This is a topic that comes up frequently, no matter the market. Whether you’re in photography, social media, web design, nuclear power plant design, or selling new or used cars: You need to focus your marketing efforts.
Marketing efforts, just like any other business activity you under take, consumes precious resources. Large or small, those expenditures are made with the intent of generating a positive result, namely, more $$ revenue.
All too frequently, new business owners want to promote themselves broadly, talking to everyone who will listen. On one hand, this is understandable. You just never know who might send future business your way. And that’s what you’re after, right?
The problem is, we have finite resources competing with finite attention spans. It is fruitless to promote carpet cleaning services to a company that sells only tile and linoleum flooring. And, in a world where we are all besieged with thousands and thousands of advertisements daily, we will only stand out to those who are already receptive to what we’re offering (e.g. carpet cleaning).
Whether building a new photography business, or building a new software product, I apply the same product management skills I have used in the past. And, when speaking publicly on the topic, there are two points I make to my audiences:
(1) There is no everyone in your target market. You simply cannot be all things to all people. This realization should, in and of itself, encourage some folks to be at least somewhat selective in their efforts.
(2) As a product manager, I build products to meet an established need, solve a particular problem, for a particular group of people. When I advise my Sales teams, “the target market for this product are customers making X$$, with Y# employees, in these Z industries…” I am doing two things. Yes, I have told them where to focus their efforts. More importantly, I have told them where NOT to expend any energy.
At the end of the day, we want to realize the maximum benefit for every dollar spent.
Consider this, too: Even though God doesn’t use the word marketing in the Bible, He does spend time speaking to the general subject. Consider in Matthew 13, the discussion of seeds falling among the paths, rocky ground, thorns, and good soil. Sewing your seeds on good ground could results in 30, 60, 100x more.
If God speaks to the topic, perhaps it’s worth considering.
This article also appears at www.jtpedersen.net