April 08, 2013
The Hidden Danger Of Precision Targeting
There is very little difference between your customer and your competitor’s customer.
And get ready for a shock. To them there is very little difference between you and your competitor.
Most consumers are oblivious to the positioning subtleties among major brands. The average consumer has no idea why Coke is different from Pepsi, or Crest is different from Colgate. They see no difference between Jif and Skippy. They are unimpressed and uninformed about the arcane positioning distinctions between Bounty and Brawny paper towels.
Most of their purchasing habits are just that -- habits. Interpreting their behavior as some sort of ideological commitment to your brand is a delusion.
In fact, most of the positioning and differentiation work done by advertisers and marketers are academic exercises that are lost on consumers. Consumers have more important things on their mind.
This is why trying to draw precise targeting differences and grand strategic insights between your buyers and your competitor's buyers is such a fruitless endeavor. Being too precise in your targeting means you are missing one of your biggest prospects – your competitor’s customer.
Heavy users in your category are promiscuous. They may have a favorite brand, but they are generally not fiercely brand loyal.
Advertising vehicles that allow you to “engage” and have “conversations” with your brand's heavy users by promising precision targeting provide very limited opportunity to grow your business. In fact, they often distract you from your proper objective – attracting new customers.
This is why social media have proven to be highly suspect in building sales. Who follows you on Facebook and Twitter? They are mainly your committed customers. They are not your primary source of growth. Should you ignore them? Of course not. But neither should you be obsessed with them, as is common practice in the world of social media.
One of the great benefits of mass media is that it lacks precision targeting. It reaches all the users in your category, including the users of your competitor's brand.
These people – the ones who are not your loyal fans – are the ones who can grow your business.