I’m going to throw out a hypothetical client.
What they need makes so much sense to me and to the work I do.
But to start, there are two kinds of marketing:
1) Data analytics, tracking, coding - i.e. quantitative data collection. This process coalesces and cannot exist without the other type of marketing:
2) Partnerships, collaborations, cross promotion, sales, sponsorships, earned media, distribution, etc. The later group, more qualitative requires the former data to see what processes work and what does not.
You don’t want to waste your time, energy and resources on an avenue that is not working.
That’s why marketeers monitor, collect and analyze as much as possible. The easiest tracking device is monetary. Are your profits changing as a result of your selected distribution channel? Did selling X product at Y price point make more money (perform better) than selling A product at B price point? Or how many hits and click throughs are you getting on your site when you announce a major new partnership. You need the numbers.
But to achieve any of this, there’s another piece - one that’s most critical. You must to ask yourself who exactly all these efforts are for.
Who are you ‘talking to’ each time you announce a new product, service, opportunity, partnership, etc. That person/group needs to not only care about your communication or opportunity, but they must need your goods, or have an emotional reaction which dictates a want. This here is people/psych 101, marketing 101 and sales 101. Take notes!
Back to the hypothetical client: they have a dynamic, approachable adventure-experience for a stable and reliable customer. But this company also offers a range of experiences to varying types of people. And as the company offers more experiences (i.e. more variations of their core product), the target audience becomes less specific. The co. no longer knows the details of these various people because there are so many different types of people reacting to the different offers.
Not only is the company losing track of their target market, the company isn’t getting enough of these people in the door to fulfill the bottom line.
Is the company sinking? Absolutely not. Are they growing? Yes. But do they see a gap between what they offer and how many people they want buying the adventure? Yes, Yes, Yes.
And this is because they no longer have a crystal clear picture of who they’re talking to.
And not only do they want to sell more of what they offer, they want to sell more of what the employees at this company enjoy offering. So the company wants to figure out who exactly likes the products? And how can the company reach more of those people.
"One of the controversial ideas is that we need the smallest viable audience and a lot of people have trouble with that. If you want to reach **everyone** you are denying the people you wish to serve their humanity. Because what you are saying is: 'you are the masses, you are are average.'
But if you can pick **someone**, if you can be specific and pick the smallest group of people...you say: 'you are who I am here to serve.' If I can't serve you, I didn't do a good enough job. This puts you on the hook to see other people for where they want to go."
It’s scary for a business to narrow in and pick one group and technically leave out others!
There are so many questions that can come with this process. “What if the people outside my target also want what I offer? What if we don’t reach them? How do I know who to pick? How do I learn about this group?”
And the answer is: set up systems that allow you to collect that information.
(That’s where I come in). Or analyze what you already have. You’d be amazed at the little bits that can help: where your people are from when they buy; their age, gender - just these small bits can be a great start (and most likely the customer filled out a form when they paid).
And getting specific will be your best asset.
In this process of getting specific with your target, you’re able to provide more attention and care to a specific target than you would an aimless, faceless group. I think of it like friendship vs acquaintance. You know your friend’s food allergies, her favorite caffeinated drink in the morning, what she spends most of her time doing and probably a general idea of where. In knowing these things, the bond becomes tighter and you trust one another more with the knowledge of this information (does your customer know as much about your company? Hopefully! But that’s another ‘lesson’ for later).
And so, in conclusion/final thoughts/wrap up, this hypothetical client needs two figure out who their target audience really is. They’ve been in business for a number of years and have done a phenomenal job of targeting their immediate, familiar community composed of people they know very well (probably like you, the reader has done). The jump into foreign territory to learn more must be done carefully, documented thoroughly, and understood totally to create data that is utilized completely.