I started my career in marketing at just the right time in internet marketing. If I had started any earlier, I don’t think I would’ve been ingratiated to The Internet with the granular feedback loop.
Because that’s what should matter most to a company with a finite amount of money. That’s pretty much all of them.
If you have a business, everything should make sense according to “the brand” you’re trying to sell. Since we’re humans with limited mental capacities, object permanence really screws us over sometimes. What happens is to an organization is that we start siloing the different departments and business operations.
Here are some poignant (read: hyperbolic) examples:
What makes sense is to ensure there’s always an alignment in business operations. You start with a defined goal and proceed from there. Every piece of the company must interact and inform the other. This includes people since the employees are the only reason these pieces keep functioning properly.
Oh, right! My bad.
So you have a company that does a thing… now whom do you sell to? EVERYONE!
No… not everyone. Since you have a finite amount of money, you have to start considering who makes the most sense to target. On a demographic level, you have to determine who to target. I’ve made a stupidly elegant 3D depiction of how you can segment the gargantuan piece of EVERYONE! into a biteable portion of 2nd-Generation Asian American Female Senior Citizens Who Seek Spiritual Enrichment From A Public Organization.
If that’s the segment that would be “fish in a barrel” for you, then that’s who we’ll go after. Which group is a less “fish in a barrel” type of segment? Oh, it’s the segment of 2nd-Generation American Female Senior Citizens Who Seek Spiritual Enrichment From A Public Organization? Then we’ll devote less money to “going after” that group. After that? 2nd-Generation American Female Senior Citizens? Then we’ll devote less money to “going after” that broader segment. Keep in mind that we haven’t even included psychographic, occupation, geographical parameters.
What I’ve just started is usually the first step in creating a marketing strategy. You do this not to “know” who to target, but (in my view) it’s to save money on knowing whom not to try and sell to. Money is not your only resource. Any time wasted on misaligned efforts cannot be recovered. That’s why you have to ask these questions of your product or service.
This is why I ask these questions with my clients. Any time or money saved can be re-apportioned to an effort that might yield fruit. Marketing is not a science. It should be a methodological art informed by its feedback loop as much as possible.
With The Internet, we have the technology for this level of feedback targeting to work. We just need to keep asking the question.