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Avoid the Targeting Trap – Don’t Just Choose a Niche

Having a clear focus on your target audience is essential, but it’s equally crucial to avoid overly simplistic approaches to targeting. Let’s explore this concept further, drawing insights from diverse industries and company types. However, it’s vital to recognize that each company’s clientele is multifaceted and may not neatly fit into predefined categories. For instance, our creative production agency, Rosa Waeng, serves a broad spectrum of clients, ranging from single-person startups to global multinationals within B2B, B2G, and B2C industries. Some could argue that we somehow lost track of that. But that is not true. While this diversity may seem to broad, it’s essential to find the unique needs and preferences of your client segment, as those can reach through multiple company sizes as well.

One common misconception is that there exists a one-size-fits-all approach to target audience selection. Experience in various industries reveals that such a notion is overly simplistic. Online resources like Google and Reddit can offer some insights at best, but they can’t provide a foolproof blueprint for targeting. It’s important to understand that every company is unique, and what may work for one may not necessarily yield the same results for another. To better understand target audience selection, let’s go into the nuances of B2C and B2B marketing first.

In B2C marketing, the customer is central to the narrative, and branding plays an important role in establishing connections. Brands that align with the lifestyle and aspirations of their customers tend to fare better in this arena. Consider the contrasting responses to marketing strategies employed by companies like Ryanair and Bud Light. While Ryanair’s unconventional proposals, such as standing seats, may elicit minimal backlash, Bud Light faced significant criticism for deviating from its established brand identity. This highlights the importance of maintaining brand integrity and resonating with your target audience’s values.

In B2B marketing, brand personality takes a step back to practical considerations. While trust as part of the brand remains a crucial factor, clients primarily seek solutions that address their specific challenges and pain points. Unlike in B2C scenarios, where emotional appeal often drives purchasing decisions, B2B transactions are driven by a rational assessment of the product’s utility. Brand does play a much smaller role than your product itself. But here is one of those paradoxes: A product centric approach still is a very bad idea and this doesn’t discount the importance of branding. It is not about solving as much problems as possible. It is about solving enough relevant problems for one group. This also includes implementation of your product and the way you work with your client. Your product can be a perfect match, but you will lose the client if you don’t address their needs in its entirety.

Here is an example from our agency Rosa Waeng. One problem, our clients face is internal bureaucracy. With multiple big brands in our portfolio, our client service is used to that. PO numbers, clashes between sales and marketing, approvals from HQ over sea, different contractor than invoice recipients. Based on that, you might be tempted to limit your service to companies size X and up. But, the scaleups we serve are much smaller – they would be cut out. But as they have to report back to mothership, they still need the same kind of bureaucracy service. Same for startups. As soon as the bigger investors come in and dedicated budget for marketing are set, they face similar problems due to the same points.

The art on how you deal with your clients is often more important than your product. Startups know what I mean. Approach a bigger company with the set goal – and money in hand – to buy something from them. There are quite a lot establish companies that will still not sell you anything.

It underscores the need for a balanced approach to selecting you audience. Prioritize companies that will benefit from your products or services problem-solving capabilities. Rather than on size or stage. While audience segmentation is essential, it should not become a restriction. It’s vital to open your company efforts to different customer segments, and not excessively narrow it down. Hard segmentation can limit your brand’s reach and hinder scalability. Striking the right balance between specificity and inclusivity is key to maximizing your brand’s potential. Effective target audience selection requires a nuanced understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences.

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