Tightly targeting your audience with your marketing is not only more cost effective but you’ll see increased results as well. When you tightly target your audience, you’ll be able to create content that speaks to them. As a result, they will be more likely to remember your marketing and ultimately buy from you.
Samuel Goldwyn said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” I’ve found that when you tightly target your marketing audience, you radically increase how lucky your marketing will be.
An example of tightly targeting your audience
Dave Nelsen hosted a podcast on TalkShoe. He wrote about the value of a narrowly defined target audience in a since deleted post.
TalkShoe has demonstrated that audio advertising can be very valuable when properly targeted to narrowly-segmented audiences. An example of this is my Cellar Dwellers Home Winemaking show. Brad Ring, the editor of WineMaker Magazine, emailed me after discovering the show on iTunes. He wrote something to the effect of “Dave, every one of your listeners is a perfect candidate subscriber for my magazine; let’s do a deal.” And even though I average just 500 to 800 unique episode-plays per week, we did. Anecdotally, it appears that a very high proportion of my listeners now subscribe to Brad’s magazine, although neither of us knows the exact numbers.
Now that I’ve seen it in action, the power of micro-segment targeted advertising is undeniable.
As a magazine editor, Brad Ring knows EXACTLY who his target audience is. When he discovered the Dave’s podcast, he knew he had found a perfect marketing vehicle for adding subscribers to his magazine. If Dave had created a podcast of “Dave’s Many Diversified Interests” covering home wine making AND cheese making AND trapshooting AND agility training for dogs, then his podcast wouldn’t have been valuable to WineMaker magazine.
The reason Dave’s podcast caught Brad’s eye is his eye is caught by ANYTHING to do with wine making. It’s equally true that WineMaker magazine subscribers eyes are also drawn to anything having anything to do with home wine making.
Tightly Targeting Your Audience Breaks through the filters
Many small business owners are reluctant to narrow the focus of their marketing efforts. Getting better results by narrowing their audience seems counterintuitive to them. They think if they get their message in front of more people, eventually their advertising will deliver results. They assume that certain percentage of people are exposed to their message will eventually become customers. Sometimes they fear that by targeting a small group, they will alienate the larger group. It’s not unreasonable to think that the more people who are exposed to your message, the better the results you’ll see from your advertising. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Tightly targeting your audience improves results, it doesn’t diminish them.
Each day an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 ads bombard us. There’s no way we could manage these messages consciously. We would get little else done during the day. Fortunately, the human brain is a remarkable instrument. It scans and quickly analyzes all of these ads. It determines quite efficiently which messages you need to notice and which ones you don’t.
Have you noticed that when it’s time to make a major purchase, such as a car, you see ads for auto dealers everywhere? Those ads have been there all along, but your brain was filtering the ads out. It was screening those messages so you could focus on what was important at the time. When you decide you need a new car, your brain begins to allow all those car dealer ads to come rushing in. There aren’t more ads, you’re just noticing them now.
Your potential customers brains are doing this too. When your marketing messages are deemed irrelevant, they are quickly discarded.
Tightly targeting your audience improves ROI
The long-term goal of any marketing campaign should be to increase revenue for the business. Marketing ROI is how you determine the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. If you’re not measuring and testing your marketing messages, how can you know if they’re working?
It’s surprisingly common to assume that your market messages will appeal equally to everyone. Studies show this just isn’t true. Marketing Evolution measured thousands of advertisements, covering billions of dollars of advertising spend, in multiple categories. They found it exceedingly rare for a single ad to appeal equally to everyone.1 In their final analysis, they found that businesses can double their marketing ROI by tightly targeting their audience, even when paying 30% premium for targeting.
Their studies confirm marketing message that don’t address the specific needs of your target audience aren’t as effective as those that do.
Quality vs Quantity
When it comes to tightly targeting your audience, you’ll find it’s an issue of quality vs. quantity. Let’s say there are 200 people out there who are potential customers. Do you choose quantity and pay for your message to reach 1,000,000 people? Or do you choose quality, and deliver your message to 1000 people?
This choice becomes much easier when you recognize that advertising costs are based upon the size of the audience. You will pay a lot more to deliver your message to 1,000,000 people than to 1,000 people.
Let’s go back to Dave Nelsen’s Cellar Dwellers Home Winemaking show. His podcast had a relatively low reach (500 to 800 unique episode-plays per week). However, Brad Ring saw the opportunity to reach a very tightly targeted audience. Dave’s podcast audience was full of high quality potential subscribers.
By targeting your message to a specific audience, you increase your advertising success. You’ll be concentrating your ad spend AND you’ll be targeting your message, so it breaks through the filters of your target audience’s mind.
Remember, your potential customers’ brains are working overtime to filter out messages deemed “not relevant” at any given moment, If your marketing message doesn’t address the specific needs of your target audience, it won’t make it through their filters.
No matter the size of your advertising budget, small businesses simply cannot afford to target “everyone.”
Targeting everyone condemns your advertising message to the junk pile. You’ll pay more for less return. Targeting your message to a specific audience allows you to create advertising that is more compelling to your target demographic.
Once you know who you’re targeting, then the real work can begin. You can begin crafting content which catches those people’s attention. You can then run extremely cost effective micro-segment targeted advertising.
Advertising never forced anyone to buy anything.
If you’re having trouble getting focused, pick up a copy of my ebook Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. In it, I walk you through the process of identifying and targeting your niche market step by step.
Edited November 15, 2021 for content.