How To Stop Marketing To People-Like Substances
Everything you’ve ever learned about marketing your business sets you up for it. Research your customer, you’re taught. Get the stats. Are they male or female? How many are there? Where do they live? Where do they work? How much do they make?
You gather all that data and you have… a silhouette. A crowd of silhouettes. Friendly silhouettes, all of a similar shape and size. They fit neatly into any of your carefully tailored contexts. They’re perfect. And with that word–perfect–you begin to run into trouble when you start to market to them.
A perfect person is not really a person, but a person-like substance.
We use perfect examples because we need to, but we can’t tailor our marketing too closely to perfection, or we can fall flat. And in a world where your message can be viewed in multiple mediums, it needs to have at least a few pixels of depth, just for wiggle room.
People want to feel you understand them, but they don’t want to feel humored, either. So if you have a broad customer base, don’t flip flop your message for each one. And don’t emphasize the common denominator they all share. Instead, emphasize your own message, and build bridges that allow your customers recognize themselves in your context.
For example, the new iPad is meant for pretty much everyone, but the video on the Apple website doesn’t call attention to that. Instead, the footage shows example after example of how someone with one lifestyle can enjoy it independently while being linked to others with different lifestyles, who also enjoy it.
The bridge they built was from each individual’s lifestyle to a personal, convenient way to enjoy it: the iPad. And guess who filled that silhouette full of data about their target market with a three-dimensional person? If you’re part of Apple’s target market, you did. With all your lumps and bumps, you got the message: the iPad isn’t for “everyone.” It’s for you.
Do you have a broad target market? How do you avoid the “something for everyone” effect?
Photo credit: Barb, courtesy Flickr, CC 2.0.
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Yeah, I have a broad market--creative writers. I struggle with marketing and defining a niche but actually I think my readers self-select me. I write with elements of humor and spirituality and that attracts some while repelling others. Still pondering this, however....
@CharlotteRDixon It may be that you see your market as broad, but your brand narrows it down for you, Charlotte--especially if you notice that it's mostly certain "type" of creative writer is drawn to you personality, beliefs, and humor-wise.