When times get hard, people get desperate – and desperation rarely leads to smart decision-making. When businesses struggle financially, marketing tends to suffer in two scary ways
- It’s chopped off. When marketing is seen as an expense, rather than an investment, it is eliminated or reduced
- It gets stupid. In the chaos of trying to stay alive, bad strategic decisions are made.
Lets talk about that second one.
One of the stupid things marketers do in hard times is to start targeting anyone and everyone. “Everyone is our target market”. “If you have money in your pocket, you are our target market!” It’s a big mistake.
Here compare these two old car advertisements.
Notice the headlines.
For one person, silence is a sign of elegance, sophistication, a car designed with extreme attention to detail. To him, loud is undesirable. To another person loud is a good thing. It means the car is powerful and conspicuous – it gets attention!
Not everyone wants the same thing.
Most decent marketers already know this, so they’ll tend to get less and less specific in their marketing, to accommodate every human being on earth. The problem is that whilst this makes the message broader, it also makes it much less powerful, less persuasive. No one gets that all important, “This advert is talking to ME” feeling.
And in a world with increasingly more competition for your prospects attention, the “talking to me” feeling that comes from being specific is vital to the success of your advertising.
It’s almost impossible to standout or stand for something if it’s not specific. Your statements lack conviction, your promises lack credibility and aim lacks precision. No, not everyone is your customer, not unless you’re selling bread, or airtime…but even then.
You haven’t even begun good marketing until you’re clear on exactly who your customer is.