Not everyone is a customer, not everyone wants to be a customer. Yet it is a common mistake to think that, and it happens all to often, especially with start-ups. As a business owner, entrepreneur or marketer it’s natural that you want to target as many people as possible, and why wouldn’t you? I mean surely it’s what you came into business for in the first place, to serve customers and earn money. But, you want to selectively target customers not blindly try and sell your products and services to the average guy walking in the street.
To some people it may seem really illogical to try and target as small a group as possible, but to me it’s common sense. Why? A very select and highly targeted audience are going to be the people most likely to buy (that is as long as you have targeted the right people, which I will cover in another article). Buying and selling is the fundamental goal of business. The more people that buy the better chance your business has at survival, that a given. Now by using highly selective targeting of your audience you will actually be able to earn more money with less sales. That’s because this selective audience will be more receptive to your marketing messages.
Something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently is Content Inc (Joe Pulizzi’s new book), in this book he talks about how you build and audience first, then your business second. When I heard this I almost celebrated. He’s put it in a much better way than I could have, and in my opinion he’s 100% correct. Building your audience and/or targeting a highly specific audience yields results greater than trying to target people who aren’t that interested or those who don’t want to be interested.
This is much bigger though than simply attracting new customers at the start of a businesses life, or at the start of the product lifecycle. This is the part that interests me the most.
Even as your trying to sell more of your existing products or attract new customers, you cannot start going mass market, that is unless you are a household name with a household product. What instead I want you to think about is how you can find potential customers without advertising to the masses. The way you do this is through a little something called ‘Content Marketing’. You may have heard the term, because like Instagram it’s the talk of the town. But also like Instagram I don’t believe it is a fad. I strongly believe it’s here to stay and content is a fantastic way of helping your audience find you, but it is also a way for you to selectively reach out.
Through content marketing, you can selectively grow your audience. Your content should be creating value for someone else. Those people should be people who are looking and actively searching for related activities to what your business does, maybe related products, or even uses for your products.
The way I see it is that in order to grow a business you need to be selective. You do this though selective targeting and through content. This will attract customers the right way, and in a way that is cost effective. It’s not a quick fix, it’s not necessarily sexy but it works. By remembering that not everyone is a customer you are already on the right path to growing your business.