Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Quick Marketing Tip: Stop trying to appeal to everyone

One of the golden rules of successful marketing, is to identify exactly who your customer or client is, then focus exclusively on them. This is the opposite of what we see most small business owners doing. They try and be a little relevant to everyone and succeed in being directly relevant to no one.

Don’t do that. Really. Stop it. It’s hurting your marketing and hurting your business.

Here’s a smarter alternative…

specific marketing

Who’s in?

In order for your marketing to work, you need to determine exactly who you want to provide products or services to. These people are your insiders.They are the ones you need to focus all your time and effort on. They are the people you need to have in mind, whenever you make a marketing decision.

Of course, you can’t have insiders without outsiders. Every successful business has outsiders. If you are Apple Inc., your outsiders are people who want cheap technology. If you are MacDonalds, your outsiders are people who hate fast food.

Stop trying to appeal to everyone

Decide what your ideal customer profile is, then:

  • Write with them in mind.
  • Use their language.
  • Study what matters to them.
  • Be where they are.
  • Uncover the problems facing their industry or industries.
  • Offer answers.
  • Become a useful resource.

It’s a massively more effective way to grow your business than the vague alternative.

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  1. Great advice, as always, Jim. If there’s a lesson self-publishers need to learn, it’s this one. In fact, one of my recent blog posts was dedicated to this topic as well.

    If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

  2. I think this applies not only to small businesses IMO, except that small businesses are those who make this mistake most.

    • You’re right, Amelia. There have been some high profile of big companies, who were hit hard after trying to appeal to everyone. Those who did it well, usually set up a totally different brand within their business. A well known example is the Toyota motor company using Lexus for a line of higher priced vehicles. Thanks for the comment and welcome to the blog.

  3. As you say Jim sometimes the riskiest things we can do is try and play safe. Feels safer to try and appeal to everyone, sure.

    But there’s no value there. Thanks muchly for another supreme idea.

  4. Yup, even with a narrowed down or niche market, there are always enough customers to go around.

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