Monday, 7 December 2009

One for all, all for one?

One of the key questions I ask any business that comes to see me is - Who is your target market? (or something along those lines) - Unfortunately too many businesses actually haven't thought this through, sorry I take that back - they have thought it through but just not specifically enough. The common answer is something like 'well everybody really' or 'all businesses'. Now as someone involved in marketing this makes my job rather difficult, you see it is very hard to produce any type of marketing that simply targets everyone, if you see any campaign be it a TV ad or magazine piece, they all appeal specifically in some way (by age, sex, class etc).

The associated hurdle to overcome with clients is the fear that they may exclude someone; this is a common fear for many small businesses as they feel their marketing should encompass everyone. The danger with this is that it becomes unfocussed and untargeted, the result is an unclear, mixed message that attracts very few. By simply addressing a section of your target audience with a specific piece of marketing you will instantly increase your return on investment as, if done correctly, it will focus on their concerns and engage with them.

Each section of any market place differs from the next, small businesses have different buying needs to a corporate, young females buy differently to older males, I could go on, the essence is you need to look at each piece of marketing differently, everything from the colour schemes to fonts to images make a difference.

Some examples of work done to market more specifically (it is not as hard as you may think) are below –

- 2 sets of business cards for an estate agent – 1 for residential and 1 for commercial

- A flyer for a plumber targeting only boiler installs

- A leaflet for a language translator aimed only at schools

- Stationery for a photographer – 1 for weddings and 1 for portraits

Perception is key in all marketing, by having wedding specific stationery the Photographer appears to specialise in that field and so the customer perception will be different to that of someone who does a bit of everything and may indeed make the difference on the sale.

So next time you decide to do some marketing just bear in mind that by trying to be all to everyone you may become very little to very few.

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