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Why a One-Size-Fits-All Marketing Approach Doesn’t Work

Getting someone’s attention back in the day wasn’t all that difficult, which is why a one-size-fits-all marketing approach was often the preferred way for businesses to market themselves.

At the time, there were only three primary advertising channels: TV, radio and print.

Today, it’s a much different landscape, and as a result, getting attention takes a lot more effort.

Rather than taking consumers for granted, it’s about learning to meet the needs and requirements of each and every individual.

Creating generic marketing messages just won’t cut it.

Know Your Audience

Maybe you already know your audience. However, it’s never a bad idea to get to know them even better.

Gaining a deep understanding of who you market to can be powerful in moving away from a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy to one that delivers the right message, to the right people, at the right time.

people's shapes why a one-size-fits-all-approachOne way of doing this is to create a buyer persona.

A persona is a detailed (well, as detailed as you can get) profile of your ideal customer. The main objective of this exercise is to gain a better understanding of the customer you are targeting.

Personas typically include a person’s age, gender, occupation, educational background, income, and more.

why a one-size-fits-all approach
An example of a persona.

Before you can create your persona, you should strategically think about the various groups of prospective customers that you believe are interested in your products or services.

Doing this exercise will allow you to see things through your potential customers’ eyes, providing you with insight into their beliefs, motivation, desires and more.

It will also ensure that your marketing message is far from a one-size-fits-all generic approach.

Understanding the Journey

Remember the salesman who went from door to door selling encyclopedias? No doubt he was rejected over and over again, but eventually, he made his sales quota.

And maybe it’s because he realized that you just can’t walk up to someone’s door and expect that person to buy an encyclopedia, just like you wouldn’t expect a potential customer to buy from you without exposing them to a marketing strategy that takes them from interest to desire, and then to action.

Thinking Outside the Box

It’s easy to follow the advice of marketing experts simply because they are the “experts” in the industry.

But sometimes you have to take your own path and decide what’s best for your particular business.

writing on a screen why a one-size-fits-all-approachRather than trying to create content three times a week, perhaps it’s better to develop one long-form piece and make it the highest quality possible. That way you’re providing instant value, ensuring that your followers will come back time and time again.

Creating a marketing strategy away from the usual one-size-fits-all approach might mean more versatility with your content or spinning off other marketing collateral from the usual information you provide.

How about an infographic, a video or a SlideShare presentation?

That’s what happened when the Lowe’s marketing team dreamed up the “Fix in Six” video series for the now-defunct Vine app.

The low-budget series, depicted in this video, ended up being highly engaging and successful and earned Lowe’s many millions of impressions.

Lowe’s: Fix in Six from Roberto Danino on Vimeo.

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

Ranking high in Google’s search engine results or Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) is super important, and part of that content marketing strategy is to choose the right keywords.

If you don’t choose the right ones, you won’t get the traffic you’re expecting, nor will you make any sales.

You’ve got to step into the shoes of your potential customers for a minute and think about what kinds of keywords they would use when looking for someone like you.

a typewriter why a one-size-fits-all approachIf you’re a plumber in Westchester, remember to add that phrase somewhere on your website and in any content you produce. “Water heater” is another popular search phrase that comes up again and again on Google.

You get what I mean.

Remember, also, that most people type about 4 keywords into a search bar when looking for something.

Once you know what keywords to use in a particular blog post or in other places on your website, remember to use them naturally.

Knowing that Google is responsible for 92.46 percent of the organic traffic that is sent to a website is a good reminder that keywords are important in moving you away from that one-size-fits-all marketing approach you were taking before.

Give Experiential Marketing a Try

While social media plays a big part in marketing products and services these days, developing long-lasting relationships through face-to-face, hands-on experiences can also be really beneficial.

woman shaking hands why a one-size-fits-all-approach
Photo by from Pexels.

A few years back, Weight Watchers decided to launch a multi-market sampling campaign that saw thousands of their low-calorie snacks handed out at various events in cities across the U.S.

The idea was to dispel some of the misconceptions surrounding diet food by offering snacks that tasted good yet were designed to encourage portion control and ultimately help people lose weight.

Experiential marketing is generally meant to create a buzz around a product or service and in the process builds brand awareness.

Even if potential customers have never heard of your offering before, putting yourself in front of them may spark their curiosity while also making a memorable impression.

Distributing samples at a tradeshow or holding product sampling events works well for businesses in the food and beverage industries. Hosting workshops or just fun get-togethers work well for lots of industries, especially small brick-and-mortar retails stores. Examples include florists, coffee shops, craft stores and more.

Marketing Transparently

In an online environment where practically every entrepreneur is giving away something, it can get pretty overwhelming.

Most people end up ignoring the offers unless it’s of particular interest and they desperately want the information for free.

Using a marketing strategy that educates is a more transparent way of enlightening potential customers. Implementing the following strategies is a good way to get you thinking about marketing transparently.

  • What does your service or product fulfill for the customer? In other words, how can it make their lives better or solve their immediate problems?
  • How much is it? Are there payments involved?
  • Include testimonials and case studies as evidence that your current customers’ needs are satisfied as a result of purchasing from you.
  • Share your knowledge on a continuous basis to gain trust.

How might you answer the above in a way that gets a prospective customer’s attention?

computer screens why a one-size-fits-all approachWebinars are another good way to introduce people to a brand. If you schedule one, remember to engage your participants and encourage them to ask questions. At the end of the webinar, give them the opportunity to try something on a trial basis. If they’re interested enough, they’ll jump on board.

Take a shot at making videos to market your business more transparently. This wildly popular medium has proven to build authenticity and brand awareness for many different types of businesses.

Have you tried any of the marketing strategies mentioned above? If so, let me know. You might also want to read my previous blog post on the 5 small business marketing tips that will get you through 2019 and beyond.

As always, be sure to sign up for my regular e-newsletter.


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