Everyone has business ideas. We have loads every day, some crazy and some that might just work! But the questions we keep coming back to are who would buy the product or service and would there be enough people willing to part with their hard-earned cash to make it feasible.
The question of who will buy, for us, is one of the most important that needs to be considered for any business – if a company can’t identify a specific target audience(s), then, quite simply, it’s not a viable opportunity.
However, we’ve recently met a number of companies that when asked to define their target audience have answered “everybody”. So, regardless of age, sex, interests, size of business, salary or any other way of grouping potential customers, these companies genuinely believe that their product or service is suitable for everyone. This is something we always raise an eyebrow at; after all, if they don’t have a target audience to go after and an understanding of why that particular group of people would turn to them, then their marketing efforts will have nothing to aim at and are always destined to fall at the first hurdle.
To us, marketing in its simplest form is about highlighting ways of solving a problem or a need for the customer. And for this, one size doesn’t fit all – the reasons that one person or company might buy a product or service will be different to the next. If organisations aren’t able to group their customers and tailor an identifiable message to their particular situation, the marketing – whatever forms it takes – will be diluted and weaker as a result.
This applies across all forms of marketing, whether it's printed collateral, websites, PR, social media or digital campaigns. Without understanding who the exact audience is, it’s impossible to tailor a message that will resonate and prompt consumers to act. In addition, by targeting such a wide cross-section, how can a business accurately evaluate the impact of any activity? That’s not forgetting the fact that they would also require a rather sizeable budget to truly reach everybody.
A person far smarter than us once said, “I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone.” When it comes to marketing, we reckon this isn’t a bad rule to follow.
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