Targeting is one of the most misunderstood concepts in marketing. It is simple yet few are doing it. Targeting simply states to go to that segment of the market that is the most willing to buy your product or service. It is taking the path of least resistance in selling.
When you are doing effective targeting, your sales message reaches exactly those that are most willing to buy. This means they are qualified to buy, need little education, can afford it and are actively looking for a solution. Doing proper targeting in a campaign is the most effective way to improve your conversion. There is nothing as powerful as talking to the right audience.
Targeting is a tool that allows you to maximize ROI while decreasing costs. Most traffic online nowadays is done in the form of PPC. As PPC is a field driven by a supply and demand economy, the more companies are investing in PPC, the more expensive it becomes. With rising PPC costs, it then becomes so important to get the most out of your advertising dollar by actually talking to the right people.
While targeting is a very important tool that does wonders in any campaign, it is also one that few people use. This is because of the emotional stress to lose customers. Some entrepreneurs believe that taking a shotgun approach and trying to sell to everyone will lead to better results. In practice, this just skyrockets advertising costs and dilutes the sales messages, as trying to appeal to everyone appeals to no one. Since marketing is just a numbers game and it all comes down what you get out for each advertising dollar invested, it is easy to see why engaging into a shotgun practice is a bad idea.
Targeting is something I have struggled in the past too. I have tried to often to convince the wrong people to buy by educating them on the need to buy. In practice, if you have to educate anyone on your product or service, then chances are that you are selling to the wrong crowd. The right crowd is actively looking for a solution and are buying on a competitive benefits basis, on the reason that what you are offering is a better fit to their needs than the competition.
Your job as a marketer is very rarely to educated and never to create desire. For all intents and purposes, all products must fit into an existing pattern of desire. Your product can be only a new way to satisfy something that was already there but you can not make people desire something there’s no need for. Fortunately, most products fulfill some need at some level and it is very rare to see a product that I can say about “here’s a solution nobody asked for”.
In my particular case, as a specialist, I do not want to sell to the crowd that doesn’t understand what a specialist can do for them. I do not want to educate anyone on what copywriting is and how it works. Instead, I’m appealing only to that segment of the market that have used marketing specialists before, are currently using sales funnels (or at least, preparing to use), use KPIs like conversion and know how to make the difference between good and bad practices. This is because my skillset is advanced and it caters to more complex solutions as opposed to helping beginners in the field.
I could of course try to sell to beginners but ROI wise, it would not make sense. The same is true in your particular case. You could try to sell to someone who is not your ideal customer but it is going to cost you a lot more and in some cases, you may even lose money.
Let’s think about a simple sale situation. Prospect A is qualified. He bought a product similar to yours in the past. He knows what quality is and what he wants. Prospect B never bought before. He doesn’t know how to make the difference between a quality feature and a not so good one. Prospect A takes two hours to close. Prospect B takes ten hours. Both are paying the same revenue yet, ROI wise, prospect A is five times better than prospect B. It is not a matter of revenue and it is not a matter of how many people you close. It is just a matter of ROI, what you put in and what you get out.
The last statement is obvious and not needed since this blog is read by veteran entrepreneurs who are more than qualified in understand ROI and taking ROI based decisions. Yet, even in this case, even with veterans, I’ve seen how easy is to not target properly. It is easy to get caught up in the minutia of improving your sales funnel that you forget who you let in your funnel to begin with. At the end of the day, while there are many things that improve conversion, targeting is easily among the top three. A bad funnel with good prospects does infinitely more than a good funnel with bad prospects. Being mediocre in the right crowd will make you a millionaire. Being a genius in the wrong crowd will make you frustrated.
Target your message properly. It increases ROI dramatically.