Many small business owners are reluctant to narrow the focus of their marketing efforts. Seeking better results by narrowing their focus seems counterintuitive to them. They want to believe in the “more eyeballs” way of thinking.
The “more eyeballs” theory says if you just get your message in front of enough eyeballs, eventually your advertising will deliver results.
This theory assumes that a given percentage of the people who are exposed to your message will eventually become customers. The business owners who believe the “more eyeballs” theory fear that by targeting a small group, they will alienate the larger group. Nothing could be further from the truth. Just as in fishing, targeting your customers only improves results, it doesn’t diminish them.
It’s understandable to be reluctant to narrow the focus of your marketing plan. After all, on the surface, it makes sense to think that the more people who are exposed to your message, the more results you’ll see from your advertising.
After all, 10% of 1,000,000 customers (we will use this number to represent everyone) should be a lot better for your business than 10% of 10,000 (the narrow focus). The fatal flaw in this logic is that by targeting “everyone” you are, in a sense, targeting “no one.”
Here’s why: Each day, over 3,000 advertising messages bombard your senses. If you were to try to manage these messages consciously, you’d get little else done during the day. Fortunately, the human brain is a remarkable instrument that has the capacity to scan and quickly analyze these messages as they come in. 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 you turn?
Those ads have been there all along, but your brain was filtering the ads out, like a secretary screening your phone calls, so you could focus on what was important to you at the time. Once you determined that a new car was important, your brain begins to allow all those car dealer ads to come rushing in with the information you’re now very interested in receiving.
Your potential customers’ brains are working overtime to filter out messages deemed “not relevant” at any given moment. When you define your target audience as “everyone,” it’s virtually impossible to create a message that can break through the filters of the mind. By choosing to target “everyone”, you condemn your advertising message to the junk pile, with all the other “garbage” messages that are being filtered.
Keep this filter in mind as you create your advertising message. An angler can drop the wrong bait and tackle into waters teaming with fish and not hook a single one.
If your message isn’t relevant to the people who would want to hear your message, then it’s quickly defined as junk and filtered out. Keeping your message relevant is essential to increasing your advertising effectiveness. One of the best ways to keep your message relevant is tightly target your niche market.
This post is an excerpt from the book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results Pick up a copy to learn more about creating effective marketing and advertising messages that deliver results.