Your Market is a Moving Target! Your Marketing Needs to Move Also!

One of the first tasks of marketing is to define your targeted market.  Unless you have a good description and understanding of the market(s) you want to attract, your marketing efforts will not hit the target… because you don’t know who or what the target is.

I’m sure almost all businesses have gone through this process and written out their definitions.  They design and compose their marketing messages, events, products and services to fit that demographic and / or geographic market.  If it hits the target’s bullseye they go on to other projects and then slowly, little by little, and almost imperceptibly, those messages become stale, ceasing to hit the target.  

Years ago, the hamburger chain Wendy’s had a very successful advertising campaign, “Where’s the Beef?”  They ran it for years but eventually, it stopped attracting new customers so Wendy’s replaced it with different campaign messages. 

All marketers eventually notice a slow erosion of their marketing campaign’s effectiveness.  The problem is that their marketplace changes over time just as yesterday’s “young-marrieds” became “matures” and then “seniors” over time and, as they age, the wants and needs of these prospects change while following groups have still-different wants and needs.  

Sure, the marketers are still targeting the same groups but often don’t realize that the targeted group has changed.  As an extreme example (because it changes so rapidly) let’s say that you are targeted market is early teenagers.  From a marketing perspective, there is a new generation who become early teenagers every two or three years.  These kids have different experiences, different pop-star idols (soon today’s icons will be so last generation!).  They will be attracted to different products, different messages, different colors and typefaces because they have had different experiences.  To keep being relevant, marketers need to change their message to meet the needs and wants of future generations.  The same process of change happens in all markets, but usually at a slower pace than the teenage market.

So, I challenge you to review your targeted market to see if your message is still relevant.  Redefine your “ideal client” and see if your marketing material has meaning to those you want to attract.  If your message has not changed much in the past few years, it might be ready for a makeover so you can again aim for the bull’s eye and hit it instead of being off target.

Question or comment to Larry:  larry@larrygaller.com