Why Is “Everyone” Not Your Target Market?


I was on the phone the other day with a prospect. I asked him who his target market is and he told me, “Every church in town.” When I told him that, although in theory “every church in town” could probably use his services, the truth is that somewhere in that vast number of churches, there is a sweet spot where demographics and location are aligned to give him the best response to his marketing. Unfortunately, that idea did not seem to be even a remote consideration in his mind. Based on his, and various other threads of our conversation, I actually told him that I did not believe we were a good fit to work together and that gave him another direction to consider for assistance in growing his business.

So why is “every” not a valid concept for defining your target market? Well, there area number of reasons, even if, in theory “every” is a possibility.

  1. No one company has the resources to respond to the needs of “every” should they all come knocking at your door; therefore, you need to better define who you do want making inquiries so that you can respond in a timely manner and fulfill their needs.
  2. Not every single one of those “every” has the resources to purchase your goods or services. Defining who does as part of your targeting helps ensure that you are not marketing to those “everys” who may not have the money, space, personnel, time or other necessary resource to make it worthwhile spending the money with you.
  3. Some of those “everys” are too new or too set in their ways to bother with you.
  4. Some of those “everys” will never do business with you because you are the wrong: age, gender, religion, political affiliation, race, location, hair color, or any other silly or superstitious thing they can think of.

And the list goes on.

Now, admittedly, it would be impossible to build a target market based on some of the above criteria, but they all serve to prove the point that “every” is never someone’s target market.

A Sweet Treat that Will Keep You on Their Minds


I am often asked if food gifts are good for marketing purposes. The answer is, “They can be.”

If you choose something that doesn’t taste good, or that arrives spoiled or broken, then no, it’s not a good idea.

If you choose something that doesn’t set you apart from the rest – another gift basket from Costco – then save your money.

If, however, you give something that is different, that stands out, that makes people want more of it, then absolutely, yes! A food gift can definitely be a good marketing tool.

For instance, these cans of cookies are not only delicious, little bites of heaven, but the tin they come in can be customized for you an reused for other storage needs.

Cooki TinsMore Cookie Tins

When You Plan for Opportunities, They Usually Show Up


Ever notice that, once you’ve put your mind to something, things kind of fall into place to make it happen.

I was reviewing my 2013 strategic marketing plan to see where I was on track and what needs tweaking. I realized that so many of the opportunities I was planning to seek out had just fallen in my lap.

Were some of those opportunities right there waiting for me before? probably. Did I not notice them because I was just looking in a different direction? Maybe.

I do know that my written plan has focused me enough to see the opportunities as they present themselves. Some fit into this year’s plan and budget, while others are now on the to-do list for next year’s plan. Because I’ve taken notice, though, I’ve already started thinking of ways to leverage those opportunities to my benefit; even if it will be a year or so before I act on them.

For the moment, my plate is full with carrying out my plan and enjoying the growth doing so has brought with it.

Wishing you a coherent plan that brings you success!

Choosing an Effective Promotional Product


With business budgets in place for 2013 and the trade show season kicking off, I am fielding a lot of questions about choosing and using promotional products effectively. That’s a good thing, because the days of just picking something out of a catalog to hand out willy-nilly should be over – in fact, they never should have been. Our marketing budgets should be spent wisely with some expectation of a return on investment.

To that end, there are several points to keep in mind when choosing a promotional product for maximum effectiveness:

  1. Who is your target market for this particular campaign?
  2. What is your goal for this particular campaign?
  3. What is your brand image and/or the theme for this particular campaign?
  4. What is your desired call-to-action?
  5. What is your delivery method?

Although it may be easier to simply pick something “fun” out of a catalog, it won’t necessarily be effective. For example, back when I was working in hotel management, we had a convention in-house whose theme had something to do with the wild West. Everyone got a very nice cowboy hat with the name of the sponsoring company imprinted on the band. Everyone loved the hats – they wore them throughout the 3-day convention. Then, at check-out time, the maids got to take home a whole bunch of hats because most of the attendees had flown in and didn’t want to wear them while traveling and didn’t have room in their luggage to pack them. Oops, that was several thousands of dollars of marketing budget that ended up in the hands of the kids of hotel maids, when the target market was meat buyers for restaurants and catering companies.

Consider also that the quality has to be good. What message does a promotional product give your prospects if it breaks or causes damage or just ends up in the trash? Is that how you want your branded image to be remembered?

Finally, keep in mind that the “perfect” promotional product is not necessarily the one that the decision maker thinks is cool, likes the best, or wants the most. It is the target market and marketing message that should define what the “perfect” product is, not the personal tastes of the person making the final decision. That being said, the item chosen should reflect the personality of the brand it is representing.