What’s your market?

And by that, people usually mean who do you really serve? (And you never know if they’re curious to find their direct competitor in you!)

Marketers fuss a lot about customer avatars or the ideal customer profile or the target audience at ends, which gets irritating (at times). It’s a major turn off to every other non-marketer in the organization.

“Can’t he just do his fucking job without asking all these questions about people’s age, sex and the job they have?” No, he can’t. And he needs all that information to just get started on the strategy that you were so keen to build in the first place.

But I digress, this isn’t about what those little-big things that a marketer does but what they and organisations should focus on. And honestly, after spending years in marketing and marketing communication I can say this with utmost confidence — focusing on each of those customer types/profiles/avatars just doesn’t work. Especially if you’re just starting out.

While Writing content for Sally (29, female, temping as a marketing analyst for a huge corporation) sounds like a perfect plan, but it isn’t. Sure, it may help you over the long haul but what about right now?

And right now is where the world is. They can’t seem to get traction at the time where every second is so precious. Marketing budgets are shrinking every day and leaders need to see an ROI on every freaking thing that you’re doing.

I don’t have an answer for this but I do find great value in serving your smallest viable audience (or the minimum critical mass as Seth Godin would call it). It just makes sense. Especially when you’re just getting started.

Instead of targeting the Sallys or the marketing managers or directors out there, why don’t we just focus on the CMOs? Or perhaps, CMOs of the Fortune 50 companies. You want to get bolder, go for the Fortune 25!

Yes, there’s a risk of overlooking other (potential) options out there but you will be able to deeply engage with prospects who’re most likely to resonate with what you have to offer. Your efforts skyrocket because you are so focused on bringing value and serving those 25-50 companies (essentially 25-50 people instead of … what thousands?).

Here’s the best part — you can always start with 1,2 or 3 clients and scale your efforts up. Your support team will be appreciative of the space and creative control they have to build collaterals that not just make an impact but have enough stickability that your prospects remember you.

And isn’t that how you spread the word?

Simple, right? But simple ain’t easy. If you’ve ever wondered why people wouldn’t do it, you’re smarter than the average marketer. But would you be able to recommend this to your company’s marketing manager or the CMO? I’m not sure. For many organizations, this would be anathema!

And I don’t blame them for that. But if you’re an entrepreneur or a freelancer or have a side-hustle, my friends THIS IS IT!

Stop wasting your time (and wasting money for monthly subscriptions) sending those automated emails. They’ll end up in “promotions” or “spam” anyway. You’re better off making an effort for a human-to-human connection in a way that’s so unconventional (ironically) in this day and age.

So, what’s my market? I think I already made it clear previously. The question is would you be willing to explore your smallest viable audience to create an impact and add value for real?

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