The all-inclusive approach to marketing is such a temptation – it’s irresistible! Almost all of us engage in this at one time or another. The problem is that it’s a losing proposition: losing time, money, relevancy, and most importantly it wears you out.

And although the idea of narrowing your focus is fundamental to effective marketing – and any type of engagement – it’s so counterintuitive that it seems to make no sense. Let’s explore how 3 different ways to focus can increase your marketing effectiveness.

Avoid these 3 pitfalls of all-inclusive marketing and you’ll start getting great results:

Serving the anonymous crowd

We often believe our business serves everyone. And maybe we define everyone in one of the following ways:

  • Age
  • Location
  • Gender

That could look like some of the following descriptions you might have of your ideal customer:

  • Women ages 18-25
  • People who live in San Francisco
  • Men with children

All of those are way too general. You can’t speak directly to any of them because you have no idea what they’re interested in. Are they hipsters? Geeks? Boomers? Single? Married? Wealthy? Poor? Educated at what level? Do they like pop music or indie music? Are their children babies? High schoolers?

When you know those kinds of details about your ideal customer, your communications are so much more compelling – your audience feels like you GET them, that you know what their life is like and your business may have just the thing for them. When they feel like you really understand them – that you know what they face, love, do, and their dreams, then they’ll love you.

All you have to do is take a chance and really think about who you’re truly serving and go out and find out what their life is like.

Don’t worry about missing out with other types of customers; if you’re successful with that group, your business will grow to include other groups. Really.

Communication Choice Overload

You got yourself going on social media, on email, and started a blog. Probably because you’ve heard that’s really what you need to do now – no longer can you place an ad in the newspaper and have customers appear. Maybe you’re on Facebook, perhaps LinkedIn, trying out Twitter, possibly YouTube, and maybe Instagram. You could also be on Quora, Periscope, Pinterest, Google +, Vine, Meetup, Tumblr,, Medium, or others. Ok – I’m exhausted just listing all those… and there are more…

How in the world will it be possible to keep up?

Think of this like you think of your real world connections. I’m guessing you don’t visit every meetup or restaurant or bar or gym or club or whatever in your area when you want to meet more people. Well, maybe for a month, but its not sustainable and you won’t get to really know anyone that way – and they won’t get to know you. Social media is similar.

Consider the option of choosing just one social media platform, plus email and a blog. Then build those in an integrated way: write your blog, email it to people interested (building your email list is another discussion), and have some fun with the topic on your chosen social media platform. Be all in on the ONE social media platform. Post only what you know your audience loves. Which leads me to the last item.

Business Personality Disorder

You have a personality – I have a personality – everyone does. Well, your business presence MUST have a personality. Why? Because you’re talking to individuals as your business and no one connects with a nothing personality. We don’t even like robots who don’t have a personality.

Usually, we forget about personality for business because we’re so focused on trying to get people to buy something. In today’s online world the equation is similar to the in-person truism we all have heard: people buy from people – people they trust. That means your business has to be like a person – in fact it’s made up of people so that’s not really as weird as it may first seem.

The alternative challenge with personality is that your online personality could be a mismatch between the real experience people have with your business and your social media presence. This usually happens when you choose to leave this activity in the hands of an intern – the intern will assert their personality and then you have a problem.

Be intentional – understand what your current clients love about your business – how do you treat them? What do they count on? What tone of voice? Type of information? What role does your business play in their lives? Then capture that personality in a thorough description and make sure anyone posting anywhere for your business is speaking through that personality only.

The Bottom Line

Your marketing results will improve dramatically when you take the steps to:

  1. Focus on one carefully understood ideal customer that you can speak directly to every time you communicate via your business – online, in store, on price tags or shelves – always.
  2. Pick one social media site for your business and focus your resources on that one to make it be great. If you have more resources left AFTER you’ve proven yourself there, then add another. Or if that one isn’t working, leave it gracefully and choose another to be great on.
  3. Identify what your personality is in the eyes of your customers and stick to it consistently everywhere, all the time – be intentional about it.

Have fun!

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