Narrow Your Focus!

Too often businesses – large and small – cast a wide net when it comes to those they believe they can or should serve. Perhaps counter-intuitively, when you attempt to serve everyone, you lose the ability to effectively serve anyone. Just because your product or service literally could be consumed by the masses, doesn’t mean that should be your focus.

The more you are able to effectively segment your broad market into niche-specific “chunks,” and the better you understand those chunks, the more effective you will be at both identifying the appropriate communication channels and developing the right – and most compelling – key messages. Unfortunately, many marketers fail to do this, or fail to do so effectively.

The biggest misstep we see is attempting to be too broad.

Here’s a great example from a recent training session we did with a group of new entrepreneuers. We asked participants to share their product/service ideas and their target audiences. We tell them to be specific. In this most recent session, as expected, every participant in the group stated a very broad audience – except one. One gentleman in the group said that his target audience was people who owned or were interested in a certain type of luxury car; a specific model. His business idea was to offer a very specific service related to this particular model of car.

Now, he could have conceivably offered this service to any type of luxury car owner – or any type of car for that matter. But the ability to focus provides him with a very clearly defined niche, and an automatic leg up on competitors who might take a broader approach.

Specialization matters. If you try to be everything to everyone, you will end up being nothing to anyone. In marketing, that’s just the way it goes.

The big takeaway: find a niche and fill it!

by Linda Pophal

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