John E. Fike Copywriting Services; Copy, Content & Custom Publications for Companies Who Make Life Worth Living

Overcome Your Targeted Marketing Reservations

The evidence is conclusive. Marketing and copy that targets specific segments of your customer population gets significantly better results than marketing and copy that targets "everybody". This is because marketing that targets "everybody" is so generalized and non-specific that it actually targets "nobody".

If marketing and copy don't speak to the issues and motivating circumstances that influence an individual, then that individual can't be motivated to buy. But everyone has different issues and circumstances than everyone else. While it's impractical to hand-craft sales and marketing to target each individual, we can successfully group customers according to what they have in common.

So, while both the stay-at-home mom in rural America and the Silicon-Valley CEO both have need of email, they have very different uses for it. You can't write a sales copy for your email service that will address the needs of both without significantly watering down your response--you'll lose many potential customers in both markets. But you can run one campaign for the stay-at-home mom and folks with needs similar to hers and another campaign for the technology CEO. The result will be a better response from both sectors.

Why we don't get it. . .
Despite the clear-cut advantage to running multiple targeted campaigns, many marketers are still trying the shot-gun approach and trying to hit "somebody" by aiming at "everybody".

For a handful of marketers that occurs because they're not aware of the advantages of targeted campaigns. But for most it's an issue of perspective. Running multiple campaigns targeted at different market segments requires more work and more investment than a single campaign. Therefore multiple campaigns appear to be an unnecessary waste of time and money. Therefore, we need to re-examine the perspective.

There are three main reasons that targeted marketing is a smart financial move:
  1. A non-targeted campaign typically costs more to acquire a certain number of customers than a targeted campaign, because you have to shoot wider and market to a higher number of prospects in order to make your sales goal. With targeted campaigns you can usually reach your goal with smaller outreach. So you spend less to acquire the same number of customers.
  2. It's usually also true that different campaigns often share resources, so your second and third campaigns don't really cost as much as the first campaign. For example you don't really need to develop a whole new web site for every customer segment, just and additional page or two. Both of these factors mean you get a better return on investment by running multiple campaigns at targeted segments than you do by trying to hit everyone.
  3. Lastly, targeted campaigns help you identify the most profitable market segments. Once you identify those markets, you can focus your marketing resources on those segments and decrease your cost per sale because you're acquiring a higher-percentage of profitable customers.

Does sedgmenting your marketing involve higher costs up front? Probably. But it also yields higher returns and profit margins on the back end. A good way to start segmenting your marketing is to keep your non-targeted campaign going while you target just one segment of your customers with a small campaign. If you see success with that campaign, you can increase its size. If you don't see an advantage to targeting that segment, you can target another. As you identify market segments that yield a higher ROI than your non-targeted campaign, you can cut back on the non-targeted campaign and put those resources into your targeted campaigns and increase your overall customer acquisition rate while decreasing your cost per sale.

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posted by John E Fike @ 8:49 AM,

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