• Kim Kennett

How to avoid the pitfalls of ‘one size fits all’ marketing

So you’re putting together a marketing campaign for a new product or service. It can be exciting to see the result of all your hard work become a reality! But are you confident you know who your audience is?


Audience identification is key to making sales. This is a process that takes time and effort. The fact of the matter is that you may have more than one audience – and each one will be distinctly different.

What works with one audience may not work for another.

Here are some guidelines to help you accurately identify your audience:


Tease out EXACTLY who your paying customer is likely to be. Who needs what you are selling? Think of as many details about them as possible:

  • What are their demographics? (age, gender, location)

  • What are their pain points – What are they having challenges with that you could help them with?

  • How does the product or service you offer solve their problems?

  • Who is currently buying your product? Better yet, who is your return customer?


Just as you may have a few different audiences, the messaging for each audience is also likely to be different, even if you’re selling them the same thing. The message you create and the language you use needs to be tailored to each audience group. Realistically, you may very well have to use multiple marketing tactics. If not, you may be missing the mark on all your audiences by marketing to a “general” customer who doesn’t even really exist.


Here are 5 tips to help you find the "right" words.


An outside perspective is always helpful when you’re trying to refine your audiences. We’ve assisted many of our clients with audience identification. An example is a cabinet company that was spending endless hours putting together quotes for anyone who walked through their door, instead of figuring out explicitly who their customer was. Once they narrowed their target audience down, it streamlined their marketing efforts to focus on people who are more likely to buy their products. If you'd like some help, let's talk!


Consider where your different audiences source their information. A younger audience, for example, will definitely look to social media. What is the most suitable platform – or platforms – for engaging with them? An older audience may be completely different. Print materials, emails or radio/TV ads may be more effective.


If agriculture is your game, then you can’t ignore Twitter. It’s a forum that has grown substantially in the food and farming community, creating a hub of important conversations.


You need to understand your competition. Who are they? How do your offerings differ from their products/services? What makes your business unique? Is it the product itself? Your customer service? What would make a customer want to buy from you instead of a competitor?


Take into consideration your resources, specifically time and budget. Allot a specific amount of money and time for marketing when planning your budget. Identify who will be responsible for developing your strategy and for the follow-through. By clearly identifying your target audiences, you will spend less overall because you're going to speak more directly to the people you’re selling to.


Mostly, remember that the marketing strategy you create for one audience doesn’t necessarily resonate with another. If you try to cut corners and go with the ‘one size fits all approach,’ you’re not going to reach anyone, let alone your sales potential.


Customizing your marketing efforts to each audience opens the doors to more customers and more opportunities to grow your business.


Once you've identified your audience(s), you can practice testing different tones of voice on them to find what resonates with them. Then it's time to get creative.