It’s a core principle in selling – Target the Core and don’t worry about the extremes.
Yet advertiser after advertiser insists on “chasing the A’s and Z’s”. It’s the Harley Davidson dealer who wants to reach women because HD corporate has alerted him to the fact that women are the fastest growing new Harley owner group. It’s the laser spa who wants to reach men, even though 80% of their customers are women. It’s every business that insists on trying to reach younger buyers (“the coveted 18 – 49 demo”) yet all the buying power lies with the aging boomer!
Don’t give in. Don’t let your advertisers bully you into targeting anything other than a well defined core. When the advertiser says, “We already have all of them”, (referring to their core) tell them emphatically, “No you don’t!.”
It’s a classic advertising misstep. The client believes they already reach enough of their core so they view non core groups as their growth opportunity. It’s the Harley dealer who says I already reach all the middle aged men in my market, so I will go after women, the fastest growing new Harley owner group, as my growth opportunity. Ask them this, “If you sold 50 new Harley’s next month, how many would be purchased by women?” You know what you’ll hear, “Three, maybe four.” Respond with, “So why would you take your foot off the gas of what you know drives your business, men, to chase what even if you doubled would still amount to less than 20% of your overall?” Don’t chase the A’s and Z’s.
Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian, puts it this way:
Advertising messages should be created for, and directed at, the heavy-using, high-yield customers in your category.
“It is a good thing to love all your customers and treat them with respect and gratitude. But it is not productive to fashion your advertising message to appeal to all of them.
Some customers are extraordinarily valuable. Some are hardly valuable at all. One of the keys to making your advertising more productive and efficient is to be certain it is talking the language of the high-value customer.
Often advertisers try to find a common denominator among all their potential customers and try to create a message that appeals to everyone. This is a mistake. The way to minimize waste and maximize the productivity of your advertising is to shape the message for the highyield customer. Make sure your ads are written for the right people. Be sure your advertising has been developed with the point of view and needs of the high-value customer in mind.”
So, it’s not enough to target the right audience with the right outlet/medium/programs, you must
also then target them in the creative.
I think it’s a quote worth memorizing and including in your proposals:
Advertising messages should be created for, and directed at, the heavy-using, high-yield customers in your category. -Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian
…and don’t chase the A’s and Z’s.
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