In our previous blog post (and in many other blog posts we have published over the years), we have stressed the importance of correctly identifying the target market of your business and developing an effective marketing and advertising strategy to reach and appeal to that market. However, while that concept appears at first glance to be fairly straightforward and logical, especially when marketing and advertising budgets are limited and must be pushed to their maximum effectiveness, many entrepreneurs and managers of businesses and organizations choose to market to an audience that is too broad or too narrow.

The Danger Of Going Too Broad Or Too Narrow

Some business owners believe that targeting a specific market with an advertising or marketing initiative is too restrictive – after all, wouldn’t appealing to the public at large naturally attract a larger number of customers? In contrast, others choose to market their business to a very narrow audience. What are the consequences of greatly narrowing the focus of your marketing to the point that exclude potential customers?

Although You’re In Charge, It’s Not About You

One of the more common reasons that businesses too narrowly focus their marketing and advertising is the same reason that many small businesses and organizations refuse to identify a target market in the first place – the owner or manager of the business may simply believe that since they are a subject matter expert or a veteran of a specific industry, they believe they already know and understand their target market. Worse, there are some entrepreneurs and business owners who make branding, marketing and advertising decisions based purely on personal taste with no regard for what potential clients or customers may want.

Maximize Your Marketing’s Effectiveness

Part of being an entrepreneur is celebrating and encouraging individual achievement, and being an expert and/or veteran of your industry does provide valuable insight into who your customers and clients are and what they want or need from your business. However, just as you have to seek out the services of an accountant to properly manage your books, or an IT expert to setup and administer a computer network in your office, it is important to utilize the knowledge and expertise of a marketing professional to help you gain valuable insights into how to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing.

Choose Your Advertising Medium Wisely

For example, the NFL is extremely popular, with a broad and diverse audience. In contrast, a sport such as lacrosse may have a smaller, younger and more affluent audience. Spending your entire marketing and advertising budget on one commercial during an NFL game may attract a large number of viewers who are exposed to your brand, but viewers who could be potentially interested in your product or service may represent a small segment of that audience, and a single short commercial may not be enough to establish brand awareness. In contrast, the smaller market of lacrosse viewers may allow your marketing and advertising to go farther and include more advertisements and audience exposure to your brand, but if this more demographically-restrictive audience is not part of your target market, you may be exposing your branding and marketing to an even smaller group of potential customers. No matter how much you may personally love football or a more niche sport like lacrosse, your personal taste in sports should not result in an ineffective and ultimately pointless advertising and marketing campaign.

If You Advertise Online, You Must Know Your Target Market

Advertising and marketing your business on websites, search engines and social media networks is a relatively new and revolutionary way to effectively advertise your business, especially with a smaller budget. However, unlike television or radio advertising, promoting your brand and content marketing online requires an even greater insight into your target market. These advertising networks are designed to take advantage of the vast user data that companies such as Google and Facebook have collected from their users, and advertising and marketing can be exposed to a target audience with almost pinpoint precision. If you have incorrectly identified your target market, or if you have restricted your target market, that same pinpoint precision may result in a complete failure of your advertising or marketing campaign – literally no potential customers or clients may be exposed to you brand and marketing. If you interested in taking advantage of the adverting and marketing opportunities available through keyword and social media advertising, it is vitally important to properly identify your target market.