Why Marketing to Too Many People Could Cost You

Lynn Larson

Lynn Larson About The Author

March 3, 2021 at 11:45 AM

Why Marketing to Too Many People Could Cost You

In the most basic sense, every marketing team's purpose is to reach the right consumers and increase sales. The problem is some businesses make the mistake of selling to everyone rather than the right ones. Take, for example, Segway, which launched back in 2001, predicted that it "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy."

And yet, Under 30 CEO reports they were a spectacular failure and only sold 30,000 units between 2001 and 2007 because they marketed their product to everyone at a high price point. However, since then, "Segway has remained in business, in part because they shifted their focus from a mass consumer base to a niche market."

The cost was high, and they're hardly the only ones to make that mistake. Although audience targeting is one of the top ways to drive more demand, it's a commonly overlooked strategy.

Luckily, we know just what you can do to avoid the same mistake.

Learn more about measuring your ROI

Don't Cast Too Large of a Net

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 10.16.26 AM

Many marketers make a common mistake to cast a large net with the hopes of catching as many fish as possible. The problem is this technique is more harmful than helpful and leads to catching fewer ‘fish.’ In contrast, a targeting strategy excludes consumers who aren't interested in your product and gives sole focus to your target audience that, with a little nudge, is more than happy to give you that sale. 

You can also save your valuable time and efforts by narrowing down your ideal consumer. By focusing attention on their target audience, marketers will avoid having to create contact lists, specified marketing materials, and physical sales calls to entire areas or markets that aren't useful. 

The truth is, you simply cannot reach everyone no matter how hard you try. However, you can reach the right people with the right message when you know your target audiences’:

  • Likes and Dislikes
  • Demographics
  • Buyer Behaviors
  • Interests, etc.

The more you know about how they think, the better positioned your brand will be in the market you're targeting. 

Don't Spread Your Resources Thin 

Without clearly targeting their sales force, marketing teams are being spread too thin and aren't reaching the right people at the right time with the right message. Trying to reach the masses will cost them time and the business money. 

On the other hand, with a smaller pool of targeted consumers, marketers will benefit from:

  • Having more time to create a cohesive marketing strategy with a tailored message that will successfully reach consumers more likely to buy. 
  • Having more money to invest in their target audience and move them down the purchasing funnel. 
  • Having a clear and concise focus for the campaign with a stronger branding message or call to action.
    • This focus also gives marketers the ability to personalize their advertising. Forbes reports that 90% of U.S. consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing, and 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.

Don't Harm Your Brand Image

Screen Shot 2021-03-02 at 10.17.41 AMYour brand image refers to your reputation among your consumers and the public. When you harm it by not standing for something meaningful and valuable to your target audience (which you can only do if you know them), you risk becoming irrelevant and unimportant. Not to mention, without precise targeting, the sales team could be seen as harassing the general public. 

In fact, West Albany Whirlwind reports a time in the first quarter of 2018 when Go Daddy.com aired its ad a total of 8,428 times. Despite their name getting out there, the repetition wasn’t getting the desired reaction from the masses and impacting their brand. Just remember, a creative commercial can only be as successful as its schedule. Instead of repetition, marketers should be thinking about their reach and targeted consumers.

You Don't Have to Do It Alone

When you sell to everyone over your target audience, you risk alienating your potential customers, spending more money and time, and damaging your brand's reputation and trust. The risk is not worth the lack of reward and can be counterproductive. Fortunately, there's an easier way to utilize your time wisely to succeed in business — audience targeting.

Working with a media partner can help save you time with a cohesive marketing strategy and expert advice on narrowing your campaign efforts to reach consumers who see value in your products. 

The Ultimate Guide to Measuring ROI