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Cutting Through the Clutter

According to market research firm Yankelovich, we are exposed to upwards of 5,000 ad messages a day (up from about 500 in the 1970s). That is a lot of noise and clutter. As a result, people have developed defenses to tune out most of these messages. And this is not just a problem for traditional advertising. When you meet new service providers, and have a conversation, there is a lot of clutter as well. Do you know more than one financial service provider, banker, or plumber? Can you tell me what is different about each of them? It’s pretty rare that you can. So, how does a company cut through the clutter to reach potential customers? There are two key steps to take:

Be Very Clear on Your Target Market Yes, it is important to understand the basics of your target market: company size, title, age, gender, etc. However, once you understand your broader target market, you need to focus in on what particular problem a subset of this broader target market is trying to solve. If you have the best solution for this subset of people, then that is your ideal target market. Let me give you an example. A financial planner I am working with is targeting female executives and business owners. And while that may sound pretty targeted, Stephanie is actually targeting a subset of that group. Her ideal target market is women who are uncomfortable with money matters and want to feel more joy and peace around money. Once Stephanie finds someone who is within her ideal target market, she knows that she is better suited to help them reach their financial goals than anyone else in San Diego. Speak Only to Your Ideal Target Market Once you are very clear on your ideal target market, you can craft messages that speak directly to that group of people. Just be aware that this is harder to do than many people expect. Our natural tendency is to make our marketing message as broad as possible. This is a mistake. It is the message spoken directly to your ideal target market that allows you to cut through the clutter. Have you ever noticed that once you decide to buy a new car, you suddenly see a lot of car advertisements? It’s not because there are suddenly more ads. It’s because you are now paying attention to the ads and not filtering them out because you have switched to being a car buyer. The message did not change, your mindset did. While these two steps are pretty simple, they can be difficult to implement. I will talk further about both steps in a future email. However, if you want any help with identifying your ideal target market or creating an effective message, contact us.

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