A few weeks ago, I was doing my regular “you gotta focus more” rant, trying to convince to focus their resources against a tight target market. Someone interrupted me and said “Yes, but I love all our customers!”I thought “Oh god, not again.”
It is really just a new way to spin that I am afraid that if I target, I will miss out on someone who might want to buy. The line that really bothers me is “we can’t alienate our current consumers”. Uhhhh, by advertising to new consumers, my guess is that you’re not likely going to put on offensive ad that makes fun of your current consumers, right? Well, then it will be impossible to alienate them. So stop saying this.
Yes, you can love all your customers. But your target market should be those consumers who are most likely to respond to the brand message that you will be advertising.
We believe that spreading your limited resources across an entire population is cost-prohibitive and will provide you with a low return on investment and low return on effort, that will eventually drain your brand. While targeting everyone “just in case” might feel safe at first, it is actually less safe because you never get to see the full impact of the resources you apply. Too many Marketers seems to think that the way to make your brand bigger is to be able to appeal to a bigger, broader target. We take a different approach believing that instead of going after who you want the most, we recommend that you should go after those consumers who are the most motivated by what you do.
To get Brand Leaders to focus their target, we show three types of targets: selling target, marketing target and program target.
- Selling Target: Of course you should sell to anyone who wants to buy. I just wouldn’t spend my money against this large of a target. You can always reactively sell to anyone who engage and show interest in your brand, regardless if they fit your ideal target. However, as every brand is constrained by limited resources, we just don’t recommend that you spend your limited marketing resources against this large of a target, especially when you have seen no signs that they will respond enough to provide an efficient pay back.
- Marketing Target: The best marketers know exactly who is their ideal consumer. In the new world of Marketing, we can know more and more about these people. We recommend that you focus your limited resources on those consumers that are the most motivated by what your brand offers, those most likely respond to your brand story or your product offering, which then provides you with the fastest and highest return on investment and return on effort.
- Program Target: Specific campaign target that you hope to move to think, feel or do with your specific marketing program.
A few years ago, I was working with bank who told me that their target market for a first time mortgage (home loan) was 18-65, new customers, current customers and employees. Sarcastically, I said, “You have forgotten tourists and prisoners”. As I pressed to help them narrow their consumer target, they pushed back saying that they didn’t want to alienate anyone “just in case” someone outside the usual target wanted a home loan. While the odd 64-year-old might be tired of renting for the past 40 years and wanting to finally buy their first home, they would not be offended if there was a 32 year old in the advertising. The reality is that first time home owners are usually in their late 20’s or early 30’s, and they usually spend 6-12 months looking for a house. No one buys a house on impulse. And no one ever wanted a mortgage, without buying a house. The target should be: “28-33, already considering buying a house within the next year and nervous about their debt load.” Imagine the difference that focused target market will make in the brand message and in the media choices you might make now. For instance, instead of just randomly advertising to everyone on mass media, you can focus your resources where the consumer would be most open to your message. You could advertise on real estate websites, take out billboard ads outside of the new housing developments and buy radio ads on Saturday when people are looking at new homes. The focused target market helps focus your resources on those consumers most likely to respond to your brand messages.
Realizing not everyone can like you is the first step to focusing all your attention on those that can love you. It becomes all about choices and you will be much more effective at convincing a segment of the population to choose your brand because of the assets and promise that you have that match up perfectly to what they want. The best brands don’t go after consumers, they create a desire and connection, to get consumers to go after the brand. The best way to get consumers motivated is to tap into their need states, to understand their frustration points they may have and to connect by showing that you understand them. Motivating someone to buy your brand should start with the consumer not your product. You have to understand consumers, to match your brand up to their needs, wants and desires. Done right, if you can make consumers want to buy, then you will never have to sell.
Why would any Marketer think that talking to everyone is the answer to hopefully someone out there responding?
Many Brand Leaders seem to fear focusing, yet focus is essential for strategy to work for you to get more from it, than what you put into it. When you focus, 5 things happen:
Better return on investment (ROI): With all the resources against one strategy, one target, one message, you’ll be able to move consumers enough to drive sales or push other key performance indicators in the right direction.
Better return on effort (ROE): It’s about getting more back than you put into the effort. Working smart helps make the most out of your people resources.
Stronger reputation: When you only do one thing, you naturally start to become associated with that one thing—externally and even internally. Reputation is a power you can push to find deeper wins.
More competitive: As your reputation grows, you begin to own that one thing and you can better defend that positioning territory. You can expose the weakness of your competitors, attract new consumers as well as push internally (R&D, service, sales) to rally behind the newly created reputation.
Bigger and better P&L: As the focused effort drives results, it opens up the P&L with higher sales and profits. People with money invest where they see return.
As a Marketer, we can have favorite consumers: those who are most likely to respond to what we have to say.
To read more on what makes a Beloved Brand, here is our workshop presentation:
Beloved Brands: Who are we?
At Beloved Brands, we promise that we will make your brand stronger and your brand leaders smarter. We can help you come up with your brand’s Brand Positioning, Big Idea and Brand Concept. We also can help create Brand Plans that everyone in your organization can follow and helps to focus your Marketing Execution. We provide a new way to look at Brand Management, that uses a provocative approach to align your brand to the sound fundamentals of brand management. We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.
Beloved Brands Training program
At Beloved Brands, we promise to make your team of BRAND LEADERS smarter, so they produce smarter work that drives stronger brand results.
- How to think strategically: Strategic thinkers see “what if” questions before seeing solutions, mapping out a range of decision trees that intersect and connect by imagining how events will play out.
- Write smarter Brand Plans: A good Brand Plan provides a road map for everyone in the organization to follow: sales, R&D, agencies, senior leaders, even the Brand Leader who writes the plan.
- Create winning Brand Positioning Statements: The brand positioning statement sets up the brand’s promise to the consumer, impacting both external communication (advertising, PR or in-store) as well as internally with employees who deliver that promise.
- Write smarter Creative Briefs: The brief helps focus the strategy so that all agencies can take key elements of the brand plan positioning to and express the brand promise through communication.
- Be smarter at Brand Analytics: Before you dive into strategy, you have to dive into the brand’s performance metrics and look at every part of the business—category, consumers, competitors, channels and brand.
- Get better Marketing Execution: Brand Leaders rely on agencies to execute. They need to know how to judge the work effectively to ensure they are making the best decisions on how to tell the story of the brand and express the brand’s promise.
- How to build Media Plans: Workshop for brand leaders to help them make strategic decisions on media. We look at media as an investment, media as a strategy and the various media options—both traditional and on-line.
- Winning the Purchase Moment: Brand Leaders need to know how to move consumers on the path to purchase, by gaining entry into their consumers mind, help them test and decide and then experience so they buy again and become a brand fan.
We will make your team of Brand Leaders smarter so they can produce exceptional work that drives stronger brand results. We offer brand training on every subject in marketing, related to strategic thinking, analytics, brand planning, positioning, creative briefs, customer marketing and marketing execution.
To contact us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 416-885-3911.You can also find us on Twitter @belovedbrands.