You cannot please everyone, and that’s ok

Having worked across many international brands over a 25 year career, the most interesting brief we ever received was for a large home consumer goods client. They were launching a new hair care range. Their brief was to achieve 100% reach of their target market. Now any media strategist knows that it is totally impossible to reach 100% of any market using TV alone. Even then, the measurement tools used could only get them so far and no further.

Faced with an impossible brief, the agency, with a bucket load of budget, set out to irritate the consumer to the point of them wishing they could skip the ad.

This was in the day before PVR’s, with limited channels and no means of skipping or removing the adverts on TV or online.

Traditional marketing textbooks from the 60’s were telling us that the consumer needed to see the advert at least 3 times to spur them to actually go out and buy the product. What this consumer goods company was doing, was up to 15 exposures of the ad to try get their reach up to the maximum levels.

What the new marketing books are telling us to do, is to reach the smallest but most relevant group possible.

Based on speaking to a group of consumers that will get excited about your product and service and they in turn will be the advocates for your business going forward.

This consumer group does not need to be defined by demographics, but rather by their mutual interests and love and need for your product or service.

By focusing on meeting a need for a small but specific group of people, you can ensure your product or service can really change lives. Once this has been perfected, it can be rolled out incrementally to ensure that it remains relevant and your company maintains its purpose.

Understanding that your product or service is not for everyone is ok and if we can get to a point that we are comfortable letting consumers know that it is not designed to please all people all the time, and that it is designed for a specific need and a specific consumer.

This applies to everything, a radio station, a clothing store and even a beauty salon.

Customers will complain, we have opened up so many channels which have become customer complaints lines even though that is their not intended purpose, like Facebook, messenger and even whatsapp lines, it is difficult to not only respond to everyone, but not get upset about the levels of complaints. Focusing on the core market is more important than focusing on the one or two consumers that are not happy with your product/service. It was not intended for them. And that’s ok.

Written by: Beverly Cosslett

Beverly has worked in Advertising and Marketing for the last 25 years after studying Advertising at the AAA School of Advertising, specialising in Media Management, working across many local and international brands including Unilever, Glaxo SmithKline, Kimberly Clark and Coca Cola.

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