In 2013, Too, All Prospects Are Not Created Equal

At MindEcology, we love what we do, so we often find ourselves engaging in “shop talk” with casual acquaintances, people in the elevator, and most anybody else who shows any interest. We like asking people about their company’s business model. We also enjoy hearing about their biggest challenges and pain points. We ask because we are fascinated by the myriad of niches out there that so many companies have found.

One of the conversation starters we use when talking with someone for the first time is, “Who is your target customer and what do they look like?” Often, we receive very specific responses on this point. However, at least as often, we receive a rather vague response.

But, the real kicker is when we hear somebody say, “Oh, we target pretty much anybody and everybody.” This one gives us pause, since it is almost never really the case. We know that this is not a lie or wishful thinking. Rather, people who respond this way really do believe that almost anybody could benefit from their product or service.

However, the reality of the situation is almost always very different. That is, there is almost not a product or service in existence that for whom every member of the population (or group of target companies) would respond uniformly to their marketing and advertising outreach. Case in point: in most parts of the U.S., people would stand to benefit from owning a car, but not everybody can afford one. And, for those who can afford a car, they don’t all want the same kind. Evidence of this can be found in the hundreds of makes and models available in the U.S. marketplace. We are far beyond the days of Henry Ford’s one-size-fits-all Model T, that’s for sure.

There are countless more examples in almost every product or service category, including: hotels, restaurants, computers, dish soap, toothpaste, clothing, shoes, music, and TV programming. The list goes on and on.

The take-away for YOUR company as you move into the new year of 2013: all prospects are NOT created equal.

Once you have truly internalized this fact, it opens you up to doing some pretty amazing things with your approach to marketing. Specifically, you can begin to take meaningful steps to target the right prospect with the right product or service using the right message and at the right price point – all with a lower level of marketing investment.

In short, your mantra in 2013 should be: differentiate, segment, target, execute . . . and earn more profit.