choose your advertising mediums, the image of this ideal client in your mind will give you the insight you need to choose the words and images that will really resonate with your target audience — and you won’t be wasting your time or money marketing to the wrong people!
If you need some assistance pinpointing exactly who your target audience is, let’s talk. We can narrow down your market so that you can be sure you’re reaching out to the people who want to hear you.