It’s important to keep in mind that advertising never forced anyone to buy anything.
If you cannot create a marketing message that addresses the specific needs of your target customers,it will not make it through your audience’s filters. Instead of netting 1 out of 10 new customers using the “more eyeballs” approach, suddenly your success rate drops precipitously.
The business owner who wants to go after everyone might say, “Well, even a tiny number – like .1% of 1,000,000 – is still a respectable 1000 customers. This is equal to 10% of the 10,000 of the tightly targeted message, so I’ll still get the same effect by targeting everyone, right?”
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The reasoning above is wrong on two fronts. First, it disregards the fact that the broadly targeted marketing message’s chances of “connecting” with customers is dramatically decreased. Instead of grabbing a potential customer’s attention, your marketing message is caught in the filters of the mind. The second and possibly more compelling reason that targeting everyone is a bad idea is that the cost of reaching more “eyeballs” is significantly greater. In other words, the cost per-person to reach each potential customer or “eyeball” is fixed. If your media of choice is reaching 1,000,000 people, you’ll pay to reach 1,000,000 people even if only 100,000 of those people are actually potential customers.
Every advertising medium calculates its rate (i.e., the price you pay) by the size of its estimated audience. Newspaper, radio, direct mail and even billboard rates are set by using estimated audience size as a way to calculate their rates. So when you see a really low rate for any media, you can be certain that they do not reach as many eyes (or ears) as a more expensive medium does.
Just because a media reaches fewer people doesn’t mean you should automatically count that medium out of your mix. Just be aware that the cost of any given media is a function of the number of people that media reaches. Just as in other areas of life, it’s an issue of quality vs. quantity. Would you rather reach 100,000 people of whom only 200 are people who are interested in doing business with you or would you rather deliver your message to 1000 people, of whom 200 are interested in your product or service? Keeping in mind that you will pay more to deliver your marketing message via the media that delivers 100,000 eyeballs, it’s easy to see that the 1000 eyeball media buy provide a greater ROI.
You still might think that it would be worth the investment to reach “everyone” with your marketing message, since often the per-person rate for extremely large audiences is usually less per person than it is with media who reach fewer people.
But is it really worth it?
Let’s say it costs a mere penny for each person you reach with a broadly based marketing message, the “everyone” strategy. At that rate, you would have to invest $10,000 to reach 1,000,000 potential customers.
On the other hand, targeting smaller segments can seem more expensive when calculated by the per-person rate, but often are much more cost effective. Even when the per-person cost goes up ten times to 10c apiece, the cost of reaching 1000 potential customers is far less (at $100) than the $10,000 needed to reach .1% of 1,000,000 people.
By targeting your message to a specific audience (niche marketing), you increase your advertising effectiveness. You’ll be concentrating your advertising spending AND you’ll be targeting your message so it breaks through the filters of your target audience’s mind.
Just as an avid angler may fish for grouper one day and tarpon the next, you too can target several different groups of customers. Like the avid angler, you will utilize different bait to reach different targets. The angler may choose to try to catch several different kinds of fish, but s/he knows to use different bait for each kind s/he wants to catch.
If you aren’t selecting a target audience for your message, then your message will be ignored just as a stream teaming with fish can ignore poorly selected and presented bait.
This post is an excerpt from the book:Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results
Be sure to pick up a copy if you need help identifying and targeting your ideal niche audience.