Direct Response Marketing
February 22, 2022
How to Identify Your Ideal Customer
March 8, 2022

Selecting your target market

When we ask business owners who their target market is, many tend to respond with “everyone.” In reality, this means no one. Many business owners worry about narrowing down their target market because they don’t want to exclude any potential customers. 

This is a typical beginner marketing mistake. 


Let’s examine why excluding customers is actually a good thing. 

Most large company advertising falls into a category called mass marketing, sometimes also referred to as “branding” or “branding awareness”. Business owners are like an archer in the middle of dense fog, shooting arrows in every direction in the hope that one or more of them will hit the intended target.  


The theory behind mass marketing is that you want to “get your name out there.” The theory is that if you broadcast your message enough times, you’ll by chance get an audience with your prospects and some percentage of them will buy from you. However, you might be thinking – if the archer just shoots enough arrows in all directions, surely he’s bound to hit his target. Right? Maybe, but for small – to medium-sized businesses at least, that’s the wrong way of marketing because they’ll never have enough arrows (in other words, money) to hit their target enough times to get a good return on their investment. 


Harnessing the Power of Focus

Now you may be thinking why on earth would we want to limit our market so much? 

  1. You have a limited amount of money. If you focus too broadly your marketing message will become diluted and weak. 

  2. The other critical factor is relevance. The goal of your ad is for your prospects to say, “Hey, that’s for me.”


A 100 watt light bulb, like the kind of light bulb we normally have in our homes, lights up a room. By contrast, a 100-watt laser can cut through steel. Same energy, dramatically different result. The difference is how the energy is focused. The exact same thing is true of your marketing. 


If the adjust rolls out a broad laundry list of services, then it’s not speaking to either prospect, therefore it’s not relevant, and it will likely be ignored by any market segments. 


Being all things to all people leads to marketing failure. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer a broad range of services, but understand that each category of service is a separate campaign. 


Targeting a tight niche allows you to become a big fish in a small pond. It allows you to dominate a category or geography in a way that is impossible by being general. Once you dominate one niche, you can expand your business by finding another profitable and highly targeted niche, then dominate that one also. 


Niching Makes Price Irrelevant

If you had suffered a heart attack, would you prefer to be treated by a general doctor or a heart specialist? Of course, you’d choose the specialist. Now if you had a consultation with the heart specialist would you expect them to charge you more than a general doctor? Of course. Your bill with the specialist would likely be much higher than within your general practitioner, yet you’re not shopping on price. 


A specialist is much more highly respected than a jack-of-all-trades. A specialist is paid handsomely to solve a specific problem for their target market.


Trying to target everyone really means that you’re targeting no one. By going too broad you kill your “specialness” and become a commodity bought on price. By narrowly defining a target market that you can wow and deliver huge results for, you become a specialist. 


Dominate a niche, then once you own it, do the same with another and then another. But never do so all at once. Doing so dilutes your message and your marketing power. 


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