When most businesses think about marketing they start with the tool or media they are going to use.

At one point twitter was the favourite. Everyone is on Twitter we must use that for marketing. Then there was the Pay-Per-Click or Google AdWords “gold rush”. Oh and of course you must be doing email marketing, mustn’t you?

The latest darling of the online world is Facebook ads.

You can always tell the latest fad by the volume of emails you get offering you the latest insight into how to get instant value from the tool.

Right tool for the job


You wouldn’t try and cut down a tree with a jig saw would you. You look at the problem – cutting down a tree – and choose an appropriate tool. A chain saw.

If it was a small tree in your garden, you might try a two person rip saw. If you were just trimming the tree you might you a lopping saw.

The point is, you start with understanding the objective or problem BEFORE choosing the tool.

Why do anything different when choosing your marketing tools. So which tool is right for you? Don’t be driven by the latest fad. Let’s look at the problem before deciding the tool.


The right message

The problem with marketing is getting the right message in front of your potential customers. Theres an old adage that says 50% of marketing spend is wasted. The challenge is identifying which 50%. In reality, for most small businesses 80%+ of marketing is wasted or ineffective. They don’t know this because they’re not measuring the effectiveness of their marketing. They don’t know which piece of marketing is turning a prospect into a sale.

Measuring and monitoring the effectiveness of your marketing a separate subject in its own right and we’ll return to that in a future blog. But even if yopu only have one marketing method (or pillar as they are often called in marketing circles) so you know it is generating all your customers, how do you know it is working as well as it should?


Anyone could be my customer

The only thing your target customer needs to get them to buy from you is a compelling message to do so. When I talk to small business owners about their target customers, I often get told

“Anyone could benefit from my product”


“All small businesses in Surrey is my target market”

The problem is it’s impossible to write a compelling marketing message to everyone, or to all small businesses in Surrey.

An attendee at one of my customer avatar workshops was struggling to get engagement with her target customers. Too few were reading her marketing messages. So she came along hoping to get some insights into her target customer so she could craft a more compelling message. What she discovered was she had 7 – yes SEVEN – different target customers. Now she could write separate messages that were comepelling to each of those segments and get better overall engagement and sales.

So to write the compelling message you need to…..


Understand your Market

You need to look at your total potential market and break it down into recognisable groups or niches. You then really need to get under the skin of each group and understand as much as you can about them. Once you really understand them you can the craft that compelling message. The message that feels as if you are speaking directly to each of them individually


#the second key reason for understanding your market in detail is it enables you to work out what the right media is. There’s no point putting marketing messages on Facebook if your market prefers to use Snapchat or Instagram.


Market, Message, Media


So most small business start with the media – Facebook, Twitter etc – then move on to as broad a message as possible to as wide a market as possible.

But switched on, successful small businesses start by understanding their Market so they can craft compelling Messages to each segment. And because they know their market, they know where each segment hangs out so they spend their money on the tools that their target markets use.


The Guildford Hub

At the Guildford Hub we challenge our members to think differently, to learn new techniques to develop and grow themselves and their businesses. Our monthly evening session for April was a workshop to help members and guests work out who their tagert customers are

For members that couldn’t make the live session there is a recording. Alternatively members can book a 1:2:1 with me to get them started on understanding their market. You could get that session too if you join the Hub. Why not come along one Monday morning and give the Hub a try – your first visit is free. Click on the button below and pick which Hub session you want to come to.



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